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Message from Mr. Norberg about changes due to In-Person Learning

January 12, 2021

 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are excited for the opportunity to have students return to school for some in-person learning, through a cautious phased-in approach. This transition will bring with it several changes that are necessary to keep our school community as safe as possible.  This letter shares resources that detail our new school safety requirements and highlights the key steps needed by everyone on campus, to ensure a safe reopening that can be sustained.  There are also tips to help your students be successful, that we ask you to review with your students, prior to returning in person.  

Find important information about our new safety requirements in the following Health and Safety resources:

We encourage every family to read through all of the important information found on the links above - for insight to the many steps in place to safeguard our students, staff and school environment.  Additionally, it is critical that we all work together to support safe learning practices at school, in order to reopen (and keep open) our schools.  Below are key steps we need each family to follow, each day they attend school:  

Wear a properly fitting mask.

All students are expected to wear a properly fitting mask for all in-person school activities including for the bus, on school grounds and in school buildings.  A properly fitting mask extends over the nose to under the chin with a snug fit without gaps and is made of at least two layers of cloth material.  Additionally, masks should NOT have any valves/vents.  Every student should arrive for school activities prepared to wear a mask, unless individual arrangements have been made and agreed upon ahead of time with school administration.  You can find more information on our Mask Expectations webpage of the Return-to-School Safety Handbook for Families.

Every student needs to complete a daily health screen and attestation.

As a condition of in-person learning, every student must have their health screened (including temperature taken) every day they are scheduled for in-person learning and BEFORE leaving home for school.  This health screening mandate requires each family to “attest” to doing the screening and reporting the findings.  At-home attestation is the first layer of protection for our school community and an important part of our safety plan.  Please set aside time every morning to complete this step accurately to protect the health of your student’s classmates and teacher.  We do not have the capacity to repeatedly follow up with families who do not attest, so appreciate your diligence in advance of arrival. Learn about the Daily Health Screen and Attestation process in our Return-to-School Safety Handbook for Families.

Please keep students home that are showing any symptoms of illness.

Students with ANY ill symptoms, even minor, CANNOT be allowed at, and should NOT be sent to school - no exceptions.  Transmission of COVID-19 in our schools could necessitate a return to remote learning, so these rules are much more stringent than in pre-COVID times.  After a student has been out with symptoms/illness, students will need to have spoken with and been cleared by the school nurse, before being allowed to return to school for in-person learning.  Additionally, should students develop ANY ill symptoms at school, families need to be readily available by phone and have a pre-arranged plan for rapid pick-up.  For our schools to stay open for in-person learning, we cannot have ill students waiting on-site. Find more information about when to keep your student home and return criteria in the COVID-19 Information and Response Protocols of the Return-to-School Safety Handbook for Families.

Expectation of following all health and safety requirements

While we will work to support the needs of students and families, failure to adhere to district health and safety requirements (including accurate daily attestations, keeping sick children home, wearing masks, etc.) will result in a review of your student’s placement in the district’s in-person program.

COVID-19 cases at school:

All families should expect our schools to experience the same level of COVID activity as our surrounding communities.  Our health and safety plan is based on this reality with the goal of our layered mitigation and response strategies to minimize the transmission from these expected cases within our schools.  Part of this reality includes our response strategy that calls for the quarantining of exposed individuals.  For students participating in in-person learning, it is likely they will be quarantined at some point this year and we encourage families to have pre-arranged supervision plans at the ready for what could be multiple lengthy quarantine periods. Click here for our Response Protocols in the event of a confirmed case at school. Starting January 19, we are also adding a District COVID Dashboard resource on our website, to report positive cases in our buildings each week.

 

Important logistics, resources and tips for in-person learning:

  • Click here for the New AM/PM Elementary ScheduleReview the new schedule for grade K-5 that goes into effect starting Tuesday, January 19, 2021.   
  • Remote portion of the day:  All students should complete posted asynchronous learning opportunities prior to their in-person instruction. Their at-home learning opportunities will pre-teach topics that will be the focus during  in-class instruction.  (For example, a student in the AM cohort would complete asynchronous learning opportunities the afternoon prior to attending their in-person morning classes. And, a PM cohort student would complete their asynchronous pre-learning each morning prior to attending classes in the afternoon.)  All students should be prepared to log into Schoology to access synchronous learning, for specialists (PE, Music, Coding, Library), WIN Literacy/Math/English Learner, Special Education Learning.
  • Transportation:  Elementary students in grades K-5 who signed up for transportation in the parent survey (and have since been assigned a PM schedule), can confirm their bus stop information in E-Link.  Bus routes have been adjusted for this unique year.
  • Click here for School Supplies students will need to bring with them to school. [Principals to link.] 
  • Limit exposure - Please do your part at home to limit exposure with individuals outside of your family to help ensure that school can remain open.
  • Devices - Your student will need to bring their charged device with them to and from school. While in-person instruction will not focus on screen time, there will be a need on occasion for students to have their devices available and charged.
  • Meals - Students should eat prior to the in-person portion of their school day. No meals or snacks will be eaten at school. Lunches and breakfast meals “to go” will be available to take home on a daily basis, just before dismissal. 
  • Water bottles - Please label a water bottle for your student’s daily use. Drinking fountains will be closed, however water will be available to fill personal water bottles.
  • Warm clothing - While there will not be designated recess time, students will go outside for mask breaks. Coats or jackets will be needed at those times, as well as for increased ventilation in classrooms and buses. 
  • Again, this Parent Checklist can help you and your student prepare.

 

While no plan is perfect in a pandemic, we are confident that we have our school ready for AM/PM hybrid learning. We want to thank you for your partnership, and your role in the weeks ahead, as we navigate the next steps in our safe return-to-school together.

Best regards,

 

Principal

John Norberg

Snoqualmie Elementary School