January 25, 2021
Dear LWSD Staff and Families:
As an organization we continue to make strides as we prepare to shift learning models for our Kindergarten and First grade students on February 18. As a reminder our transition activity timelines are as follows:
- Asynchronous Learning Week for teacher prep: January 22-28
- K-1 Conferences: January 29, February 1 & 2
- Instruction with current students: February 3-10
- Schools notify families of class placement: February 8
- Asynchronous learning for current students: February 16 & 17
- Start of new K-1 Learning Model: February 18
I received some questions about more transparency for why the timelines for transition were delayed. The following reasons were shared with a number of families last week:
- Additional time will allow:
- Schools to ensure the necessary teachers and staff in place.
- The district to work with our labor unions
- Provide training for new teachers and teachers changing positions
- School principals to make sure health and safety procedures are 100% ready for students.
- The second through fifth grade timeline was extended because we need to negotiate with our teachers union for those grade levels.
Reminder: Asynchronous Lessons Available for Grades K-1
Beginning Friday, January 22 and through Thursday, January 28, all kindergarten and first grade students will access online learning through a Sharepoint site. Students can use a district issued laptop, or a personal device. If they use a personal device, they will be prompted to logon and must use their district credentials. Once they log onto the correct Sharepoint site, their attendance will be automatically taken for that day. The landing page for the site is https://lwsd.sharepoint.com/sites/students and then they must click on K or 1 to enter for their grade level. Students will only be able to access materials for their grade level.
If you have additional challenges with accessing these materials, please contact your building administrator.
As we shared in last week’s message, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is managing the rollout of the two COVID-19 vaccines through a phased approach. As of Monday, January 18, 2021, DOH has approved the distribution of the vaccines to people in the following categories:
- High-risk healthcare workers in health care settings
- High-risk first responders
- Long-term care facility residents
- All other workers at risk in health care settings
- All people 65 years or older
- All people 50 years or older in multigenerational households (home where individuals from 2 or more generations reside such as an elder and a grandchild)
Under these guidelines, the District has worked with Kaiser Permanente and Evergreen Health to facilitate access to the vaccine for its nurses and health room office professionals who qualify under healthcare settings. Employees over the age of 65 were communicated with earlier this week given the updates to the vaccine phases by the Governor.
The District is partnering with approved vaccine providers to better facilitate and coordinate vaccination options for district employees. As the vaccine supply increases to a level that allows for expansion to the next phases of the state plan, additional communication will be provided to staff.
It should be noted that King County has not completed Phase 1A which is health care workers and emergency responders. Given the significant number of health care workers and emergency responders located in King County it has slowed the distribution of the vaccine in our county. King County Public Health has indicated that they do not believe Phases B2-4 will be opened for 2-3 months in King County.
Students will continue to rely on laptops for asynchronous and remote synchronous learning. Those returning in person will keep their laptop at home for daily use. On rare occasions students may need to bring their laptop to school and schools will have totes available for students to transport their laptops to and from school.
Travel – Quarantine requirements
For families considering non-essential travel or returning to in-person learning after having traveled out of the country or out of state, the Washington Department of Health is advising that families practice self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival back into Washington state. If your student is participating in an in-person program at this time, contact your school building to report your student’s absence and the possible need to pick up academic resources to do schoolwork at home.
Thank you for your work with our schools as we work towards this transition.
Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District