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    Posted on 6/19/2020

    Planning for 2020-21: Reopening Update

    As we wrap up this school year, we have been planning for 2020-21. We hope that at the start of the new school year, King County is in Phase 4 of the Governor Inslee's reopening plan. If we are, in alignment with public health agency recommendations and the governor's plan, school will resume as normal and students, who choose to, will return to face-to-face classroom instruction.

    Unfortunately, we don't know what will happen over these next few months, so a contingency plan is needed, including how we will address a potential resurgence of COVID-19 in our community.

    Four engagement teams of just over 100 participants that included students, parents, educators, school leaders, community partners, and central office administrators have been meeting to develop priorities for school in the fall — responsive to safety measures required for each phase of re-opening and the experiences of our students and families furthest from educational justice.

    The engagement teams worked together to understand the operational and budget constraints, public health and safety guidelines, and feedback gathered in a recent staff, family, and leadership survey.

    Values and Priorities

    Common values and priorities emerged from the four groups and leadership team:

    1. Prioritized students furthest from educational justice (e.g., African American Males (AAM), Special Ed, English Language Learners (ELL), McKinney-Vento (students experiencing homelessness or unstable housing))
    2. Prefer some in-person education as part of the solution along with choice for those who may want to stay home.
    3. Need to have multiple models and flexibility to support students furthest away from educational justice.
    4. Need to provide family choice around what model(s) are available.
    5. Effective two-way communication with students and families, especially those who need language support and may have access barriers.
    6. Need for collaboration between SPS/SEA/PASS to ensure needs of students are being met including training.
    7. The importance of having support for student both inside and outside of buildings or online including mental health supports.
    8. Improving delivery of online education.
    9. Develop strong partnerships with community and family.

    Model Framework

    These values and priorities resulted in a model framework. If King County is in Phase 2 or 3 this fall, some type of in-person, part-time instruction will be provided for all K-12 students with the option of 100% online, remote learning for families who aren't ready to send their students back to school buildings.

    Regular in-person instruction will resume when we are in Phase 4.

    • 100% online learning will be provided as an opt-in option for any family that does not want to return in person. This option will also be available in the event buildings remain closed through fall or close abruptly due to a resurgence of COVID-19. Online learning will be high-quality and consistently provided with clearer expectations and accountability for instruction and assignments. Online learning will be provided on a reliable schedule that includes live instruction, video lessons, and small group supports, etc. Over the summer months, educators, school leaders, and a digital learning task force will prepare for delivery of these enhanced supports.
    • A blended model with some in-person learning for all K-12 students and some remote, online instruction. This scenario is highly dependent on public health guidelines and if we are in Phase 2 or 3 in the fall. It was determined by the Reopening Leadership Team with input from the engagement teams that while the hope is to provide in-person class time for everyone, social distancing guidelines may require a phased in approach or starting with smaller student numbers. In doing that, priority would be given to students of color furthest from educational justice, students who require in-person therapy, students who receive Special Education services or IEP supports that can't be delivered online, students who receive services as English Learners, and students supported by McKinney Vento – students experiencing homelessness or unstable housing. Teams also expressed interest in providing additional in-person instruction for K-3 students and students in transition years – sixth grade and ninth grade. The schedule for a blended model, part-time in person and part-time remote learning, is yet to be determined. The in-person schedule is dependent on the physical capacity of our buildings. We are exploring partnerships with community organizations to increase space capacity.
    • A full return to in-person classes. A full return to regular instruction will require we are in Phase 4 and that we follow guidelines of Public Health. While we are hopeful, this scenario is unlikely in Fall 2020.