Amy Marek

Stuttgart Junior High
Stuttgart, Arkansas
Amy Marek, Principal

Reopening school this year presented a number of challenges, but for the most part it has been successful.  We were compelled to re-examine some of our procedures to ensure social distancing as much as possible for the safety of our students and staff.

For the first time, students are eating breakfast in their first period classes. This cuts down on the number of students both outside and inside the cafeteria. Before this change, our Jr. High students were sharing the cafeteria with the high school. We have lined the halls with rope dividers for crowd control during the changing of classes and staggered dismissal times between classes for our 7th and 8th grade students.  In addition, we now have separate lunches for each of the grades, in which only four kids are allowed to sit together at a table, separated by plexiglass dividers. If students want more time to leave their masks off, there is room in the courtyard for them to spread out after they have finished eating. Finally, we have changed our end of day dismissal to a staggered schedule for car riders, walkers, and bus riders.

Covid 19 restrictions have required us to consider new methods for learning as well, calling on our tech-savvy teachers to model new programs in our professional development sessions. We have been able to continue the education process despite some of the challenges we face.

For example, each day all teachers provide materials, lessons, or instructional videos through Google Classroom. Many of the teachers use bitmoji classrooms or other forms of media like Peardeck, Flipgrid, and Quizlet.  If a student is absent due to quarantine or any other reason, they can still access work for the days they are out. Also, if teachers are absent for any reason, they are able to continue lessons from home and keep in touch with students digitally.

In addition, teachers are interacting with students in “real time” on days they are absent or during virtual days through Zoom and other APPS, as well as, monitoring student progress through docs and slides in real time on Google classroom.

I am very proud of our entire staff for rising to the challenge by learning new forms of digital communication and applying new avenues to reach our students regardless of Covid- 19.