CN gives Sequoyah, Immersion return-to-school plan

07/30/2020 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Students at Sequoyah High School will return to school this fall under a plan that will include an all-virtual option as well as limit in person instruction to no more than 25% of students in the building at any one time to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

Cherokee Immersion School students will start school via distance learning at home the first nine weeks of the semester to help protect the fluent Cherokee-speaker, elder-teaching population.

“This plan was designed to ensure that our students are able to return to their studies and learning after being out for an extended amount of time, but to do so as safely as possible in order to protect everyone as the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in our Cherokee communities,” Corey Bunch, Cherokee Nation executive director of Education Services, said. 

On Aug. 24, school will start for Sequoyah and immersion students. At SHS, freshmen students will attend on Mondays, sophomores on Tuesdays, juniors on Wednesdays and seniors on Thursdays. All students will use distance learning on Fridays and all other days that are not in their scheduled rotation.

In-person instruction days at Sequoyah will be primarily geared towards preparing students for virtual learning, including potential total virtual learning for all students as public health concerns dictate.

Students may also choose an all virtual option, though administrators urge students to attend at least one in person session to gain familiarity with virtual learning.

Immersion students will also start on Aug. 24, with more details coming on distance learning schedules and available technology for students.

Sequoyah students will also receive more details on issued technology as orientation approaches.

“Delivering education under the circumstances of the worst public health crisis in generations has its challenges, and schools across the state are making the best decisions for their students and communities, just as we are,” said Chief of Staff Todd Enlow. “This plan is formed by our Cherokee Nation government offices reopening plan that has worked extremely well for our employees keeping COVID cases from spreading while continuing operations. It’s based off wisdom and experience and will bode well for our student and teacher safety as well.”

“We will, of course, monitor the spread of the virus and adapt our return to school plans as we have all of our COVID response plans at Cherokee Nation: using science, facts and compassion as our guide,” Enlow added.

As school resumes, extracurricular student activities will also be limited to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Substantially all such activities for which proper social distancing and other safety measures cannot be utilized, such as athletics and band, will be suspended during the initial nine-week phase of reopening. School administrators are exploring ways to use technology to make as many extracurricular activities available as possible.

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