‘Morale up’ as Franklin back to full in-person learning

Franklin School District Superintendent Mark Loucks told school board members Monday “morale is up” in the district.

“The kids are more than excited,” said Loucks, who on Monday toured each of the district’s three elementary schools. Monday was the first time the district returned to 100% in-person learning since it moved to a hybrid model in October.

Loucks said there were a few points he and district administrators noticed Monday that will be further evaluated, but he said that for the most part students are keeping a social distance and are diligent about wearing their masks and following COVID-19 mitigation protocols.

“For a first day back they did very well,” he said.

Later in the meeting, school board member Andy Boland asked if teachers will continue to livestream their classes for students who can’t make it to school or choose to remain online.

Loucks said teachers are currently recording their classes so they can be accessed later, but they are not broadcasting them live.

He added that hosting classroom instruction in person and online is something the district is looking at, but it isn’t something that will be implemented anytime soon.

Prior to the students’ return to in-person learning, classes had been taught in a synchronous model that mirrored that of a student’s in-person schedule. Teachers also livestreamed their classes to give students a form of classroom interaction and direct access to their teachers.

In other business Monday, the board unanimously awarded a 5% increase to two district secretaries and a $5,000 stipend to members of the technology department for the extra work they have put in due to the pandemic.

The panel approved the Region II Choir Festival to be held at the high school March 10-12, 2022. The festival had originally been approved for this year but has been rescheduled.

And the board approved supplemental contracts for elementary basketball coordinator George Sterner at $679.25; elementary wrestling coordinator Ryan Goodman at $463.60; and girls junior high school track coach Abby Jones at $1,750.