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Oak Ridge R-6 moves up opening to Aug. 12

The Oak Ridge R-6 School District has moved up the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will now start school on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

The change was made possible by the state board of education allowing one years exemptions to a new state statute that required school start dates to be no earlier than 14 calendar days before the first Monday in September.
 
Oak Ridge is now scheduled to have 172 days of student attendance, and an updated academic calendar has been e-mailed to staff and students. The new schedule was also posted on the District’s Facebook page and the Remind app.

Orientation dates will also be announced soon, and comprehensive details about the District reopening plan will be released by the end of July.

In a letter to District families, Superintendent Adrian Eftink said the District is currently “in the weeds” of planning class schedules, social distancing procedures, sanitizing protocols, quarantine possibilities, bus routes, athletics and other district activities.

Eftink added that the District will be assembling a COVID-19 Task Force to finish developing the comprehensive return-to-school plan. He said the plan assumes that social distan-cing will still be in effect in some form this fall and is being developed with the help of the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center.

Depending on government guidelines and mandates at the time of reopening, Eftink said “we will plan to have the least restrictive environment for the students as possible.” Eftink added that he has every confidence that District staff will deliver the educational excellence that families expect.

The District will work with students who had already planned vacations in early August. “The District will work with staff and families to coordinate planned absences for the best restart to the school year,” Eftink said.

Families of preschool students who have scheduling conflicts with the new start date are asked to contact Preschool Director Karen Schneider at kschneider@-oakridge.k12.mo.us.

Elementary student conflicts should be directed to Principal Sonia Wood at swood@oakridge.k12.mo.us and secondary student conflicts should be sent to Principal Allan Horrell at ahorrell@oakridge.k12.mo-.us.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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