LADUE, Mo. – Considering what they learned from COVID in the spring, Ladue schools have a plan for the fall.
“This is our ‘Return to Learn’ plan we’ve been working on since we had to go out of school in fourth quarter of last year,” said Dr. Jim Wipke, superintendent of the Ladue School District.
“I remember going on spring break and telling staff take everything home from your room because I don’t know if we’re coming back after spring break and, low and behold, we did not. I give our teachers and staff credit because they were basically building a plane in flight. We’ve had three months to get ready and a major part of the professional development with our teachers has been solely around virtually learning for our kids to help get our staff prepared at a different level as they were in the spring.”
After Monday night’s special board meeting, the board of education approved the return to learn plan.
An email was sent to parents and guardians of the 4,000 students in the district’s four elementary schools, fifth-grade center, middle school, high school, and early childhood center.
“One of the fear factors was we get started and must close a classroom or a wing or a building and then can we come back and when can we come back,” Wipke said. “It’s our hope that by doing this, even though it’s a hardship, it’s our hope we can get kids back and when we get them back.”
iPads will be distributed to students from pre-K through 12th grades and classes beginning August 24 until the end of the quarter on October 16.
Principals and teachers will begin reaching out to families over the next few weeks with schedules and information about the learning plan.
“The social and emotional needs of kids, they need each other,” Wipke said. “They need some socialization. so, we are trying to design some opportunities that our kids can come up and work with their teachers in an in-person format with small numbers. If they’re having trouble with virtual learning, there’s going to be an opportunity to work with them individually.”