June 10, 2020
Message to Chimacum Families from Superintendent Rick Thompson
Reopening of School Fall 2020
I want you to know that our school district knows how difficult remote learning has been for so many families. While we hear and see many stories of students overcoming obstacles to learning, we also know that not seeing friends and teachers is a real hardship. I want to update you on what our district is doing to prepare for school opening in the fall.
Guidance from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Our decisions as a public school will be guided and formed by several state agencies such as OSPI (www.k12.wa.us), The State Board of Education (www.sbe.wa.gov), Jefferson County (www.co.jefferson.wa.us), and the Department of Health (www.doh.wa.gov). We will form our own local model based on the guidance of the state that funds our schools and by officials charged with keeping us safe. We received guidance this week, and are hoping to identify the rules for returning in the next few days. For example, we expect sports, clubs, and activities to resume when our county enters Phase 3.
June 11, 2020 OSPI Reopening Washington Schools Planning Guide: https://www.k12.wa.us/sites/default/files/public/workgroups/Reopening%20Washington%20Schools%202020%20Planning%20Guide.pdf
Staff Are Reviewing Models:
In our research we are looking at two basic models for returning: The Full Time In-Person and The Hybrid Model. We are not focusing exclusively on a remote model because we believe some form of in-person instruction will take place in the fall. We also need to be prepared to use different models for instruction if the health conditions require it. Both the in-person model and the hybrid model will allow students to come back to campus in one form or another. The hybrid model (in person and virtual learning) allows for greater social distancing. Our staff is working on how the hybrid model and the in-person model can work at all levels K-12 and provide for the best educational programs for all students.
Safety and Health First and Foremost
We have learned a great deal about the requirements for opening and maintaining public facilities and ensuring the health and safety of our students, staff, and our visitors when a pandemic emerges. The list is extensive, such as wearing masks, changing lunch service, providing space on school buses, and minimizing areas where students normally congregate. No matter what model we choose to begin school, we will follow strict guidelines for hygiene. We will all need to work hard to minimize the potential exposure of the virus. The foundation of our decisions will be based on the guidance of our health care professionals and our professional staff while we put school back in session as normal as possible. I’m sure you can understand how schools will respond responsibly, as so many community agencies and businesses have done. We know that schools house vulnerable populations and that our plan should reflect the needs of all who attend.
Family Needs Are Vital
Whatever model we choose, we understand that child care, nutrition, mental health, and instruction are all important. We know that you will need continual communication since models may change over the course of the year. We will continue to provide laptops, and use several communication tools to engage your family. Attendance, engagement, grading, and earning credits are all important, and we expect some guidance in the days ahead. Families are our customers, and to serve them well we need to prepare and communicate the model that works to start back at school.
Your Opinion Matters
There are five (5) ways you can voice your opinion:
1. Participate in Public Comment at a school board meeting.The next meeting is Wednesday, June 24.Visit www.csd49.org for a link to the board agenda. You are welcome to participate in the meeting and to share your ideas about reopening school during Public Comment.
2. Join the remote Community Meeting on Tuesday, June 16, 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Visit www.csd49.org to link to the meeting. A Zoom invitation will be posted the morning of June 16.
3. Call me at (360) 302-5896. Let me know your thoughts, ideas, and concerns.
4. Email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know if your comments can be shared in public and read into the record.
5. Mail a letter to: School Reopening, Chimacum School District, P.O. Box 278, Chimacum, WA 98368
Thank you! Please keep checking www.csd49.org for updates.