Reopen MVSD Workgroup Update #2

Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

I want to take a brief moment and provide you with an update outlining the work that has been taking place in preparation for the reopening of our schools in the fall.
 
Our administrative team has been meeting with members of the Reopen MVSD Workgroup throughout the week. The Workgroup includes over 30 staff, parents, educational partners, and community members.
 
Working within the guidelines and mandates set forth by the Washington Department of Health, OSPI, and the CDC, using the feedback provided by students, parents, staff, and community members, considering best practices that have emerged elsewhere, and acknowledging the district’s budgetary and staffing constraints, the Workgroup has been giving consideration to a variety of scenarios.
 
At the same time, a team of administrators, teachers, and specialists has been meeting with representatives from OSPI approved online providers, reviewing materials, and preparing to make a recommendation to the superintendent.

What do we know at this time?

Given our student enrollment, existing facilities, staffing constraints, six feet social distancing requirement, and rapid rise in the number of positive COVID 19 cases, coupled with high levels of concern expressed by parents and staff for the physical safety of our students, staff, their family members, and our community at large, we do not anticipate the full reopening of our school will be possible at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

So, what options are being considered at this time?

If we are in a position to safely open our schools for some in-person instruction beginning in the fall, the tentative plan would allow students and parents to select from the following options:

  • Option A: A K-12 A/B hybrid model involving a minimum of two days of high quality, small group, in-person instruction aligned with three days of teacher-directed distance learning. Distance and online learning will be supported by a comprehensive yet customizable curriculum intended to supplement in person instruction. Students, parents, and staff will receive training and support to implement this tool. At Liberty Bell, student in grades 7-12 will participate in 4 classes per semester for a total of 8 classes (inclusive of elective coursework) per year.
  • Option B: A “district-sponsored” 100% online learning program using an OSPI approved online learning platform Students, parents and staff will receive training and technical support to successfully implement an online learning program.
  • Option C: A K-8 homeschool parent partnership program (REACH) designed to provide individual students and parents with support needed to develop an individualized learning plan, access to instructional resources, and ongoing monitoring of student progress by a MVSD certificated teacher.

Anticipated questions include:

When will the plan be finalized?
We plan to communicate a final plan for the reopening of our schools to our students, parents, staff, and community no later than Monday, August 3rd.

I’ve heard there is speculation that the WA DOH and/or the Governor’s Office may issue a “stay-at-home” order, resulting in the closure of all school districts for in-person instruction. Is this true?
It is true. Given the rapid rise in positive COVID 19 cases, there is speculation that the Governor’s Office may issue a “stay-at-home” order, resulting in the closure of schools for in-person instruction.

If this does happen, what would my options be?
If schools close for in-person instruction, students and parents would be able to select from options B and C.

Is it possible that our school district would close our schools for in-person instruction?
Yes, it is possible. As with any threat to the health and wellness of our students, staff, parents, and community, the MVSD works closely with our state and local public health officials to make informed decisions about the safe operations of our schools.

What safety measures will be put in place to ensure the health and wellness of all students and staff when attending school?
The MVSD is committed to working with the guidelines and mandates set forth by the CDC, WA DOH, local public health officials, OSPI, and the Governor’s Office.

What if I have more than one child enrolled in the MVSD and we decide to participate in the hybrid model? Can they attend school on the same day?
The MVSD will do everything possible to place siblings in the same cohort, ensuring they attend on the same day.

Will student attendance be required?
Yes.

Can I expect my student to receive daily instruction and regular, ongoing forms of feedback from their teacher?
Yes.

Will there be opportunities for students to access academic tutoring, mentorship, and/or other individualized support for my student’s learning and social-emotional health and wellness?
The district will be working on developing a network of academic and social-emotional support systems that students can access when not receiving in-person instruction.

What if my child qualifies for Special Education services, English Language services, and/or 504 accommodations?
The MVSD staff will work closely with the parents of students who qualify for related services to successfully access the general education curriculum and/or goals outlined in the student’s individual learning plan.

Will there be grades?
Yes.

Will the LBHS schedule provide my student with the same number of credits and elective courses as the previous 8-period, block schedule?
Yes.

Has the school district considered outdoor education models?
LBHS will be offering two new outdoor education and recreation courses. Classroom teachers at all grade levels will be encouraged to educate outdoors whenever possible.

My family doesn’t have a digital device and/or Internet connection. Will there be assistance available?
Yes.

When will the district announce the online provider they will be using to enhance distance learning within a hybrid model and facilitate 100% remote learning?
The district will announce the online provider(s) it has selected no later than Monday, August 3rd.

Will there be any supply fees, course fees, pay-to-play fees, or online enrollment fees when using an OSPI approved online provider affiliated with the MVSD?
No.

Will there be childcare services available?
Yes. Similar to last spring the district will continue to provide on-site childcare services to essential workers (medical providers, first responders, grocery store employees, and MVSD staff.

Will there be meal services?
Yes. What this will look like is yet to be determined.

We want to hear from you one more time…

Before we finalize our plan, we want you to:

  • Tell us what you like about options A – C
  • Tell us what don’t like about options A – C
  • Share any other thoughts, questions, or concerns that you believe we should consider before finalizing the Reopen MVSD Schools plan.

Please send your feedback to us by emailing:

All feedback received by the end of the day on Monday, July 27th will be given consideration before the Reopen MVSD Schools Plan is finalized.

Once finalized, we will be sending you a questionnaire asking you to inform us of the option you plan to select for your student(s) and other related needs.

Sincerely,

Tom Venable
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District

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