Students will have options when they return to Stillwater Public Schools this fall. Some plan on returning to the classroom while others are opting for a virtual learning environment, or some combination of the two.

It’s a new experience for everyone involved so the district is trying to help parents understand what the virtual option will look like.

Parents who want to sign their children up for virtual learning have until Friday to sign them up and be guaranteed a spot. They can sign up online at https://sps.blue/virtualapp.

Anyone needing to sign up after Friday will have to contact SPS Educational Services.

Edgenuity doesn’t offer Pre-K so the district will be developing its own virtual Pre-K curriculum for those students.

Virtual learning students will still be able to participate in specials and electives, either online or in-person if they desire. They can also participate in extracurricular activities, including clubs, sports and band.

Students who enroll in the virtual option will also still have access to school lunches and be able to use the school library.

Edgenuity offers a long list of electives and AP classes for high school students but SPS advanced classes that are offered online will be taught by the district. Students interested in a blended curriculum can opt to complete their core subjects online and come to campus for electives, Walker said.

Parents who want to enroll their students in the virtual option but don’t have a computer or reliable internet service should contact the district to request the loan of a Chromebook and/or a WIFI hotspot.

The district used federal funds to buy the technology students need to perform their class work online.

On Tuesday, SPS Assistant Superintendent of Academic Services Cathy Walker hosted an online introduction to Edgenuity, the district’s selected virtual learning platform, followed by a Q&A session.

Walker explained that the district selected Edgenuity because its K-12 self-paced curriculum is grounded in instructional research and aligned with state academic standards.

It offers the flexibility for SPS to use its own staff as the teachers of record in most cases.

Students who plan to participate in NCAA-governed athletics at the Division 1 or Division 2 level will need to inform their guidance counselors and select classes accordingly. To make sure they meet NCAA standards, they will need to use Edgenuity teachers as their teachers of record.

Edgenuity National Curriculum Specialist Jody Burns, who is an OSU alumna and Stillwater resident, presented an overview of what elementary and secondary students whose parents select virtual learning would see and do on the platform.

Students should expect to spend as much time doing their coursework on Edgenuity as they would in a traditional classroom, Burns said.

For secondary students that translates to 60-75 minutes daily on Language Arts, 45-60 minutes on Math, 30-45 minutes Social Studies and 30-45 minutes on Science.

The entire presentation is available to watch on the Stillwater Public Schools Facebook Page and can be found at https://www.facebook.com/onwardpioneers/videos/220570865839263.

Information on Stillwater’s plan for the upcoming school year can be found at the district’s Back to School 2020 site, https://sps.blue/reopen.

The first day of school has been pushed to Aug. 20 to give parents time to decide which option works best for their children and give the district time to make arrangements based on final enrollment numbers.

Twitter: @mcharlesNP

Dates to remember:

Elementary enrollment verification was held Tuesday.

Secondary schedule pick up is scheduled for Aug. 10-13 with Seniors on the 10th, Juniors on the 11th, Sophomores on the 12th, and Junior High and Middle School students both on the 13th.

Anyone who missed their assigned day or know they can’t make it, should contact the office at their school site.

Parents who want to sign their children up for virtual learning have until Friday to sign them up and be guaranteed a spot. They can sign up online at https://sps.blue/virtualapp.

Anyone needing to sign up after Friday will have to contact SPS Educational Services.

Immunizations:

The Payne County Health Department is scheduling appointments for back-to-school immunizations through Friday. Call 405-372-8200 in Stillwater or 918-225-3377 in Cushing.

The Health Department asks parents to bring the record of any immunizations the child received somewhere else.

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