Reopen MVSD Schools 2020-21 Plan: Flexible Learning Options in the Face of a Fluid Situation

Schools will announce fall plans soon. I imagine everyone will be unhappy. Remember, you help determine your child’s attitude.  Be angry or sad in private. Discuss your frustrations away from the kids. Set them up for success by teaching them to make the best of it. Be a sounding board for their worries and disappointments. Stay positive and model perseverance.

It goes without saying; this is not where we expected to be at this time… 

Like many of you, our school board members, administrative team, and staff are eager to see our students return to school. Unfortunately, the continued increase in the number of positive COVID 19 cases, existing facilities, staffing constraints, inability to fully comply with the current state mandates have eliminated the possibility for us to offer a full reopening of our schools in the fall. 

However, we’re pleased with the “positive attitude and perseverance” displayed by our staff, parents, and many community members that have contributed to the development of a flexible plan that allows us to pivot as needed in the face of a highly fluid and ever-changing environment, ensuring the success of every student. 

Flexible Learning Options

Assuming our schools remain open for some in-person instruction beginning in the fall, the plan provides students and parents with 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. At Liberty Bell, students in grades 7-12 will participate in 4 classes per semester for a total of 8 classes (inclusive of elective coursework) per year. At the ILC, students will pursue an individualized program of study, inclusive of coursework, student-initiated projects, and community-based internships with the support of a certificated advisor. Students, parents, and staff will receive training and support to implement the online resources.

OPTION B: A K-12 100% remote learning program facilitated by MVSD staff using OSPI-approved online learning platforms, enhanced with teacher-directed instruction, assignments, feedback, and supplemental resources.

  • Grades K-5: Students in grades K-5 will receive daily instruction, regular assignments, and feedback from MVSD teachers through the use of Accelerate Academy. The curriculum will be supplemented with other teacher-directed assignments, student projects, and content-based (literacy and mathematics) online resources intended to enhance student learning. Students, parents, and staff will receive training and technical support to successfully implement an online learning program.
  • Grades 6-12: Students in grades 6-12 will receive daily instruction, regular assignments, and feedback from MVSD teachers through the use of Google Classroom and/or Edgenuity. The curriculum will be supplemented with teacher-directed assignments, student projects, community-based internships, and content-based online resources intended to enhance student learning. 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 support homeschooling students and parents. Working with an MVSD teacher, each student and their parent(s) will develop an individualized learning plan, select from a list of OSPI-approved instructional resources, and receive ongoing monitoring and support.

Options A, B, and C were developed based upon the guidelines set forth by OSPI, the CDC, WA State Department of Health, Local Public Health Officials, and the Governor’s Office. Further, they align with the following set of priorities:

  • The physical safety of our students, staff, parents, family members, and the community.
  • The social-emotional health and wellness of our students, parents, and staff.
  • Students and families who are at high risk (physically, social-emotionally, academically).
  • Creative and adaptable forms of teaching and learning that promote high levels of student engagement in their learning.
  • Initial and ongoing professional development and training needed to implement a coherent, high-quality system of teaching and learning.
  • The work schedule and childcare needs of families.
  • Community input.
  • Science, not politics.
  • The ability to pivot in a highly fluid and ever-changing environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ #2

When do I let the MVSD know which option I plan to select for my child?
You can expect to receive a questionnaire associated with the learning options and other related services no later than Wednesday, August 5th. In support of our planning efforts, we will ask that you fill out and return the questionnaire electronically or in a hardcopy no later than Friday, August 14th.

If I have questions about my student’s flexible learning plan, whom should I contact?
Please contact your school’s principal or school guidance counselor during normal business hours anytime, Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, August 17th.

Will the school year begin on time as scheduled?
Yes, the school year is scheduled to begin on Monday, August 31st.

What will the first week of school look like?
Different. In an effort to reduce fear, anxiety, and set up teams of students, parents and staff for success, we will be facilitating a district-wide orientation during the first week of school. Similar to Kindergarten Parent-Teacher Conferences, students and parents will be invited to attend an orientation (on a designated date and time) designed to provide students and parents with an opportunity to “meet and greet” their teacher(s), participate in online training, checkout devices if needed, and link students and families to other important resources intended to support each student’s success.

I’ve heard the WA Department of Health is planning on providing updated guidance and a set of metrics to be used by schools to determine if it’s safe to open. With the rapid rise in COVID cases in Okanogan County, is it possible that schools will be closed for in-person instruction?
This is true. There is speculation that the WA Department of Health will be issuing new guidance and/or directives using metrics/thresholds associated with the number of positive COVID cases per 100,000 citizens (by county) to make informed decisions regarding school closures. Further, these numbers will be used to determine when a school district can safely reopen its schools for some or full in-person instruction.

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.

Can you give me an example of what this could look like in Okanogan County?
Well, let’s say the WA Department of Health established a threshold of 75 positive COVID cases per 100,000 or fewer is required for a two week period for schools to open their doors for in-person instruction. As of Wednesday, July 29, Okanogan County’s numbers were as high as 999/100,000. As a result, we would not be in a position to offer Option A, a hybrid model, and would then pivot to Options B and C. Once the number of positive cases dropped below 75, we would be able to pivot, expanding the options available to students and parents.

Would there be exceptions made for school districts within counties that exceed the threshold?
That’s a good question. We don’t yet know, but we’ll be listening closely to what they have to share.

FAQ #1

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 are participating in the hybrid model? Will 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 students be assigned work they are required to complete?
Yes.

Will there be grades?
Yes.

Will there be opportunities for students to access academic tutoring, mentorship, and/or other individualized support?
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 every student who qualifies for related services to successfully access the general education curriculum and/or goals outlined in the student’s individual learning plan.

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 an outdoor education model?
Yes. LBHS will be offering two new Outdoor Education and Recreation courses. The district has also rented 8 large tents to serve as outdoor classroom spaces if and when in-person instruction can occur. 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.

Will there be any supply fees, course fees, pay-to-play fees, or online enrollment fees?
No.

On days when my elementary student doesn’t attend school, 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, Little Star, and Head Start staff).

On days when my student doesn’t attend school, will there be meal services?
Yes. What this will look like is yet to be determined based upon our circumstances.

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