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Safe Restart Update: 1st Grade In-Person Learning to Begin January 29

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January 21, 2021

 

Dear Snoqualmie Valley Families,

 

This week, we welcomed approximately 275 kindergarten students who chose in-person learning, to elementary school for the first time. At the same time, we continued to support approximately 125 kindergarten students who chose to continue with 100% online learning. I’m happy to report a smooth first week of this transition back into our classrooms. (See photos from the first day of K at school here.) The children did an amazing job  wearing their masks and following directions regarding the new safety protocols. Kudos to the families who helped prepare their student for this transition; and hats off to our amazing educators for embracing this change. 

 

Also, all K-5 learners transitioned to our new Elementary AM/PM Schedule this week.  As we work to adjust to new schedules and new in-person protocols, please know that we appreciate everyone’s efforts, energy and adaptability to establish new routines at home and school.

 

As planned, we are continuing to prepare for the next phase…  Next Friday, January 29, we are on track to welcome 1st grade students, who chose the hybrid in-person learning model, back to the classroom as well.  (At the same time, 1st grade families who chose 100% Remote Learning will continue to receive online educational support through this school year.)

 

First grade families: Please watch for a detailed communication from your school with instructions and resources, to help you prepare for a safe return-to-learn in person.  (This is the same information that schools shared with kindergarten families on January 12.)  If you chose in-person hybrid learning for your student, please review this information thoroughly and help your student understand the “new normal” at school.  For handy reference, here are two key resources:

  • Family Return-to-School Safety Handbook (via the green banner on every SVSD website) – Learn about the safety precautions our district has taken to prepare our schools, what to expect upon returning, and the role that parents/guardians and students will have each day.
  • School Safe Return Plans – Select the link to your school’s webpage dedicated to COVID safety at their building. This includes your school’s COVID Safety Site Plan, who to contact with questions, and a back-up QR code to use if you do not receive the daily attestation email on a day your student is scheduled for in-person learning.

 

Still to be determined… Targeted restart dates for Grades 2 – 12 have not yet been confirmed.  We are continuing discussions and preparations around safely 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 follows state guidance to focus on returning elementary grades first, followed by middle school and high school learners.  Our decisions align with the Washington Department of Health (DOH) Updated Guidance for K-12 Schools regarding re-opening decisions. 

 

In the meantime, we are continuing to monitor COVID-19 activity locally and refine our practices as needed, to support a sustainable re-opening of our schools.  We were saddened to learn of a recent outbreak in a North Bend nursing home/care facility, which is represented on the King County dashboard information.  However, we do not believe that will directly impact safe in-person learning at our schools.  To help report confirmed COVID activity among students and staff at school, we have created an online District Data Dashboard that will be updated each Friday. This will help us monitor whether cases are a result of in-school transmission, or if they are a reflection of community activity. 

 

How can you help?  

  • Please keep ill or symptomatic students home, and ensure your students understand and follow all COVID safety requirements, is critical to the success of this transition as well as helping more students be able to return in person.
  • Our district has an urgent need for more bus drivers, emergency substitute teachers, and substitute paraeducators. Learn more here and please consider applying through our Job Opportunities link today.

 

Thank you all for your support and partnership, as we work to implement plans for serving more students in person safely, while continuing robust remote learning for those who have chosen 100% online learning.

 

Sincerely,

Robert W. Manahan, Ed. D

Superintendent