In the Eyes of Admins: School During a Global Pandemic

School leaders are working through problems related to COVID-19 on a day-by-day basis.


Nixa High School

   Shutdowns and stay-at-home orders have spread throughout the nation. Breaks are extended, flights are cancelled, and regulations are set. Panic set in while countless families lost jobs, schools began shutting down, and people are legally required to stay at home unless deemed completely necessary. School leaders are among those who must make quick decisions to ensure the safety and stability of others. 

   Nixa administrators were prepared for the possibility of online school before the stay-at-home orders began, yet it still came as a surprise to many that school has moved online indefinitely. As questions on online school emerged, administrators began organizing “alternate methods of instruction” (AMI). 

   Nixa High School Assistant Principal Eddie Snow said he and the other administrators have been working to provide the opportunity for virtual learning. 

    “Our teachers are outstanding and really took the ball and ran with it as Dr. (David0 Kelly laid out the plan for what they needed to accomplish, while not being able to physically work together,” Snow said. 

   Helping lead the move to online learning were Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education and District Operations Kevin Kopp, Executive Director of Secondary Education Clay Hanna and Executive Director of Digital Learning & Professional Development Josh Chastain. Dr. John Horner and Jaime Wright worked to help the Nixa High School academic department learn how to work with online tools. 

   Not only were academic plans updated, but there were also services for families in need during this time. This meant meals were offered around the district and internet services were made available in order to make online learning possible. 

   “Family needs continue to change during something like a pandemic and a lot of work has gone into helping them,” Snow said. 

   Schools all across the nation are going through the same struggles at this time, so it’s not crucial that attendance is being accounted for as a report to the state. Though financial updates are being made weekly. 

    “It appears as though we are in good shape financially at this point and can weather a lean year if next year turns out to be that way,” Snow said. 

   As has already been announced, teachers are still receiving their paychecks during this time as well. On the brighter side, Snow is happy to report a dwindling in disciplinary issues. 

    “We have had the best fourth quarter in the history of the district with discipline through this though,” Snow said. “No tardies, no drama causing strife between students, and it has been weeks since we have had anyone vape in the bathroom.” 

   In all seriousness, teachers and administrators are missing the regular atmosphere of the high school. 

   “The most difficult thing is not seeing students and teachers each day,” Snow said. “We naturally worry about everyone and hope that everyone stays healthy and that the effects of the stay-at-home orders don’t negatively impact everyone too much.”

   Decisions are still being made, as new information and challenges arise almost every week. However, it’s important to stay safe and healthy while also keeping others safe and healthy. 

   As of now, summer school will be virtural during June. If restrictions lighten up, there’s a possibility of seated classes extending during July. Summer school class are optional for most students. For any additional information about summer school, contact Assistant Principal Jeremy McCoy at [email protected].