Dear LWSD Families:
As we finalize the details related to elementary, middle and high school in-person and remote learning, we have additional information to share.
Topics Covered for Elementary and Secondary In-Person and Remote Learning:
- Updated schedule information: Elementary, middle and high schools are moving to a 4-day per week models
- Concurrent instruction: Middle and high school teachers will deliver instruction at the same time to students who are remote and students who are in-person for a portion of each period.
- Transition week: April 12-16. Middle and high school teachers will prepare for in-person instruction from April 12-16. Students will have asynchronous lessons and activities for this week.
- Timeline for elementary and secondary letters of understanding (LOU): We anticipate being about to share the final LOUs by Thursday afternoon.
- Staffing: Schools are working to ensure that each classroom has the necessary instructional support and supervision for students.
1. Updated Schedule Information for Elementary, Middle and High School
- Starting April 19, elementary and secondary students who selected in-person learning will attend school four days per week.
- The new schedules will provide in-person instruction on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
- Wednesday will continue to be reserved for synchronous and asynchronous instruction/learning, required teacher planning time, and support for students.
- School day hours for students will be as follows:
- Elementary: 5 hours and 15 minutes
- Middle School: 5 hours and 15 minutes
- High School: 5 hours and 35 minutes
- The 4-day schedule and times also apply to students receiving in-person special education services.
- The Transition Academy will maintain the current schedule. Later this week, Dr. Shannon Hitch, Executive Director of Special Services, will send additional information to families.
- Elementary remote student schedules will remain the same.
Elementary Schedule Details:
Based on the instructional time requirements in the Governor’s emergency order, and the current Department of Health and King County Public Health Guidance, we are extending the time we had originally scheduled for our grades K-1 and 2-5 elementary models from 3.5 hours to 5.25 hours. We are also moving from a 2-day per week hybrid in grades 2-5 to a 4-day per week in-person schedule. There will continue to be a fully remote option for all students in grades K-5.
When extending the school day for grades 2-5, we also need to align kindergarten and first grades to be able to offer transportation services. This means, all in-person elementary students will be on the same school day schedule.
Families who wish to request a transfer from remote to in-person learning should contact their school office. The school will collect requests for transfer. We will analyze the scope of requests as we get closer to April 19 to make placement change decisions. As previously communicated, if a school is able to accommodate a family's request, then placement at the neighborhood school will be an option. If the classrooms at the specific grade level cannot accommodate additional students, the District will work with the school and family to find placement at a local school for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.
Secondary Schedule Details:
In alignment with the current Department of Health and King County Public Health Guidance, we are developing a 4-day/week instructional model. This schedule for in-person learning will allow schools to transition to a 2-day/week model should that be required due to community virus transmission.
At this time, the Department of Health guidance recommends 3-foot distancing in secondary schools. Should cases increase to CDC defined levels for high community transmission (over 200 cases/100,000 over 14 days), the District would confer with Public Health to determine if we would need to shift to a 2-day/week hybrid model. Our goal is to provide secondary students with a consistent 4-day/week schedule for in-person learning.
2. Concurrent Instructional Model
To meet the goal of maintaining student and teacher relationships, middle and high school teachers will be using a “concurrent” model of instruction for a portion of each period. Concurrent instruction is teaching that is provided to students who are in school and students who are participating remotely at the same time. Teachers have a variety of options available to provide instruction, lead discussions, respond to student questions, engage students and to meet the needs of all students. A concurrent model of instruction goes well beyond remote students “watching” the class. The goal of concurrent instruction is to allow each student the opportunity to grow and learn while also maintaining a connection with the teacher.
3. Transition Week for Secondary Teachers: April 12-16
Each time we shift instructional models, we provide appropriate time for staff to participate in professional learning, planning and support to ensure they are prepared for the upcoming changes. Secondary teachers will participate in a transition week from April 12-16. Students will participate in teacher and district-provided learning. You can expect to receive additional information about the transition week from your school and your child’s teachers.
4. Timeline for Elementary and Secondary LOUs
LWEA and the District are currently finalizing two Letters of Understanding. The secondary LOU and an update to the elementary LOUs. We anticipate being about to share the final LOUs by Thursday afternoon.
5. Secondary Staffing
The District and school administrators will begin to move forward on secondary staffing to ensure that each classroom has the necessary instructional support and supervision for students. LWEA and the District have agreed to release a portion of the Secondary LOU to allow schools and staff to work towards finalizing staffing plans by the end of this week. Building administrators met with representatives from the district to discuss the LOU staffing language on Monday afternoon. Staff can expect to start receiving communication from their building administrators.
It is important to note that currently, there are 131 classroom teachers who have requested to teach remotely. Part of the staffing process will be to work with each of these staff members to determine how to resolve their request. This means that some secondary teachers will continue to teach their students remotely even when a portion of their students are in-person. Required supervision will be provided and will be accomplished through staff volunteers, newly hired subs and each school’s missing sub coverage plan.
Staffing – We’re hiring!
I have heard from many parents asking, “what can I do to help?” Now is the time for you to consider a school position to support the operations of the school district. We currently have many open positions all across the district and as we prepare to return more students to in-person learning, we need your help! We are currently hiring for instructional assistants (IAs), paraeducators, bus drivers and more. Please visit our Employment website: https://www.lwsd.org/employment/classified-employees, and share this with your friends and family! This is truly an opportunity to help support our entire community as we transition back more students to in-person learning.
Spring Break is April 5-9. We know that our breaks are typically a time when staff and families decide to travel. Throughout this pandemic, we have highlighted the role the community plays in minimizing the spread of the virus. This has been done by a number of measures and includes paying attention to the travel guidance put out by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). If you are traveling for non-essential purposes, we ask that you review the travel guidance and follow the steps outlined. By following this guidance, we can ensure that our schools, classrooms, and community are in alignment with health and safety precautions. Thank you for your attention to this guidance.
Our intention is to provide in-person and full-time learning for all students in the fall. The Governor announced last week that districts should prepare for full-time in-person learning for the coming school year. We are still waiting for a few additional details that will allow us to announce additional plans and accommodations for the Fall. We are excited to be planning with the intention of all students returning in September.
Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District