Ozark Tiger E-News

First Day of School is Aug. 20

From Superintendent Dr. Bauman

We fully realize how challenging and uncertain things are at this time. The situation changes frequently and the COVID-19 cases in Christian County continue to trend upward.

This school year is going to be full of challenges, obstacles and changes. We are working through plans for many different scenarios, including short- and long-term closures (see more explanation below under Alternative Methods of Instruction). We have already had to make numerous changes as everything continues to evolve.

We want our staff and students to be and feel safe and comfortable coming to school. We know there is no single solution to do that for everyone.

Thank you for your understanding and your feedback. We are listening and, behind the scenes, we are working diligently to give our students a sense of normalcy in a year that is anything but normal.

Dr. Chris Bauman, Superintendent

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Alternative Methods of Instruction is Ozark School District’s virtual learning program utilized in the event of a school closure. We first utilized this program during the extended school closure of spring 2020. This spring provided us with a foundation to create online lesson plans that will be more closely aligned with our classroom instruction and rigor.

When the entire school district is closed due to inclement weather or COVID-19, we will implement AMI after the fourth day of closure.

AMI will be used for students attending Ozark School District in-person and is completely separate from the online/hybrid options through MOCAP.

Here is an FAQ that explains AMI

Our counselors return August 3 and are the primary department processing MOCAP online/hybrid enrollments. If you are ready to enroll or you have questions about the available programs, please fill out our Counseling Office Contact Request Form and our counselors will reach out to you. Please fill out one form per student. If you have already reached out to your student's building or counselor, you do not need to fill this form out.

View your 2020-21 educational options here.

Find more information on MOCAP here.

"Cohort" is a word you will hear a lot this school year as we minimize the mixing between students/staff as much as possible. A cohort is a group of students and staff that stay together throughout the school day to minimize exposure to students, teachers and staff across the school environment, according to the CDC.

A cohort can be a grade level, a class, all the way down to a small group. Students can change cohorts, we just must be able to track the change.

An example: A classroom of 30 students is split into five groups, so there is a new cohort of six students.

In a typical school year, students would mix with other classes all throughout the day (recess, lunch and school assemblies for instance). This year Ozark plans to utilize cohorts as much as possible in order to:

  • To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as it decreases opportunities for exposure or transmission

  • To benefit the Christian County Health Department in more efficient contact tracing in the event of a positive case

  • To allow for targeted testing, quarantine and isolation of a single cohort instead of a school-wide shut down in the event of positive cases

What you need to know before school starts

As information or plans change, we will utilize these updates to notify parents. We will also post pertinent changes on our social media and website. All Back to School information is located on our website: Registration information, important dates, school supply lists, educational options and more!

Schedules/Teacher Assignments now available Aug. 10

While we originally planned to have schedules and teacher assignments available Monday, Aug. 3, we have recently come to realize that with the increase in online registration, that date is no longer attainable. As we begin processing hybrid and 100% online registration, our in-person learning numbers are changing. We are working to balance class sizes and socially distance within each classroom as much as possible. And frankly, we need a little more time to adjust classes and schedules. Teacher assignments and schedules will not be available in Parent Portal until Aug. 10. We appreciate your understanding in this ever-changing situation.

Why is Meet the Teacher Virtual?

We understand that having a Virtual Meet the Teacher is not ideal. We really wish we could meet you (students and parents) in person, as well. However, having such a large number of families in buildings over a two day period Aug. 17 & 18 does not give us adequate time to properly deep clean to the level we desire before the first day of school. Once school starts, students and teachers will be grouped together with minimal visitors, making the daily cleaning more manageable. Student and staff safety is always our top priority and having a virtual meet the teacher event is our best way to minimize risk and exposure.

We are working to implement safety measures in every classroom to prepare for students on Aug. 20. Hosting Meet the Teacher any earlier will not allow those necessary changes to be completed in time for parents and students to see what the classroom will look like.
We know many parents, especially those with students entering new school buildings, are concerned. Between now and the start of school, you will receive information from your building to help address those concerns. Staff are committed to helping students find their way and putting their minds at ease.

For students with disabilities, individual determinations regarding programming and services will be determined by the IEP team. Special Education teachers and related service providers will work with parents to provide specialized instruction and support as defined by a student’s individualized education program (IEP).

IEP case managers will begin contacting families to discuss students' needs and amend IEPs as needed when teachers return on August 13.

We are working to evaluate all our classrooms and class rosters to determine a realistic expectation of our ability to socially distance. Based on this information, we are developing our plans within each classroom and making any necessary changes to our re-entry safety plans, to include masking and face covering guidelines.

Ozark School District's number one priority is the safety of our students and staff. You'll find our full Returning to School Plan here. There is a large amount of information, so we created a fact sheet to help address some of the major topics.

Full Returning to School Safety Plan

Returning to School Fact Sheet

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Ozark Adding 7 Buses to Fleet

Check out these new buses! We’re so excited to add 7 buses (3 small and 4 regular) to our fleet for the 2020-21 school year!

“This is going to allow us more resources to better serve students,” Transportation Director Dean Wake said. “Ultimately, this will help us reduce the number of students on our regular bus routes, which is always a positive thing, but certainly this school year in light of COVID-19.”

Now we need to hire more drivers and aides. Find those details here.

Routes with stop and pick-up times will be available on Parent Portal beginning Aug. 10.

Read more about our new buses here.

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Next week's food box distribution remains at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5 at Ozark High School. See you there!
If you are in need of food assistance, click here.

If you are in need of help with school supplies, click here.

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