Return to School FAQ
Return to School FAQ
Rod Hamlett, Superintendent of Schools
Friday, July 31, 2020

Return to School FAQ

Return to School FAQ

Over the last two weeks we have fielded many calls regarding the Silex R-I Back to School Plan.  In an attempt to answer as many questions as we can, we have prepared a Frequently Asked Questions page to help you understand the plan a little more.  Please understand that this is the most up to date information that we have and that plans are subject to change as conditions evolve.  

One of the topics that we have received the most questions about is the requirement for students to wear masks.  While this is an evolving situation, we are asking students in grades 4-12 to wear masks when they are not able to social distance themselves from others.

  • When will my child be required to wear a mask?  Based on guidance from the CDC and state and local health departments, All students in grades 4-12 will be required to wear a mask when entering the building, while transitioning between classes, when large groups are gathering, and when students are unable to socially distance themselves. We would ask that parents begin working with their children on properly wearing masks and preparing them for those times it will be required.

  • Will my child wear a mask in the classroom?  There may be some times when students will be asked to wear their mask in class depending on the activity and when students and staff are not able to social distance themselves.  However, the hope is that with social distancing and keeping classes together, mask wearing in class will be minimal.

  • What constitutes a face covering? Face coverings can include disposable or reusable face masks (including clear) or neck gaiters. They must be in compliance with the district dress code and may not have inappropriate markings, words, or pictures.  Each student will be provided with one cloth face covering.


The next question we have received several inquiries about has been the virtual learning option.  While we want all our students in class on August 25, we understand that all families may not be ready for that.  Therefore, we will provide a full-time virtual option for students throughout the 2020-2021 school year.  Parents and students that select virtual education are expected to remain in the virtual program for the entire semester. Students may return to in-person learning at the start of second semester or choose to remain in virtual education for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.  Parents must register for virtual education by 3:00 PM on August 3. 


The following criteria are important for success in virtual courses:

  • Students and parents must participate in an online learning orientation.

  • Elementary students will require adult support and supervision in order to be successful in virtual education.

  • Secondary students will benefit from adult support but are expected to demonstrate the ability to complete work independently.  Parents and guardians will be responsible for monitoring students' grades and progress.

  • Each student is expected to have access to technology resources.  This includes a strong internet connection.  If you are in need of technology resources, please contact

your building principal and the school may provide you with additional resources, such as a device.

  • All instructional activities will be provided through Launch, Google Classroom, and Google Meets for the virtual option, paper packets will not be provided.

Elementary-The online virtual option is a full-time virtual enrollment option for students during the 2020-21 school year. 

  • Elementary students will follow a daily schedule that will mimic a typical school day. The elementary virtual classroom begins each day at 8 AM and ends at 3 PM

  • Students will have the opportunity to participate in all core classes as well as special courses (Art, Music, PE, and Technology) either through their regular classroom teacher or through the Launch online program.

  • Elementary students will log into their class Google account and receive instruction from a Silex R-I teacher as well as a Launch online teacher.  

  • Students will experience live and/or recorded instruction from teachers in a whole group and small group setting for each subject area.

  • Students will typically have 2 1/2  hours of live instruction daily.  This time could vary to meet the needs of individual students.  Additional time will be needed to complete independent work which may include online and hands-on activities.  Teachers may also meet with individual and small groups during daily independent time.

  • Students may need adult support to complete independent assignments/activities.

  • Students will have one hour each day for lunch and free time.  Students will have other breaks scheduled throughout their day.

  • Students will receive feedback and grades from their teacher.  Progress Reports and Grade Cards will be issued according to the district schedule.

  • Students will participate in district and state assessments.

Grades 6-12

  • At the secondary level, coursework will primarily be provided by the Launch platform as well as regular education teachers via the Google classroom model.  In some cases, the district may have the need to purchase coursework from other vendors.

  • Students and teachers are expected to maintain regular communication.  This may include live meetings, discussion boards, and emails.

  • Coursework is available in all areas necessary to fulfill graduation credits. Your school counselor will work with you to ensure that you are on the right track for graduation or promotion to the next grade level.

  • Courses that students requested during the Spring may differ from the virtual options. Students will be signed up for courses that best match current schedules. We will attempt to accommodate student choices but please be aware that some substitutions will be required.  

  • Grading and assessment practices will be consistent with those in a seated classroom.

  • Students will participate in district and state level assessments.

Frequently Asked Questions-

  • What is the difference between homeschooling and virtual learning? Virtual learning is an option provided by the Silex R-I School District due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. Virtual learning includes curriculum that is provided, taught, and supported by Silex educators. By declaring that your family will homeschool your child(ren), you are choosing to separate from the District and supply your own curriculum. Homeschooling is not provided, supported, or taught by the District. If your family would prefer not to enroll in Silex’s in-person or virtual option and would like to declare homeschooling, please contact District offices.


  • How will virtual education compare to in-person school?  This year’s virtual option will be very different from what students experienced at the end of the last school year. Students and parents should expect that the time required to be successful in our virtual program will be equal to a typical school day. Students will have a full course schedule.  Assessment and grading expectations will be consistent with in person attendance.


  • How will my student receive their new schedule? School personnel will contact and begin working with families beginning the week of Aug. 10, 2020 to create new student schedules. Students and parents will receive more information regarding course offerings and course selection at that time. 


  • What if my child has an IEP or a 504 Plan? Each student with a disability is unique and their individualized plan details their learning needs. The majority of these plans were written to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) within the traditional school environment. Families of a student with an IEP/504 may elect vIrtual education.  School teams, including parents, will convene to discuss changes to the plan necessitated by the parent’s decision to select the virtual option. Plans will be revised to reflect the team decisions regarding student’s current needs, general education programming, special education services, accommodations, and other decisions pertaining to the individual.

  • What if we do not have a computer at home?  Families should contact their child’s school if they need an appropriate technology device. We will do our best to assist all families.  

  • Will hotspots be located for wireless internet access?  The district has purchased a limited number of cellular based WiFi hotspots.  Hot spots will not be given out initially, but if the need arises, these hotspots may be strategically placed around the district for student use.

  • Will there be a charge/usage fee for district Chromebooks?  Yes, there will be a $20 fee for those assigned a device.

  • What if my child needs to miss a day of instruction?  Parents should notify the appropriate office when they know their student is going to miss school. Students are required to make up any missed assignments just as they would if they were attending in-person.  

  • Who will teach virtual classes? All teachers will be Missouri certified, in some instances, teachers will be Silex teachers.  


  •  Will my student have homework after the virtual school day? Yes, students may have homework assigned, much like the in-person school model.


  • Will teachers take daily attendance? K-5 teachers will take attendance each day based on live attendance and completion of assignments. 6-12 teachers will base attendance on successful course completion. However, regular, daily engagement is required. 


  • Will my student’s transcript still come from Silex High School if they choose to be a part of virtual instruction?  Yes, transcripts and diplomas will be issued from Silex High School. 

  • Can my student switch to virtual (or back to the classroom) once the semester is underway?  The district is requiring students to make a semester commitment to whichever option is chosen.  The district will have made changes in staffing and the virtual education program to accommodate the needs of students at the start of the year.  Therefore, we will unfortunately not be able to accommodate changes. 

  • Can a student attend in-person part-time? No, families will need to choose either the In Person or Virtual option for each enrolled child. If a local or state order limits building occupancy, the district may implement a hybrid educational option.

  • Will band and choir be offered virtually? Yes, accommodations will be made to allow for students to participate virtually. For example, students may be required to post videos of their practice sessions to Google Classroom.

  • Will off-campus courses be offered, including, Pike Lincoln Tech, A+ tutoring, CYV, Flex, etc. A+ will be offered for in-person and virtual learning. CYV will be offered for in-person but not for virtual learning. Pike-Lincoln Technical Center’s Return to Learn plan will be considered by the Clopton School Board on July 30. Additional updates will be provided to those students currently enrolled in this program in early August.

  • Will the District still offer extra-curricular and co-curricular activities? If so, will my child be eligible to participate if we select the virtual option? At this time, the District is still offering extra- and co-curricular activities in accordance with guidance from the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA). Student’s electing the virtual option will be eligible to participate and eligibility is set forth by MSHSAA. This will include athletics, clubs, band, and choir.

  • What is the plan for Pre-K students? At this time, there is not a virtual option for Pre-K classes.  If the district were to face school closure, we would move to virtual at that time.

  • Will parents be allowed to walk their child to their classrooms on the first day of school?  Other than Pre-K, kindergarten, and 1st grade, parents will not be allowed to walk students into schools. There will be designated drop-off areas outside of each school. For the first 2 weeks of school, Pre-K, kindergarten, and 1st grade students and parents may enter through the north elementary doors. A determination of continuing drop-offs for those groups will be made at that time.

  • Will class sizes be limited? No, the District does not have human resources or physical space to limit class sizes, however, we naturally have many small class sizes, so social distancing within the class will work for the most part.

  • What happens if my child’s teacher is quarantined? If/when this situation arises, the Silex R-I School District will determine the best course of action to support student and staff safety and an optimal instructional environment.

  • Will students share supplies and equipment? When possible, students will use individual supplies. When community supplies, equipment, and/or materials are necessary, they will be sanitized between use.

  • Will there be a modification to the attendance policy? We will work with students and families on extended absences due to covid-19.

  • Will social and emotional support be provided to students?  The Silex R-I School District will offer support through our school counseling and outside agencies.

  • When will a building be closed due to a COVID19 case? The decision to close the school district will be made in coordination and under the guidance of the Lincoln County Health Department.  After a confirmed COVID-19 case has been identified to have been on campus, we will  follow the CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the workplace. Guidance will then be sought from the LCHD regarding next steps.  

  • Can I provide hand sanitizer for my child’s personal use?  Yes, students can carry their own hand sanitizer to be used at school. The hand sanitizer must have an alcohol content of at least 60% for it to be effective against covid-19.

  • Will students’ temperatures be checked upon arrival? Students will not be temperature checked at the beginning of the day by a District employee.  We are asking parents to check their child every morning before coming to school and monitor their health. If a student has a temperature of 100.4 or above, they will be sent home.

  • Will students seeking medical attention be separated from those with covid-like

symptoms in the nurse’s office?  Yes, the nurse's office will have an area for those with COVID like symptoms to go until they can be picked up. This area will be isolated to the best of our ability.  Students will be sent home for exhibiting symptoms.

  • How will social distancing be maintained?  Buildings will do their best to socially distance students and staff, when possible.  When social distancing is not possible, masks will be required (all staff and students in grades 4-12).

  • How do students report having COVID19 symptoms? Students should make the nurse aware that they are experiencing symptoms that may be associated with covid-19. Symptoms could include the following: A fever (100.4 F or higher), or a sense of having a fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, any new loss of sense of smell or taste, sore throat, muscle or body aches, chills, headaches, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue.

  • When will parents be notified of an exposure? Following confirmation of a COVID19 case from the Lincoln County Health Department, Silex R-I will notify the impacted individuals and families. The District will provide support for contact tracing which will be done through the Lincoln County Health Department. Any individual identified as a close contact will be contacted by the Lincoln County Health Department.

  • Will Silex R-I conduct COVID19 testing? No, the District will not conduct testing. Building nurses will assess students for signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 and if deemed necessary will suggest testing at the student/staff members doctor's office or local urgent care center.

  • What safety precautions will be put in place on District buses? Hand sanitizer will be provided for students to utilize when loading and unloading from the bus. Seating charts will be implemented. Drivers and students in grades 4-12 will be required to wear a face covering. K-3 will be encouraged to wear a face covering.

  • Can I designate different drop off/pick up locations for my child on different days? For the 2020-2021 school year, we will only be able to grant requests for students to be dropped off at home or daycares.  No students will be allowed to ride a bus that they have not been assigned to.

  • How will parents be kept informed on updates from the District or school building?  The District will continue to utilize Facebook, emails, school website, and phone calls as the way of communication to parents.  

  • Who do I talk to if I have questions specifically related to my student’s return to school?  Please reach out to your child’s building administration to discuss any specific

questions you may have regarding your child.

  • Will drinking fountains be available? Only the water bottle refill portion of drinking fountains will be available for use.  The school district has purchased a water bottle for each student to use.

  • What will the cleaning procedures include? The school building will be cleaned nightly.  Each classroom will also have cleaning supplies available for teacher and student use, as needed.