Posted: August 7, 2020
Next Monday we are required to share our back-to-school plan with our school board for approval as part of the Reopening Washington Schools 2020 plan. As I communicated last week, our recommendation is to start the year with remote learning and then phase into a blended, hybrid model of on-campus and remote learning. Since our recommendation, the Washington State Department of Health released further guidance in the form of a decision tree reopening schools for the fall. This guidance aligns with our recommendation.
In advance of the school board meeting on Monday, we wanted to share more information about our reopening plans. After the school board meeting, we will release detailed information including posting the approved district plan. Following that communication, schools will share their specific back-to-school information with families and students.
Next week, there will be an opportunity to engage in a question and answer session about Camas Connect Academy, our full online option. We are recommending the Camas Connect Academy only for families that do not have a desire to return to on-campus learning at any point during the school year. For all others, we are recommending starting with us remotely and then transition towards more on-campus learning during the year.
So how do we start school?
During remote learning, we will keep the same school hours. This provides a consistent structure for students and families and defines the workday for staff. Schools will be providing orientations to help staff and families partner together in support of students.
Does full remote learning mean my student will be on Zoom for more than six hours per day?
No, the State Board of Education has provided some flexibility in how we meet our yearly instructional hour requirements, and sitting in front of a screen all day long is not a best practice for students.
We designed our scheduling framework to have a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) learning with brain/movement breaks for students. Our remote learning schedule is aligned to our full hybrid schedule to help transition to more on-campus time when community health indicators improve. In our full, hybrid learning delivery model, students will receive at least two days of on-campus, live instruction. We’ve included a similar expectation in our remote learning schedule. The equivalent of at least 2 days of “live”, synchronous instruction will be distributed across the week. Other learning time will be asynchronous instruction from our teachers with specific learning tasks for students to complete with support. This allows for some flexibility for students and families when they access this instruction. Each school will develop a schedule that supports students and helps families at home. Prior to each week, teachers will post the week-ahead schedule that includes opportunities for student support and communication with families.
Will daily student attendance be taken?
Yes, attendance will be taken for both synchronous and asynchronous learning sessions.
Will this look different than it did in the spring?
Yes, our staff are committed to our students and have been planning based on the experiences from the spring. Staff training this summer includes social and emotional learning/wellness, design for remote learning, learning management and communication tools, video creation, synchronous interaction, and priority learning standards. As you know, we have an amazing staff who were put into a very challenging situation last spring. They want to create an engaging learning experience for your student this fall!
What if I need emergency childcare as we transition back to on-campus learning?
We recognize that each family is in a unique situation and may need support. We are trying to develop options for families in these situations. Please contact us using this LINK.
What if my family relies on school breakfast and/or lunch services?
We will develop a similar process to how we provided these meals in the spring during remote learning.
When will we start phasing into on-campus instruction?
Decision Tree K12 Schools provides a framework that puts regions into COVID-19 activity levels using several indicators. One of those indicators is the rate of cases per 100,000 people. The rate divides COVID-19 activity into three levels: HIGH >75, MODERATE between 25-75, and LOW <25. The most recent rate of cases per 100,000 in Clark County was 74.3. Even though we are on the upper limit of MODERATE we are trending in a better direction considering our previous two rates were 99.7 and 96.4 (The Columbian, 8/5/2020, Clark County at ‘moderate risk’ for school reopenings). Your effort and the efforts of our community of following the Safe Start Washington guidelines are starting to pay off so thank you! Please help keep lowering the rate by socially distancing, wearing your mask, and washing your hands.
As our rate per 100,000 lowers, we will bring students on campus in small groups starting with our youngest students and those with specific support needs. We will then add more small groups of students easing our way towards a full hybrid model of at least two days of on-campus learning for each student.
I have greatly appreciated your feedback and patience during this journey to our first day of school.