Student, Parents, and Stakeholders of Marked Tree School District,
We find ourselves in unprecedented times. Despite the various challenges that we all are experiencing with the sudden closure of Marked Tree School District, we have made it through two weeks of this new, and temporary, normal. Our Board of Education, our District Office team, our principals and school staffs, and every other employee have been devoted to the students of our district. Now, we also want to applaud our parents for your commitment to helping provide the best educational experience for our students during this time of need.
However, let me begin by addressing the Class of 2020. Our heart breaks for you. You deserve to walk out of our building that last time as a class. You deserve your prom. You deserve your final baseball, softball, or track season. Mostly, you deserve your graduation.
So many factors are beyond our control. Let begin by telling you this…
There will be a graduation for the Class of 2020. I don’t know when or where, but our board, administration, and faculty know you deserve to walk across a stage and be recognized for 13 years of hard work. Along with you, there are parents and guardians, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends, and others who have worked to see this moment.
You will have that moment. It might not be when it is currently scheduled, but the Class of 2020 will walk across that stage and receive their diplomas.
As far as prom, Governor Hutchinson has made his expectations about gathering and school closings very clear. Our school is to be closed through April 17th, along with any school functions. We aren’t allowed to have gatherings of more than 10 people. Due to those mandates and our concern for the safety of our students, prom is being postponed. We have contacted the venue, rescheduled, and have a tentative date of May 30th. As we get closer to this event, we will examine the current reality and make a decision based on safety. Let’s just keep a watchful eye on the situation. Regardless of how the situation plays out and how it might currently look, we want to do everything we can to make you have those “once in a lifetime” experiences.
As everyone knows, school has been postponed for at least the next three weeks. During this time, we will work to meet the needs of our students, families, and community.
On Monday, we will continue with our food service program and registration is still open. For those of you who are unfamiliar, our buses will drive throughout our community and deliver breakfast and lunch to those who have signed up. The only requirement is that ages of participates be 0-18. Those enrolling do not have to be a student of this district. However, we can only deliver inside of our district. You can enroll one of two ways:
- Call (870) 358-2913 and contacting the elementary or high school offices.
- You can register online by clicking here.
Please call before 10:00 a.m. to have food delivered that day. YOU ONLY NEED TO REGISTER ONCE. If you registered before Spring Break, you are still on our list.
As far as meeting the educational needs of our students, please know that schools across the country are entering unfamiliar territory. As a district, we have a plan and we will begin launching that plan on Monday. Please know that teachers will be trying to contact you over the next couple of days to visit with you.
There is one keyword in our plan: flexibility.
Our K-6th grade teachers will communicate and share announcements through Facebook pages. The names of those pages are listed below:
K: Marked Tree Kindergarten
1st: MTES Ms. Leanda and Ms. Wilson’s 1st Grade
2nd: Marked Tree Elem. 2nd Grade
3rd: Marked Tree Third Grade
4th: Marked Tree Fourth Grade
5th: Marked Tree Fifth Grade
6th: Marked Tree Sixth Grade
You must be invited or need to request to join these groups. Our suggestion would be, that for the next few weeks, you make sure posts from these pages are a “see first” post for your feed. Please click here for instructions to complete that.
When you open Facebook, you will see the posts from this group at the top of your feed.
What if you don’t have Facebook? No worries! Our teachers will be in contact to obtain an email or your preferred method of communication.
Facebook will not be used for instruction UNLESS students are in K-1. This is the easiest platform for our kindergarten and 1st grade students. For students who are in 2nd through 6th, their instructional platform will be Google Classroom. Your child is very familiar with this platform because they use it every day in school. If you have questions about it, please feel free to visit with your child’s teacher. This can be accessed from a phone, tablet, or a computer.
If you do not have a device at home, please contact the elementary office and we will work out a plan for you obtain a device.
High school students will use Google Classrooms for their educational instruction. Google Classrooms is already used throughout the building and student should be able to access their accounts. Students who are working on credit recovery need to be completing assignments in APEX.
If students can’t get into their accounts, please email your teacher for assistance. Also, students who do not have access to a device should call the high school and we will work to make arrangements.
During this time, communication will be essential. Please contact teachers via email. Please understand that during this time, teachers are working on reaching out to individual children, developing and recording lessons, grading papers, and other required duties. Please be patient as you await a response from your child’s teacher. Typically, emails should be responded to within 24-36 hours, but that depends on the volume of emails and doesn’t include weekends.
For those of you who do not have internet access, please know that we are working with businesses throughout the community to create “drive-up internet” locations where you can go and download or submit any assignments. We hope to have this map to you in the next few days. If you have additional concerns about internet access availability, please call either our elementary or high school offices and let us know. To begin each day, school leadership will meet to discuss issues and concerns. During this time, we will troubleshoot your issue and work to create a solution.
Please remember that the key word in our plan is flexibility. This situation is difficult for all of us. Our goal is not to push out a bunch of assignments. Rather, we are striving to keep students engaged in learning and cooperate with you and give you the maximum level of support while dealing with this unfortunate situation. There will be glitches that we will need to work through. We will work through them, together.
If you are unfamiliar with Google Classrooms, please click here for a parent guide to Google Classrooms. As you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us.