From the Office of the Superintendent

January 15, 2021

Dear Buckaroo Family and Community,

This letter is to inform you that a student or staff member at Smackover High School has tested positive for COVID-19.  District and school administration have followed response protocols issued by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and contacted the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).

Students and staff who were in “close contact” will be notified by the school nurse or school administration.  The district is thoroughly disinfecting and sanitizing facilities appropriately.

As we continue to work through these situations together, know that the Smackover-Norphlet School District will be transparent if and when these situations occur.  As a reminder, please keep your child home if:

  • He/she is running fever or feels ill
  • Has been around a possible COVID-19 case
  • Has been tested for COVID-19 (Even if your child is tested after school hours, on a holiday break, weekend, etc. and receives a negative test, please call the school nurse for follow up guidance on returning to school.)
As a reminder:   If a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19, he or she is  required to have a letter of release from the Arkansas Department of Health in order to return to school or work. This letter needs to given to the school nurse who is also the point of contact.

In accordance with confidentiality laws and HIPPA regulations, the Smackover-Norphlet School District is not allowed to release identifiable information of individuals with COVID-19.

Thank you for your flexibility and partnership as we work through these situations together! Go Bucks!

Sincerely,

Jason Black

Superintendent

Virtual Classroom Orientation

There will be a Virtual Classroom Orientation for 6th – 12th grade students who will continue in the Virtual Classroom option for the second semester.

There will be two sessions offered.  Please choose the session which will best meet your schedule.

  • TIME:  1:30 pm OR 5:30 pm
  • DATE:  Tuesday, January 26, 2021
  • LOCATION:  Hobgood Auditorium

Parents and their students who are eligible and choosing to remain in Virtual Classroom for the second semester are required to physically attend one session of the orientation.

 

Mark Your Calendars!

Please mark your calendars for the upcoming dates:

  • January 18, 2021 (Monday) – No school (MLK Jr. Day)
  • February 11, 2021 (Thursday) – Parent Teacher Conferences (Early Dismissal Day)
  • February 12 – 16, 2021 – No School (Winter break for students)
  • March 22 – 26, 2021 – Spring Break

Basketball Updates

Schedule Changes

Due to an increase in quarantines in the district, the basketball games on Friday, January 15, at Harmony Grove  and Tuesday, January 19 against Lake Village are being rescheduled to a later date in the season.

As soon as the games are rescheduled, we will post the updated dates.

Ticket Refunds

An announcement will be made regarding ticket refunds for the game against Harmony Grove once we know how the refunds will be handled.

Anyone who has already purchased a ticket to the Lake Village game will be issued a refund.  The refunds will be returned to your account in 2-4 business days.

With Our Deepest Sympathy

On behalf of the Smackover-Norphlet School District, we would like to extend our condolences to the Smackover Family Practice Clinic, as well as the family and friends of Dr. Richard Davis.

Over the years, Dr. Davis and the Smackover Family Practice Clinic have served our community by providing physicals for our student athletes and our bus drivers.

We are saddened by the loss of Dr. Davis.  We are so thankful to have known him.

Adjustments to Virtual Instruction for the 2nd Semester

The Smackover-Norphlet School District is adjusting its Virtual Classroom option in the district’s Ready for Learning Plan at the beginning of the third nine weeks (January 25, 2021).

When considering any changes, the district has focused on the following questions:

  • What is in the best interest of our students?

The updates in this plan will allow students who have been engaged and thriving to continue working in Virtual Classroom.

Those who have failing grades will return to on-campus instruction where they will receive more support and intervention in accordance with the Virtual Classroom Agreement which was signed prior to enrolling in Virtual Classroom.

  • What is in the best interest of our teachers and staff?

The teachers and staff in our district have “moved mountains” to provide quality instruction to our students this year.  The updates to this plan will help keep the district’s Ready for Learning Plan sustainable for our teachers and staff as well.

Please read all of the information below regarding the changes.

 

ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN VIRTUAL CLASSROOM

Students must meet the following criteria to continue participating in the Virtual Classroom Option for the third nine weeks:

  • Be an existing student enrolled in Virtual Classroom on January 7, 2021. (No additional students will be accepted into the Virtual Classroom option after January 7, 2021.)
  • Must have passed all classes for the first nine weeks and the second nine weeks.
  • For parents and students of 6th – 12th graders, must sign an updated Virtual Classroom Agreement.  VC_Agreement_January_2021
  • For parents and students of 6th – 12th graders, parents and students must physically attend an orientation to APEX on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at Hobgood Auditorium.  There will be two options to best meet the needs of parents:  1:30 pm and 5:30 pm.

Please note:  All students and parents were required to sign a Virtual Classroom Agreement at the beginning of the first nine weeks and at the beginning of the second nine weeks.  Students and parents agreed to the stipulation that students would maintain passing grades or better in all classes.  Therefore, any student who has failed a class for the first nine weeks or the second nine weeks will be required to return to on-campus instruction.

CURRICULUM FOR VIRTUAL CLASSROOM

 

K – 5th Grade Students

6th – 12th Grade Students

Continue to use a 100% online curriculum through Lincoln Learning based on the student’s current course schedule.

 

Use a 100% online curriculum through APEX Learning based on the student’s current course schedule and availability of courses in APEX Learning.

Please note:

·         Not all elective courses are available through APEX Learning.  Student schedules will be changed if a course is not available in APEX Learning.  (Because this change is occurring at semester, this will not affect the credit earned for high school students.)

·         Band and choir courses will continue in their current format.

·         Virtual Arkansas courses will continue in their current format.

·         Concurrent credit courses will continue in their current format.

·         Students enrolled in the Secondary Technical Center will continue in their current format.

 

RETURNING TO ON-CAMPUS INSTRUCTION

Parents may elect for their students to return to on-campus instruction at any time regardless of a student’s grade.

Please note:  Once a student returns to on-campus instruction, the student will not be allowed to return to the Virtual Classroom option.

Return to On-Campus Instruction

Remain in Virtual Classroom Instruction
 

1.       If your student will be returning to on-campus instruction, the parent/guardian will need to contact the assistant principal of the campus in which the student attends.

 

2.       A transition conference will be scheduled and held with the parent/guardian before the student is returned to on-campus instruction.

 

Kindergarten – 5th Grade Students

·         Contact the assistant principal at your student’s campus to inform him/her of your decision.

·         No new agreement will need to be signed.

6th – 12th Grade Students

 

1.       Parents/guardians and students will sign an updated Virtual Classroom Agreement.  Submit this agreement no later than Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

2.       6th – 12th grade students and their parents/guardians will physically attend an APEX orientation meeting on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at Hobgood Auditorium.  There will be two options for times:  1:30 pm and 5:30 pm.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why is the curriculum of the Virtual Classroom (VC) option changing for 6th – 12th grade students?

The Smackover-Norphlet School District has been researching options to best meet the academic needs of our students.  The District found a different online provider (APEX Learning) for 6th – 12th grade students that is an approved digital learning provider by the Arkansas Department of Education and has been used successfully in other Arkansas school districts.  The District felt that this adjustment in curriculum was in the best interest of our students and teachers.

Why is the district not making changes to the curriculum of the VC option for Kindergarten – 5th grade students?

In researching curriculum options for Kindergarten through 5th grade, Lincoln Learning (BUZZ) was the best online provider at this time.  APEX Learning does not currently have a Kindergarten through 5th grade option.

What if a student has a medical condition, but previously had failing grades?  Can that student continue in Virtual Classroom?

Parents/guardians seeking a medical exemption for their student need to contact the principal of their student’s campus.

How do these changes to virtual instruction affect standardized achievement testing?

Students enrolled in Virtual Classroom are still required to take all appropriate state-required standardized achievement tests.

Tentative dates for the spring standardized achievement tests are:

  • ACT Exam (11th grade) – February 23, 2021
  • ACT Aspire (3rd – 10th grade) – April 12 – 16, 2021
  • Renaissance (K – 2nd grade) – April May 3 – 7, 2021

Virtual Classroom students in the 3rd through the 10th grade are not required to take the interim ACT Aspire Periodic Assessments; however, a parent can contact the assistant principal of the student’s campus if the parent would like for them to participate in the interim assessment.  Tentative dates for the spring interim assessment are March 8 – 12, 2021.

Can a student enrolled in virtual instruction be retained?

The Smackover-Norphlet School District will follow its promotion and retention policy when considering the grade placement for students for the 2021-2022 school year.

What is the deadline for notifying my student’s campus of my decision for the third nine weeks?

  • Return to on-campus instruction – Notify the assistant principal at your student’s campus no later than Wednesday, January 20, 2021. A transition conference will be scheduled with the parent/guardian.
  • Virtual Classroom – Return the Virtual Classroom Agreement to the assistant principal at student’s campus no later than Wednesday, January 20, 2021. This will allow the school enough time to get all coursework uploaded into the LMS for the student to continue VC at the beginning of the 3rd nine weeks.

Please note:  A transition conference will be scheduled for students who are required to return to campus due to failing grades.

If I choose to continue Virtual Classroom (VC) for the third nine weeks, can I later choose for my student to return to on-campus instruction if VC is not meeting my student’s needs?

Yes, contact the assistant principal at your student’s campus to schedule a transition conference to return to on-campus instruction.  However, students who return to on-campus instruction will not be allowed to return to the Virtual Classroom option.

OUR THANKS AND APPRECIATION

Thank you for your flexibility as we make the necessary adjustments during this time.  We appreciate your patience and partnership to make this a good educational experience for our students.

The Smackover-Norphlet School District will continue to monitor, evaluate, and adjust where needed each nine weeks as we implement the Virtual Classroom model this year.

Click on the link below for a PDF version of this information.

VC_Plan_3rd_9_Weeks

 

SAAC Student Art Competition

The South Arkansas Arts Center will be hosting it 2021 Student Art Show and Competition for K-12th grade students during the month of February.

Important Dates:

  • Entry DEADLINE • Monday, February 1
  • First Day of Exhibit • Tuesday, February 9
  • Online Awards Presentation • Saturday, February 13, 2pm
  • Last Day of Exhibit • Wednesday, February 24
  • Pick-up Artwork • Thursday & Friday, February 25 & 26

There is a $5 entry fee per piece of artwork.  For more information, click here.