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Behavioral issues, fights pushed school to distance learning for three weeks

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - All grades will return to in-person classes on Friday Dec. 10. Reynolds Middle School returns to in-person learning this week after nearly three weeks of distance learning.

The school temporarily went to remote learning, as administrators struggled with a series of student fights, disruptions and behavioral issues.

The School closed Thursday, Nov. 18, and Friday, Nov. 19, as teachers and support staff prepared for the transition into short-term distance learning.

Reynolds Middle School students started remote learning on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Teachers will return to campus on Monday, Dec. 6 to prepare for the return to in-person instruction. Students will then return with a staggered start. Sixth grade students only, will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, Dec, 7; seventh grade students only, will return to in-person learning on Wednesday, Dec. 8; and eighth grade students only, will return to in-person learning on Thursday, Dec. 9. All students will be back to in-person learning on Friday, Dec. 10.

The district conducted a full review of campus safety to make improvements such as providing adult supervision in more challenging areas of the campus. As a result, Reynolds Middle School will have two additional campus monitors to help support safety and build relationships with students. These Campus Monitors will also provide necessary supervision during passing time in hallways and help students learn skills to self-regulate in their interactions with each other.

A peer mediator program is also under development to allow students to actively participate in helping students resolve conflicts peacefully and with longer lasting results. Additional mental health practitioners are being recruited to support student wellbeing. Social skills campaigns will occur monthly to provide practice for socialization in small and large settings.

The district is also asking families to have conversations with their students to discuss social and emotional health, constructive ways to de-escalate feelings of anger and frustration, the importance of physical boundaries and the impact of bullying while in person or through social media.

"During this short-term distance learning time, we worked diligently to ensure teachers, staff and administration at RMS acquired the social-emotional support and academic tools to provide every student with a safe learning environment," said Danna Diaz, Reynolds superintendent of schools. "We would like to thank parents, students, teachers and staff for their patience and understanding during our short-term distance learning time to help ensure we return to a safe, productive learning environment."

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