September 24, 2020 - In-Person Learning Message From Supt. Kultgen

Dear Community,

As we continually adjust to our changing world, I am fully aware of the tension educational adjustments have on our students, staff and their families. It has been my goal for the district to be flexible throughout this time in order to shift and adjust to best meet the needs of our community and students.

Two weeks ago, the Snohomish Health District, under the direction of Dr. Chris Spitters, announced that school districts can begin planning to slowly bring back elementary students to in-person instruction. He noted that as there is a consistent downward trend in infection rates, the district can begin to bring our younger students back in gradual waves for in-person instruction.

At last night’s School Board meeting (September 23, 2020), the direction was given to have students return:

  • Pre K – 2nd Grade: The week of Monday, October 26, students will return in-person, every day.
  • 3rd – 6th Grade: Mid to late-November (date TBD) students will return in-person instruction using our hybrid model (combination of in-person and remote learning – ABAB A/B).
  • Students can also choose to stay online with 100% distance learning or to continue their enrollment in our Parent Partnership Program.

The next step in the process to returning our students to in-person instruction is for each family to indicate if their child(ren) will return or stay online through 100% distance learning or continue with our Parent Partnership Program. Your responses will help us identify staff, classroom and scheduling needs as we prepare to welcome some students for in-person learning and continue to maintain online classes. Decisions made will be maintained through Friday, January 29, 2021 (end of the first semester).

Dr. Spitters has also indicated he will provide further guidance for our middle and high school students in the weeks ahead should health and safety benchmarks be met. As soon as the district knows more details, we will share them with our middle and high school families.

A Virtual Town Hall will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29. The topics will be the information necessary to make the decision of in-person instruction or continuing with 100% distance learning or our Parent Partnership Program. 

Beginning Wednesday September 30, all elementary families will have the ability to indicate their choice though a form in Skyward/Family Access. Please watch for more information about access to this form in the coming days.

I know the timeline for this work may be too slow for some and too fast for others. It is important to understand that this timeline could be adjusted as we follow the Snohomish Health District recommendation to bring staff and students back safely. 

Thank you very much for taking the time to stay engaged and review this information. These are important decisions and your partnership is appreciated as we work towards providing additional learning options/opportunities for our students.

Kent

 

Health & Safety Priorities
When students and staff return to school during for in-person instruction, the health and safety of our learning community is our utmost priority. Below are some of the many areas of our focus. Please watch for more information in the coming weeks on each of these items.

  • Cleaning: Cleaning and sanitizing efforts will focus on high-use touch point areas such as door handles, faucets, and railings.
  • COVID-19 reporting and closure protocols: Our COVID-19 reporting and closure protocols are coordinated with the Snohomish Health District.
  • Student drop-off and pick-up: We will provide drop-off, pick-up and entry/exit points that create adequate physical distancing for students as they enter/leave buildings and schools.
  • Masks: Students, staff, and all individuals in our schools and facilities will wear masks.
  • Physical distancing: Classrooms and common spaces, including cafeterias, are being reconfigured to provide six feet of physical distance between all persons.
  • Handwashing: We will require and provide opportunities for students and staff to wash or sanitize hands multiple times throughout the day.
  • Cohorts: We will create cohorts or smaller groups of students with dedicated staff who will remain together throughout the day, including at recess and lunch.
  • COVID-19 screening: We will conduct daily health screenings of students and staff, which will include daily attestation to being free of any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Meals: Our spaces and breakfast/lunch schedules must be reconfigured to provide eating spaces that provide six feet of physical distance.
  • Busing: Health mitigation strategies such as masks, hand hygiene, frequent cleaning, and maximum air circulation are necessary when riders cannot follow the physical distancing guidelines on buses.
  • Visitors and volunteers: Visitors during the school day will be strictly limited to only emergency needs or contracted agency staff who work directly with students for educational purposes. Volunteers will not be allowed.