Hastings Public Schools plans for what comes next

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings Public Schools is officially on summer break. Teachers and administrators are still hard at work planning for summer school and preparing for what the fall could look like.

Now that school is official out for Hastings Public Schools, teachers and administrators are planning for how their summer programs will look and how they will handle the fall. (KSNB)

Things have looked very different for the district, for one, thousands of students have been coming by schools to pick up a daily lunch. The lunch program will continue into the summer. After Memorial Day they will only be serving at Lincoln and Alcott elementary, and Hastings Middle from 11-1.

Summer school for high school students will be online. There will be no middle school summer classes and how elementary school will be handled is still being decided.

Superintendent Jeff Schneider said the distance learning method they had in the spring was a challenge and they know some students may have fallen behind.

“There is no way that the method we were forced into this fourth quarter is as good as traditional having kids on campus,” Schneider said. “One of the things we really focused on as a staff these last four weeks is how are we going to make up for this, how are we going to approach next fall knowing that these kids are going to come to us with some gaps.”

For the fall, it isn't clear if class will be held online or in person. The school board is making several contingency plans for wearing masks, online learning, and several other plans they may not use but want to have in place. HPS recently approved buying more computers for students to use at home.

“Our school board has approved for us to get enough devices to be one to one for every student next year and this is exactly why we did this, to be prepared for this. We'll take a much different approach to distance learning if that is what we are forced to do,” Schneider said.

They also understand transitioning back into a regular classroom will take time and Schneider said teachers will work on their personal relationships with students to make the change go smoothly. He also said he will be working with parents through the summer with the latest health measures and keep them updated on what the new school year could look like.