Diamond School District getting students and parents involved in planning process for next year

Round table discussions planned throughout the day

DIAMOND, Mo. – Diamond High School student Jacee Starks is going into what’s supposed to be her best year of high school.

“I want it to be just like in years past cause senior year is the year I’ve always looked up to. And now it’s just gonna change everything,” says Starks.

Not knowing what those changes will be is making parents and students alike nervous.

“How’s this gonna go? Like what’s gonna happen?” says Starks.

New Superintendent Keith White is meeting with students and parents to try and answer some of those questions.

“To make sure that people have an opportunity to ask questions, to talk about their fears. To talk about their concerns. I need to hear that,” says White.

One of the main topics of discussion on Tuesday was the district’s blended education model, where students will take classes in person four-days a week, and then learn from home one day a week, most likely on Mondays. White says it’s designed to give teachers more time to practice remote learning so that if a full shutdown happens again, they aren’t left picking up the pieces.

“I’m not like opposed to having Monday off. But I am at the same time cause like last year when it was online I had so much anxiety cause I can’t do online learning. I’m a face to face learner,” says Starks. “But like, I’ll still have four days that I’ll get to have, and I’ll still have the resources better than I did in spring. So I’m kinda worried, kinda not.”

White says the plan isn’t set in stone yet though, which is by design. He wanted to get input from people like Starks before putting the plan in place, so they can try to make the plan work for everyone.

“It would be irresponsible on my behalf to say I’ve got the plan, I’ve got the idea, this is what we’re doing. That is in no way what we’re trying to do,” says White. “We’ve got a list of things that we’ll take back to the table. we’ll take back to our leadership team and say okay, what adjustments can we make. This is the input from them, this is what they would like to see. And then we’ll come up with ultimately a better plan for our community.”

“I still don’t know what it’s gonna look like, but I was able to get some of my questions answered and I kinda feel like a weight was lifted off my shoulders,” says Starks.

School in Diamond starts on August 24th.

There are more round table discussions planned for Wednesday (7/29) at the high school. They’re scheduled for 8:00 am, 10:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 3:30 pm.

You can find the districts preliminary plan here: https://www.diamondwildcats.org/vnews/display.v/ART/5f1a0319908ff