The Rockwood Task Force: 2021-2022 met for the third time virtually April 14 to share updates related to developing a plan for the next school year. Superintendent Dr. Mark Miles formed the Rockwood Task Force to ensure we are providing each Rockwood student a quality education that aligns with the hopes, dreams and aspirations of our school community as well as the district’s mission, vision and values in light of the global pandemic.
Assistant Superintendent for Supervision of Schools Dr. Lisa Counts led the discussion and shared a presentation
with task force members, which include Rockwood administrators, teachers, parents and students.
During the meeting, the task force discussed progress at the elementary, middle and high school levels and what school may look like at all levels as it relates to health and safety considerations in the fall.Online Enrollment
Executive Director of Elementary Education Dr. Dave Cobb shared that the number of elementary parents who have opted to keep their students in an online setting next year is relatively small. Only 79 students across 19 elementary schools have indicated they would like to remain online next year. Dr. Cobb said that schools would be following up personally with those families to confirm their selection and then move forward with hiring staff to teach that online curriculum.
“Having those teachers focused solely on teaching virtually means they can create a very robust online experience for those students,” added Dr. Counts.
Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Support Services Dr. Shelley Willott shared that the number of students at the middle school level who indicated they would like to be online next year is also lower than expected: 57 across six middle schools. The district will review what electives those students were interested in to determine what can be offered online. Dr. Willott also shared that online sections will encompass students from all six middle schools in order to efficiently staff those courses.
At the high school level, Dr. Counts shared that online enrollment numbers are more difficult to gauge because students may be taking some online coursework while also attending in person for other classes. She stressed that concurrent teaching of in-person and online learners at the same time will be eliminated, allowing for online sections to be developed.
Dr. Counts also shared that staffing would look different at the high school level. It could be that an in-person teacher receives a stipend to teach an online course, a designated section may be online, or the district may utilize an online vendor, depending on the level of student interest in a particular course. Health & Safety Considerations
Wellness and Health Services Supervisor Amy Wehr shared that Rockwood will continue to follow guidance from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health as it relates to the pandemic. She anticipates quarantines will be fewer in the fall, but that we will likely still have them. Ms. Wehr also said that the district will continue to host vaccination clinics in an effort to provide access for staff, eligible students and families.
The task force will hold its final meeting May 10, and an update will be shared with the Board of Education on May 20. Students, parents, teachers and staff will have an opportunity in May to weigh in on the task force recommendations as well. For updates, visit the District Committees page on the Rockwood website