Administrators and central office staff in the New Albany School District (NASD) have been meeting daily since Friday, March 13 to develop a plan that is in the best interest of our students’ health, safety, and educational progress.
Our administrative team and our school board want to ensure that the health and safety of our students and staff remain a top priority during this time. At this time, the decision has been made to extend the school closure by one additional week. Schools will be closed to students and staff from March 16 through March 27. Per the direction of the Mississippi High School Activities Association all sporting events and sporting practices are suspended through March 29. All other school sponsored events and activities are also cancelled through March 29.
Dr. Lance Evans, Superintendent of New Albany Schools, addressed the employees of the New Albany School District in a formal letter that was issued through district email on Monday morning (March 16).
Evans stated, “The past few days have certainly been history in the making for our nation. These are unprecedented times for our school district, our state, and our nation. We have always been known for being a leader in education in our region. We are certainly known as a staff and a school district that takes care of our students and each other. Because of the innovation and our available technology, our administrative team has made the decision to embark on utilizing virtual education during these times of uncertainty. I am personally asking us all to come together to do what’s best for our students and show our community the strength and resilience of Bulldog Nation.”
New Albany School District will be delivering instruction through our 1:1 iPad initiative. The school district will utilize multiple platforms to deliver content in all grades K-12. These platforms include: Google Meet, Canvas, Explain Everything, School Status, Mastery Connect, & Group Me.
Administrators have been instructed to conduct virtual faculty and staff meetings on Monday, March 16 or Tuesday, March 17, to provide all details needed to successfully continue the educational progress of our students. All teachers will provide virtual instruction for students on a daily basis. As a part of that time, each teacher will keep virtual office hours at least one hour per day each week day. Office hours will be established between the principals and teachers in an effort to prevent time conflicts for students.
“While we realize all students will not be able to take advantage of this opportunity, we have asked all of our teachers that quality instruction be available for all,” Evans explained. “I urge parents to assist us with the unique opportunity we have in our district because of our technology. If you have reliable Internet, please encourage your students to use their school devices or other devices to complete school assignments and participate in online school learning opportunities.”
Online instruction will begin on Thursday, March 19. Instructional content will be available online for student access online by 8 pm on Wednesday, March 18. In addition, online office hours will begin on Thursday, March 19. Content will be review and remediation. Graded work may improve a student’s average, but will not negatively affect a student’s grade.
The administrative staff at NASD is continuously monitoring the situation and seeking guidance from the local medical community, the Mississippi Department of Education, the Mississippi Department of Health, and the Mississippi Legislature.
Evans ended his letter to the faculty and staff by saying, “Please understand that this is a fluid situation and is continuously being monitored. We appreciate your understanding and support at this time. During these uncertain times we want to be remembered as those who did all we could for the success of all students and for our school district. I appreciate what you do as we work together to Prepare ALL for Success.”
Updates, cancellations, and important announcements will be posted on the school district’s Facebook and Twitter pages, as well the New Albany School District’s website, www.newalbanyschools.us