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Yukon students return to class

Depsite a few minor glitches, Yukon’s more than 9,000 students headed back to school Monday … from a distance.
Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said the first day of the school district’s distance-learning plan went about as smoothly as could be expected.
The school’s staff provided meals for 2,163 students during an hour-and-half time frame, which Simeroth said was the most they had served.
That equals more than 4,300 meals because each student received both a lunch and a breakfast.
For some of them, they also received a packet of material to be worked on at home.
Simeroth said the material will not be graded. However, it is an opportunity for the students to retain materials they had previously learned.

A teacher delivers a homework packet to a mother at Surrey Hill Elementary School Monday. The parking lot at the back of the school was busy, with many parents picking up sack meals and some picking up homework. Lynn Wilson of the Surrey Hills Lions’ Club was picking up trash that had blown against the fence of the parking lot. Wilson noted he had placed pieces of wood over the basketball goals at the neighboring Lions’ Park to prevent people from violating social distancing by playing there. Photo / Chris Eversole

Simeroth made his comments during April’s school board meeting, which was done by teleconference and was broadcast on the district’s Facebook page.
A recording of the meeting is available on the site.
“It is imperfect, but it is really, really, really good,” Simeroth said of the district’s plan.
Simeroth said there were areas that improvements can and will be made.
“We’re trying to get better every day,” he said.
One area of concern was that not enough packets were available for all students. The superintendent said that is an area that is being worked on.
In addition, he said the same material is available online.
The superintendent also said that some of the lunch lines were longer than normal and because there were so many students, it was difficult to keep up.
That also will improve, he said.
The district is providing meals at three mobile home communities as well as all seven of the district’s elementary schools.
The meals are available to anyone under 18 at no charge.
“All-in-all, it was a good day,” Simeroth said, adding that none of it would have been possible without the work of the district’s staff.
Meanwhile, Simeroth also told board members that the last day of class for Yukon students will be May 8. That is two weeks earlier than had originally been planned.
Originally, classes were to be dismissed May 21.
Simeroth said the earlier date comes at the request of the state Department of Education.
Also, graduation for Yukon High School seniors will be done “virtually.”
Simeroth said that while he hated that the seniors would not get an opportunity to walk across the state at the State Fairgrounds, he was more concerned about the safety of those attending.
The virtual graduation will be held on May 19, the same day as the original date of graduation.

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