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Restart Update: In-Person Learning to Begin for Grades 6-12

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March 10, 2021

 

Dear SVSD Families,

 

We deeply appreciate your patience as we have worked to modify buildings, prepare staff, and revise bell schedules, to support in-person learning for the next wave of students in grades 6-12. Today, I am pleased to share an update on progress toward collaboration with our 6-12 staff and secondary safety preparations at our middle and high schools to support re-opening SVSD secondary schools.

 

We have reached an agreement with our teacher’s union, the Snoqualmie Valley Education Association, on plans for 6-12 hybrid students to return in person safely. We appreciate the productive collaboration that has taken place between our district and union leadership teams – with all committed to safely bringing all Snoqualmie Valley students back into our schools with pandemic precautions in place for our students, staff, and community.

 

For families who chose hybrid learning for their students in grades 6-12, our target dates for phasing in groups of students are:

  • Monday, March 22Grade 6 hybrid begins in person at our middle schools; and Grade 9 at our high schools 
    • (Group A starts Monday, Group B starts Tuesday)
  • Thursday, March 25Grade 12 hybrid students begin
    • (Group A starts Thursday, Group B starts Friday)
  • Monday, March 29 Grades 7/8 and Grades 10/11 hybrid students return 
    • (Group A starts Monday, Group B starts Tuesday)

 

This, of course, will require continued diligence on everyone’s part to follow all school safety requirements, complete timely and honest daily health checks and attestations, and all other safety measures in place to sustain a healthy learning environment, and prevent COVID transmission in our community. 

 

With this exciting news, we ask that every family please go into Skyward Family Access, and verify that the email contact information for parents/guardians is accurate.  This is imperative to not only ensure you receive important instructions from your school, but also so our district can effectively set up the automatic attestation email that will be sent to each Family 1/Guardian 1. This is a required step for families each morning their student is scheduled for in-person learning. Please verify that your email in Skyward Family Access is correct, by Thursday noon, March 11.

 

Additional information will be coming from your schools with important details and instructions for returning students and families, over the next week. In the meantime, here is a brief overview of the many steps we’ve taken to be able to implement a 6-12 Hybrid Learning Model in our district.  This will provide details to help families begin to make plans.

 

Overview of our New Secondary Hybrid Learning Model:

  • Middle school students and Mount Si High School (MSHS) students are divided into two groups alphabetically as summarized in the table below. (The alphabetical division is different for middle school and high school, due to a difference in the group sizes when split alphabetically.)
  • Two Rivers High School students in the hybrid model will attend school in person on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • If your middle school student selected the 100% remote learning model, your child will continue with the current schedule and teachers. If your high school student selected the 100% remote learning model, your child will continue with the same teachers, but will follow the new bell schedule times.
  • Wednesday will be an at-home learning day for all grade levels.

 

6-12 Hybrid Model graphic

Daily Bell Schedules Established for All Schools

Thanks to the tremendous collaborative efforts of staff in all our 6-12 schools, we were able to develop daily/weekly schedules that allow for in-person learning for secondary students, while continuing support for elementary AM/PM Hybrid transportation needs. When developing these schedules, we incorporated feedback from our community stakeholder group that met last June.  Specifically, we designed an A/B-A/B Hybrid learning schedule (A: Monday/Thursday, and B: Tuesday/Friday) for in-person days, with a day at home mid-week for all (Wednesday) for classroom cleaning. This enables our hybrid students to see all of their teachers on each in-person day, a desire we heard from our staff members and learning community.  

 

It is important to know your student will be expected to participate in all classes, every day, whether scheduled to be at home or at school.  Keep in mind that two days on site will reduce the amount of time that hybrid students will be spending on Zoom. Below are weekly bell time schedules for middle schools/high schools. (Schools will provide more details around lunch schedules, prior to your student’s return date.)

 

NOTE: These schedules will go into effect for all 6-12 students on March 22 -- when the first group returns to school for in-person learning. Select your school’s new bell schedule: 

 

District and Building Safety Training Provided for All Staff

Training for all secondary (6-12) staff on our district safety protocols occurred on February 25, followed by building-specific safety training on February 26. This training included mitigation factors for students and staff, daily attestation procedures, classroom cleaning, management of a typical student day, including bathroom use, passing time, meals, as well as response protocols.

 

Classroom Capacity and Furniture Arrangement

Our principals, district staff, and custodians have checked each classroom to ensure the students assigned to each room (in both A and B groups) can be accommodated in the assigned space, while maintaining the social distancing requirements. Our teams are finishing appropriate furniture placement in the more unique teaching spaces, and ensuring that room capacities, per COVID safety requirements, are confirmed by our district maintenance team for all classrooms.

 

Signage Throughout our Schools

We continue to work on posting visual cues (such as directional arrows, 6 feet markers) throughout each school building, with special consideration for anticipated points of confusion, potential congestion areas, and staff/student needs. Additionally, each classroom has a room capacity sign posted based on a standardized measurement system for classrooms used by our district maintenance team.

 

Protocols and Additional Personal Protective Equipment for Specific Classes

In collaboration with our teaching, maintenance, and nursing staff, the district has ordered additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for physical education classes, music classes, and some elective courses, based on Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control recommendations.

 

Professional Development   

Professional Development on March 8 for 6-12 staff focused on preparing for a transition to hybrid schedules, with more training planned this week during processing time on Thursday and Friday, March 11 and March 12.  (No Zoom classes will take place during processing time on these days.) Also, March 18 and March 19 will be full asynchronous learning days for 6-12 students as staff prepare for this transition. Staff training topics include: establishing routines for hybrid instruction; use of technology to support students who are in person and remote simultaneously; keeping students engaged during hybrid instruction; and managing students in hybrid instruction. 

 

STUDENTS in grades 6-12, please note:

  • March 11 and March 12 – Students will work independently during processing time. (No Zoom classes during processing time on these days.)
  • March 18 and March 19 – Asynchronous learning full days

 

Communication with Students and Families

Administrators in all secondary schools are developing student videos to prepare them for new routines and safety expectations in a hybrid learning model. Additionally, middle school principals will post family information videos on March 15, and host virtual parent meetings for their schools on March 15 (6th grade) and March 24 (7th and 8th). MSHS will hold a family information “Live with Belcher on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter” meeting on March 16 and will post a family information video prior to this meeting. Two Rivers High School will hold a parent information meeting on March 18. Please watch for more details about the upcoming Parent Information Meetings and videos from your school. More information will be provided about student and family expectations, new procedures, what to expect while at school and at home, and FAQs that will help us work together to make the Hybrid Learning Model a success.

 

Transportation and Food Services

Our Transportation Department is finalizing bus routes and pick up/drop off times, which they expect to make available for families through E-Link on March 12. Please remember we only scheduled transportation times for families who had requested it for their student on our district transportation survey. 

 

Our Food Services Department developed new procedures for distributing breakfast and lunch in an efficient and safe way to 6-12 students at school.  At the same time, our district will continue to offer free meals “to go” for all students learning remotely every day, along with all students learning at home on Wednesdays. Click here for meal pick-up times and locations. 

 

Supporting Staff Needs

We are also working on locating qualified substitute teachers or support staff to fill positions for teachers who have requested leave or alternative work assignments. Additionally, the district is working to provide support for educators with their own child care needs, so they may be able to teach students in person.

 

Thank you for your continued support and partnership as we phase in 6-12 hybrid students back to our schools in the weeks ahead.

 

Sincerely,

 

Robert W. Manahan, Ed. D

Superintendent