Feb. 12, 2021 Family message
Dear Mukilteo School District families,
The Mukilteo Education Association (MEA) approved the tentative agreement for elementary schools on Wednesday evening. I am grateful for the agreement, but more importantly, I appreciate our partnership over the past several months as we worked through many new and complex issues.
What does this mean for families?
With the agreement in place, we can now expand in-person learning to full elementary grade levels. We will begin with grades K-2, one grade at a time. We will confirm each grade level’s return date at least two weeks prior to their start. Here is the timeline for the return to in-person learning:
- Preschool: Feb. 22
- ECEAP: March 1
- Grade 2: March 8
- Grade 1: March 22 - tentative
- Kindergarten: March 29 - tentative
We are in the process of surveying K-2 families about their plans for the remainder of the year. Students may choose to remain in a fully distance learning model, return for in-person learning in the mornings and have distance learning in the afternoons, or select either option with the hope they can remain with their current teacher. We will make every effort to keep students with their current teacher, but we know there may be situations in which that is not possible. About 85 percent of K-2 parents have responded so far. The current results reflect that about 32 percent would like to stay with distance learning, 42 percent plan to return to the in-person hybrid schedule, and 26 said either option is fine, but they prefer to stay with their current teacher if possible.
In-person learning schedule
Students who attend in-person will have core subject instruction in English Language Arts, Math and Social Emotional Learning in the morning. Teachers will provide outdoor mask and movement breaks as needed. Students will eat breakfast and lunch at home (free grab and go lunches will be available for all interested students) before rejoining learning remotely. Afternoons may include more synchronous learning with the teacher via Zoom, asynchronous learning, specialist time, or independent work.
District transportation will be provided for students participating in the YMCA or Boys and Girls Club childcare.
Town Hall webinars
To help share this information and answer questions, we’ll hold another round of town hall style webinars for staff and families on Feb. 24. We’ll present the same information in Spanish on Feb. 25. Watch your email for details and the links to join as we get closer to the webinar dates. I’ve also included answers to a few frequent questions we’ve received from families.
While there is still work to do to expand in-person learning, I appreciate your patience and flexibility throughout this past year. Thank you for all you are doing to support your children’s learning from home.
Frequently asked questions
Why can’t kindergarten through second grade start in-person learning sooner?
As we transition more students to in-person learning, there are many things that must happen. For instance, due to class size limits, we will likely need to hire additional teachers. We will need time to bring back bus drivers and food service workers who were furloughed before school began. Teachers will need time to transition back to their classrooms. By allowing a few weeks before grade levels return to in-person learning, it will give us time to change schedules, communicate with families, train staff, and establish and communicate bus routes.
When will other elementary grade levels return to in-person learning?
In the next few weeks, we will survey families with children in grades three through five about their plans to return to in-person learning. As we’ve committed, we will give at least two weeks’ notice to each grade level before they return.
What about middle and high school students?
The district will also expand in-person opportunities for small groups of secondary students with specific needs. These groups may include seniors who are in danger of losing credits needed to graduate, English learners or students in specialized programs. We are continuing to look for opportunities to bring more students back for in-person learning. We will continue to update families as plans develop.
Dr. Alison Brynelson