July 16, 2020
Ray-Pec Parent Community,

Plan and adjust. Patience and grace.

Those are the two phrases that I have used numerous times in conversations and communications with our Ray-Pec staff team, community members, civic group presentations and in previous correspondence to you about our approach for the 2020-2021 school year.

It is those two phrases that I want to emphasize again in this email update to you.

Plan and Adjust

Many of you are in the process of registering for the 2020-2021 school year. As you know, our reentry plan for what school is to look like in the fall was sent to you last week. The risk-reduction strategies in the plan were informed by guidance from the Cass County Health Department, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, medical professionals, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control. The plan is a choice for your student between a risk-reduced in-person learning experience, or an online option through our new virtual instruction program called VIPR. A set of frequently asked questions and answers is on our website to help you navigate through the options. 

However, as we all have learned over the past several months, there is nothing certain about future plans when it comes to navigating this virus. Adjustment to the plan we sent to you on July 10 may be necessary at any point as we prepare for the August 24 reentry and as we move throughout this school year. Some of those adjustments may include transitioning our in-person students in grades 6-12 to an alternative schedule to reduce the number of students in the building at any one time, periodic closures and transition to short-term distance learning of rooms or schools to deal with isolated cases of the virus, or full virtual instruction for all students. There are too many unknowns at this point to say with certainty how the year will transpire. I can not say enough about all of the great work and effort our teams of teachers, administrators and staff have put into getting us to this point in our planning. The same can be said for the efforts around adjustment planning. We will keep you informed of any adjustments necessary to our plan as we try to make the best decisions possible with the information available. I urge you to look at the possible adjustments to the plan at this link .

Patience and Grace
As I said in my first email to you on July 1, this will be a very interesting year. None of us have had to open schools, teach in schools, or send our children to schools at the beginning of the year in the midst of a global pandemic. The challenges, as you know, are significant. In all conversations our Board of Education and staff teams have had on reentry, two objectives have guided our discussions. One, we want t o provide an in-person learning experience for as many students/parents who want it for as long as we can, while providing a reasonable risk reduction strategy for all. And two, we want to provide a rigorous and relevant virtual instruction experience for those students/parents who are desirous of that experience. 

These are not simple tasks. Admittedly, no plan nor adjustment to the plan will be perfect in the midst of this crisis. However, all will be done with the two stated objectives in mind. Your patience and grace is appreciated as we move through this year together.

Thank you for trusting your children with the Ray-Pec School District,

Mike Slagle