CLARK COUNTY — The West Clark school board approved a move forward with a technology initiative and updated graduation plans at Thursday’s meeting.
The board unanimously voted to adopt a plan for a district-wide one-to-one initiative to provide each student in grades 2 through 12 with a Chromebook and kindergarten and first grade students with a tablet.
The school board also unanimously approved a plan for graduation ceremonies for seniors. The plan will be adjusted to meet state guidelines amid the pandemic. Graduation ceremonies for Henryville High School, Borden High School and Silver Creek High School are now scheduled to take place in late July.
The district’s goal is for students to begin the 2020-21 school year with their new devices and to increase training for staff, according to West Clark Superintendent Clemen Perez Lloyd.
“We want to be proactive to face our future with [or] without COVID-19,” Perez-Lloyd said in a memo for parents and staff. “ We will not allow a virus to defeat our purpose. We are educators, and we will teach your child.”
Many students in the district do not now have have access to computers, and the district has implemented both eLearning and packets for assignments during the pandemic, according to board vice president Kevin Puckett.
“This is going to be fantastic in that all students will have device in hand, especially if they go back to eLearning,” he said.
The plan would continue if the voters approve the June referendum to split West Clark into the Henryville/Borden and Silver Creek school districts, but the costs and dispensing of devices would be up to the individual school districts, according to Puckett.
Silver Creek High School’s graduation is scheduled for 11 a.m. July 18. The school hopes to present the graduation ceremony in its gym, if possible, but the event would have to meet the state and national guidelines for social distancing. There would be limits on numbers of family members/guests and social distancing protocols in place, according to Puckett.
If the gym cannot be used, Silver Creek will present the ceremony at the Silver Creek Township Park at the same date and time, and there would not be limitations on the number of family members, Puckett said.
The Borden High School and Henryville High School graduation ceremonies are both scheduled to take place at an indoor space at Country Lake Christian Retreat. Borden’s will take place 9:30 a.m. July 26, and Henryville’s will take place 9:30 a.m. July 25.
There would also be limitations on the number of family members present at the Borden and Henryville ceremonies, Puckett said.
“The seniors have really been feeling slighted... there’s been no prom, no spring sports,” he said. “At least with the graduation, we can have closure.”
The administrations of the three high schools will communicate further details about logistics and protocols with families as the graduation date approaches. All graduations will be live-streamed to allow families and friends to see students walk across the stage.