Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents and Community Members,
I hope this message finds you well, finding ways to remain present in the moment, enjoying time with family in this beautiful place we live, engaged in activities that bring you joy…
Focused on establishing a flexible plan for the safe reopening of our schools that emphasizes:
- the health and wellness of students and staff, their parents and the Methow Valley community
- the physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development of our students,
- creative and adaptable approaches to teaching and learning, and
- community involvement, I’ve been working alongside our administrative team to gather input and feedback from a variety of stakeholders – students, parents, community members, educational partners, employers, and staff.
What will the reopening of our schools look like in the fall?
Given the fluidity of a complex and ever-changing situation, I don’t yet know… What I do know is that regardless of the approach – a full reopening of our schools, a hybrid model involving some in-person instruction, an improved version of remote learning, and/or some combination offering student choice, the safety of our students, our staff, family members, and our community, closely followed by the continued development of our students is paramount.
I also know that based upon the current trends and whatever we land on in late July/early August is likely to change over time as new information becomes available, requiring us to be nimble, flexible, prepared to pivot, and prepared to support one another in doing so. It will take a village…
So, what are the next steps and timeline involving the decision-making process?
Next week, our administrative team will be facilitating a series of focus groups involving a variety of stakeholders – students, staff, parents, educational and community partners, employers, and community members. During our time together, we’ll:
- Review the guidelines and mandates set forth by OSPI, WADOH, CDC and the Governor’s Office, intended to keep each of us safe. These include:
- Social Distancing – Maintain six feet distance from others within the classroom setting.
- Practice Good Hygiene – Wash hands frequently.
- Wear Facial Coverings – All students, staff, and visitors are required to wear a cloth mask when indoors (school building, buses) and/or within six feet of others.
- Minimize Student Sharing – Minimize student sharing of school supplies and materials.
- Minimize Visitors and Field Trips – Minimize visitors on campus and field trips.
- Maintain Proper Ventilation – Open windows, doors, utilize air purifiers and/or teach outdoors when possible to maintain proper ventilation.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting – Daily cleaning and disinfecting of high touch and use areas within the school, weekly deep cleaning.
- Daily Screening – Daily screening at home or at school of students, parents,staff, and visitors prior to entering the school facility.
- Isolating Ill Students and Staff – Isolating students and staff when they report feeling ill.
- Responding to Outbreaks – Working closely with local public health officials to determine appropriate course of action in the event of an outbreak.
- Review the feedback and identify the common themes that emerged from feedback solicited from students, parents, staff, and community members.
- Explore a broad range of instructional frameworks specific to each school. While not an exhaustive list, some include:
- Full Reopening – A full reopening of our school(s) or a full reopen of certain grade levels (i.e. grades K-3) that can adhere to the six feet distancing mandate – 5 days per week.
- Hybrid Model – A partial reopening of our school campus involving some in-person instruction and some distance learning (i.e. practicing skills previously taught, applying skills within a teacher-directed assignment or student-initiated project, and/or aligned to an online curriculum via an OSPI approved online provider (Edgenuity, Connections, Accelerate, etc…) when not receiving in-person instruction. An example of what an A/B schedule might look like at the elementary level includes the following:
- Cohort A – Attends school in person Monday and Wednesday each week.
- Cohort B – Attends school in person on Tuesday and Thursday each week.
- Cohort A and B – Students engage in distance and/or remote learning as assigned on the days when not attending school on campus.
- Cohort A and B – All students in Cohorts A and B receive whole group, small group, and/or individual instruction and/or feedback via a common digital platform every Friday morning. Professional development, training, planning, preparation, deep cleaning and disinfecting takes place within the building on Friday afternoons in preparation for the upcoming week.
- In a Hybrid model, students who qualify for Special Education services,students who qualify for English Language services, students receiving academic tutoring support, and/or essential workers (students whose parents serve as medical providers, first responders, and educators) would receive additional in-person instruction beyond the two days of classroom-based instruction.
- 100% Remote Learning – An improved version of remote learning defined by a cohesive set of expectations that includes priority standards, daily online instruction, assessment, and feedback, using a common platform – 5 days per week.
- Combination – A combination of developmentally appropriate learning opportunities that would include some in-person instruction, teacher-directed assignments and projects, online learning, home schooling support through the REACH program, outdoor educational opportunities to promote small group socialization and connections to the natural world, small group tutoring sessions, community-based internships, competency-based learning (ILC), etc.
- Acknowledge the logistics associated with each model of instruction involving:
- Healthcare Services – PPE, Screening, Isolating, Hygiene, Cleaning, Disinfecting…
- Meal Services
- Child Care Services
- Mental Healthcare Services
- Athletics, Clubs, and Activities
- Instructional materials and supplies
- Professional Development in support of staff
- Other needs to be determined…
- Make a recommendation regarding the safe reopening of ours schools to the Superintendent no later than Tuesday, July 28th.
- Once received, I will use the Workgroup’s recommendation as a springboard to communicate a tentative plan for the reopening of our schools and solicit a final round of feedback from students, staff, administrators, union leaders, parents and community members before making a final recommendation to the school board.
- Once finalized and endorsed by the MVSD School Board, the plan will be communicated to our students, parents, staff and community submitted to OSPI.
Please don’t hesitate to email me any questions you may have about the process, timeline, or survey. I can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We miss you!