Safe Restart Plan & Timeline for Elementary In-Person Learning
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January 7, 2021
Dear Snoqualmie Valley Families,
We are ready to move forward cautiously with bringing back more of our youngest students for in-person learning, later this month.
We recently presented a revised restart plan with targeted dates to bring back more of our elementary school learners on a hybrid model – a plan that supports part-time in-person learning in small groups, in accordance with state safety requirements. This plan was approved by the School Board at a special public meeting during Winter Break, December 29. In addition, agreement has been reached with our employee associations on safeguards to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff. This collaboration is part of our valued practice, any time there is a significant change in working conditions, since staff play a vital role in any successful transition.
Key points include:
Planned Return Dates for AM/PM Hybrid Learning:
Kindergarten - Tuesday, January 19, 2021
1st Grade - Friday, January 29 (no sooner than five school days after K)
On our Elementary AM/PM Hybrid Learning Model, students will be grouped into small consistent cohorts (either in an AM or PM session), with part-time in-person learning four days a week. This is coupled with asynchronous, at-home learning for the rest of the school week. This format will limit the number of students served at one time in an elementary classroom to approximately 8-11 students. Families who chose hybrid learning were notified in December if they are in the AM or PM group, and class adjustments already went into effect on January 4 to support this transition. UPDATE: On January 19, new schedules that support the AM/PM cohorts will go into effect for all K-5 students (both hybrid and those staying remote).
Still to be determined… Targeted restart dates for Grades 2–12 have not yet been confirmed. We are hopeful, however, that this initial agreement and experience with students in person in the weeks ahead, will lead to phasing in our hybrid 2nd-5th grade students next, no sooner than February 8. A phased-in approach for grades 6-12 would follow. This aligns with state guidance to focus on returning elementary grades first, followed by middle school and high school learners. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor COVID activity locally and refine our practices as needed, to support a sustainable re-opening of our schools.
With this decision, we know families will have many more questions. We wanted to share this positive news as soon as possible to give K-1 families as much time as possible to begin planning ahead. For other details, we kindly ask for your patience. Additional information, resources, and instruction for families will be shared in the days ahead. For example, all SVSD elementary schools are finalizing school-specific safe start logistics, and the district is adding a District COVID Data Dashboard online. Stay tuned...
In the meantime, here are some resources related to our planning and decisions that may be helpful:
To learn about safety precautions our district has taken to prepare SVSD schools and what to expect upon returning, please read our online Family Return-to-School Safety Handbook. (This will continue to be updated.)
For updated guidance for K-12 schools regarding re-opening decisions during the pandemic, from Washington Department of Health (DOH) on December 16, 2020: click here.
Thank you all for your support, as we continue to prepare for serving more students safely in person. This plan represents a key ‘next step’…as our goal remains bringing ALL students back when it is safe to do so.
Your partnership in ensuring your students follow all COVID safety requirements, and keeping ill or symptomatic students home, will be critical to the success of this transition, as well as helping more students be able to return in person.