Dear Snoqualmie Valley Families,
We are ready to move forward cautiously with bringing back more of our youngest students for in-person learning later this month.
We recently presented a revised restart plan with targeted dates to bring back more of our elementary school learners on a hybrid model – a plan that supports part-time in-person learning in small groups, in accordance with state safety requirements. This plan was approved by the School Board at a special public meeting during Winter Break, December 29. In addition, agreement has been reached with our employee associations on safeguards to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff. This collaboration is part of our valued practice, any time there is a significant change in working conditions, since staff play a vital role in any successful transition.
Key points include:
Planned Return Dates for AM/PM Hybrid Learning:
- Kindergarten – Tuesday, January 19, 2021
- 1st Grade – Friday, January 29 (no sooner than five school days after K)
On our Elementary AM/PM Hybrid Learning Model, students will be grouped into small consistent cohorts (either in an AM or PM session), with part-time in-person learning four days a week. This is coupled with asynchronous, at-home learning for the rest of the school week. This format will limit the number of students served at one time in an elementary classroom to approximately 8-11 students. Families who chose hybrid learning were notified in December if they are in the AM or PM group, and class adjustments already went into effect on January 4 to support this transition. UPDATE: On January 19, new schedules that support the AM/PM cohorts will go into effect for all K-5 students (both hybrid and those staying remote).
Still to be determined… Targeted restart dates for Grades 2–12 have not yet been confirmed. We are hopeful, however, that this initial agreement and experience with students in person in the weeks ahead, will lead to 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 aligns with state guidance to focus on returning elementary grades first, followed by middle school and high school learners. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor COVID activity locally and refine our practices as needed, to support a sustainable re-opening of our schools.
With this decision, we know families will have many more questions. We wanted to share this positive news as soon as possible to give K-1 families as much time as possible to begin planning ahead. For other details, we kindly ask for your patience. Additional information, resources, and instruction for families will be shared in the days ahead. For example, all SVSD elementary schools are finalizing school-specific safe start logistics, and the district is adding a District COVID Data Dashboard online. Stay tuned…
In the meantime, here are some resources related to our planning and decisions that may be helpful:
- For our revised SVSD Elementary Restart Plan, you can listen to the 12-29-20 School Board podcast and follow along with the Dec. 29 Elementary Restart presentation.
- To learn about safety precautions our district has taken to prepare SVSD schools and what to expect upon returning, please read our online Family Return-to-School Safety Handbook. (This will continue to be updated.)
- For updated guidance for K-12 schools regarding re-opening decisions during the pandemic, from Washington Department of Health (DOH) on December 16, 2020: click here.
Thank you all for your support, as we continue to prepare for serving more students safely in person. This plan represents a key ‘next step’…as our goal remains bringing ALL students back when it is safe to do so.
Your partnership in ensuring your students follow all COVID safety requirements, and keeping ill or symptomatic students home, will be critical to the success of this transition, as well as helping more students be able to return in person.
Robert W. Manahan, Ed. D
More Information about Elementary In-Person Learning
This update is intended to supplement the above announcement:
All elementary families were notified whether their student is part of the AM or PM group for their grade level in December, and any shifts in teacher assignments went into effect this past Monday, January 4. This was the case for all students in Grades K-5, for both the hybrid and remote only learning models.
On January 19, the new AM/PM cohort schedule will go into effect for ALL elementary students in grades levels K-5; this will apply to both hybrid and remote learners.
New K-5 schedules are coming soon… Each school will be sending families their new schedules next week, so they can prepare ahead for the transition on Tuesday, January 19. Additional information for students in the STREAM Program will be included.
- Friday, January 15, will be an asynchronous learning day for all K-5 students. Teachers will provide their students activities in advance of that day. This will include videos created to help teach students the many new safety rules and expectations required for in-person learning. On this day, Schoology will not be available to students, as teachers will be working to update their folders to support the new AM/PM schedule. Staff will also use this time to review all the new safety protocols and finalize details to be ready for the “new normal” ahead.
- Monday, January 18 – MLK Holiday, no school
- Tuesday, January 19 – New K-5 AM/PM schedule goes into effect, and Kindergarten hybrid students begin in-person learning.
- Monday, January 25 – Professional Development Day, no classes for students
- Friday, January 29 – If all goes well…we hope to begin in-person learning for 1st grade hybrid students, with a similar phased-in approach.
- Next, we will consider returning Grades 2-5, in a similar phased-in approach, no sooner than February 8.
Watch for more details next week. In the meantime, please stay safe and enjoy your weekend.