Planning for 2020-21 Return to School
Mukilteo School District is endeavoring to be ready this fall to open schools to all students. Staff are preparing to provide a robust learning experience for our students both inside and outside the physical classroom setting.
Education leaders at the state and local levels have been grappling with what school will look like this fall. To help us prepare, OSPI has assembled a "Reopening Washington Schools Workgroup." This group will be providing direction on potential models and recommendations for reopening schools next year. The initial guidance from the group was released on June 11 "Fall Reopening Guidance." In this document, State Superintendent Chris Reykdal has made it very clear that he expects that schools will open this fall for in-person instruction. However, Department of Health (DOH) requirements must be met in order to do so. In the event districts cannot meet the DOH requirements they must be prepared to offer an alternative educational model.
While we are endeavoring to be ready this fall to open schools to all students, we are also preparing to provide a robust alternative learning experience for students both inside and outside the physical classroom setting in the event we cannot meet the DOH guidelines. Four workgroups were formed to prepare for this work. Please see below for more information about each group.
State Superintendent Chris Reykdal’s latest video addresses the fall re-opening guidance. He clarifies the expectation of all students being in school in the fall, masks, social distancing and transportation guidance. Our goal is to have students on our campuses as much as possible for in-person instruction while complying with health and safety requirements. Right now, we are planning for in-school instruction for elementary students and a hybrid instruction model of in-person and distance learning for middle and high school students. We are also upgrading the distance learning model in the event a school or the district may need to close again. While our initial goal was to make a final decision by July 24, we are delaying about one week to allow time to review staff and survey results and receive expected guidance from the state.
July 21 Update
As we enter into the middle of July, I know that students, staff and families are eager to learn about our plans for re-opening schools this fall.
I know some of you feel anxious about returning to school in the fall and that it is compounded by the pandemic’s spread in our country. Our goal for the 2020-21 school year is to have students on our campuses as much as possible for in-person instruction, while maintaining all health and safety requirements. The safety of our students and staff is paramount and we will not have in-person instruction if it is not safe. We also recognize this is a quickly changing situation so the district work groups are focusing on building a fluid system of models for the duration of this coming school year to provide:
- A robust Continuous Learning 2.0 model to be prepared for all possibilities that would require total or partial distance learning in case of a school or district closure
- A fully distance learning option for families who choose not to send their students to school for in-person instruction (pre K-12)
- An in-school instruction option for elementary students
- A hybrid instruction model option (rotating in-person and distance learning) for middle and high school students. We are in the process of determining how that hybrid model will look, but it will include a block schedule to allow for reduced transitions, will have longer instructional periods, and will provide more physical distancing for students.
Based on the feedback from parents, students, staff and community, it is clear that a “one-size fits all” model is not realistic or feasible. Some families are depending on schools to be open to better support students, provide social interaction, support parent work schedules and for a variety of other reasons. Other families are concerned about sending their children for in-person instruction due to health reasons, including possible exposure to vulnerable people in the child’s home. Please fill out the questionnaire about your family needs to give staff a ballpark idea of how many students to expect for in-person instruction and transportation in September. In August, there will be an opportunity for families to decide their course of instruction for their individual children.
The Mukilteo School District is committed to providing quality educational services to all students and their families, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, language, abilities, socioeconomic status, country of origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity. We are committed to promoting a vision for public education that advances inclusiveness, equity, and racial and social justice in our schools and society.
We value the following as we plan for the fall:
- Physically and emotionally safe environments for our staff and students
- Decisions made in the best interests of students and families
- Equitable supports for students
- Support for students that are furthest from educational justice
- Consistent and meaningful connections with each student
- High quality instruction for in person and remote learning
- Strong family-school partnerships in support of student learning