Distance Learning FAQ
The first day of school for grades 1-12 was Wednesday, Sept. 2.
The first day of school for kindergarten was Tuesday, Sept. 8. The first three days of the school year are used for family connection meetings for new kindergarteners and their families.
The first day of school for the Early Learning Center is Wednesday, Sept. 16.
Please use this resource to review expectations for the first week of school. If you have any questions, please reach out to your child's school.
We have learned a great deal about distance learning from family, student, and staff member feedback, and our experiences last spring. We have also spent countless hours this summer consulting with experts and reading articles on best practices in digital learning. We’ve developed an improved distance learning program for this fall that includes:
- A digital device for every individual student
- Pre-recorded "on-demand" lessons for new learning
- Full-class and small group "live" connections sessions to facilitate whole-group, small group, and individualized learning
- A mix of on-screen and off-screen learning and activities
- A consistent mode of communication with families and students about their learning through the adoption of a P-5 Learning Management System (LMS) called Seesaw and the streamlined use of Google Classroom at 6-12
Learn more by visiting our Distance Learning page, and view daily student schedules.
Great learning will happen at home this fall! Students will learn through a mix of non-screen time and screen time. To prepare for your child's non-screen time distance learning, here is a list of suggested, at-home learning supplies. Students will also need a Chromebook to access Distance Learning.
Attendance will be taken daily during Distance Learning, following guidelines from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to monitor student instructional time, and to proactively support student engagement.
We recognize that family schedules and situations vary, and our student learning schedules are as flexible as possible. Student absences will not be used in a punitive manner, and are not tied to grades.
However, it is essential that students engage and participate, daily, in as many live activities and on-demand assignments as possible. Participation and engagement are not optional.
Live sessions are critical to learning. Families should first prioritize their children's scheduled live sessions, and then drop-in live sessions during elementary Learning Lab and secondary Student Support times. Scheduled live sessions, or drop-in sessions during elementary Learning Lab (1:45 to 3 p.m.) and Secondary Student Support classes (9 to 9:30 a.m. and 3 to 3:30 p.m.), are where students can get individualized and/or small group support and teaching.
Outside of these times, please contact your teacher to find out how to connect 1:1 with them.
If students are not able to attend daily, live instruction opportunities, they can meet attendance requirements by completing work at other times of day through Google Classroom (for sixth- through 12th-graders) or Seesaw (for K through fifth-graders) and through watching on-demand videos and completing assignments within these systems.
When will attendance be taken?
Teachers will take attendance for the previous day. For example, attendance posted on a Tuesday morning will reflect student participation from Monday. Friday attendance will be posted on Monday. This allows our families who have differing work schedules and whose students may complete work later in the evening to still be counted as present.
Ways to show attendance
Students will be counted as present for the day if they do any of the following:
- Participate in their scheduled live sessions
- Participate in a drop-in live session
- Engage in an activity or assignment within Google Classroom or Seesaw
- Turn in an assignment
- Engage with their teacher about the day’s learning through email, phone call, etc.
Please contact your school’s attendance office professional (scroll down to find each school’s phone number, and ask to speak to the attendance office professional when calling).
We recognize that distance learning will present challenges for many families. Our first few weeks of school will focus on building our students’ ability to access and use their devices and learning platforms independently. Each student will have their own district-issued device to ensure they can access their classroom lessons and materials. We know this will take some time and practice. Teachers will also communicate with families on how to access instructional videos and manage learning platforms.
Teachers and school staff will work with families to create communication plans to ensure that we are responding to our students’ needs as best as we possibly can. Students will learn how to navigate the computer-based learning materials to ensure understanding and to increase engagement. Learning will not be solely online. There will also be individual check-ins, and opportunities for independent online learning, reading, and home experiences.
As they do each year, teachers will work to develop community in their learning environments where students feel welcomed and valued. We will work to establish norms and classroom expectations for learning and interacting with others, even in a distance learning setting. Teachers will engage students in small groups to build community with other students and get to know their students individually.
To start the year, students who receive special education and/or other intervention services will receive these services in a distance learning model. Special Education case managers will reach out to families to discuss each student’s needs and to discuss how services will be provided. All therapy services, (i.e., SLP, OT, PT, O&M, etc.) will be provided remotely as well.
We know that distance learning did not fully meet the needs of all of our students last spring. As such, the district has created schedules which will allow for a continuum of services and supports to be provided to students while in this distance learning model.
Some students for whom receiving instruction in a remote setting is a significant barrier to progress based upon data that cannot be overcome by additional services and support, may receive some level of in-person services once in-person services commences. At this point, the start date of any in-person services has not yet been determined.
Evaluations and IEPs that were postponed in the spring will be completed this fall by October 15, 2020. Your child’s psychologist or case manager will contact you to schedule these meetings.
We are striving to ensure that our kindergarten students receive instruction that is developmentally appropriate and combines instructional practices that engage students in activities to promote learning joyfully.
We will limit the amount of time students spend on independent "on demand" computer-based learning activities and work closely with families to build play and hands-on learning opportunities in their homes. Teachers will deliver "live connection" lessons to engage students in meaningful and fun ways.
There will also be an opportunity for students and families to connect with their teachers to build important relationships.
We distributed Chromebooks on Aug. 28. If your child is still in need of a Chromebook, or if your district-issued Chromebook needs to be replaced or repaired, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Families of preschool students will receive information about when and where to pick up a Chromebook.
If you have a district-issued device to return, please drop it off at the Educational Services Center, 12309 22nd St NE.
Hotspots: We have an extremely limited number of hotspots for families with zero Internet access. Please email email@example.com to inquire about a hotspot.
Weekly Wednesday Meal Kits, which will include five breakfasts and five lunches, will be available for children enrolled in Lake Stevens School District.
- Service begins Wednesday, Sept. 9.
- Due to changes in federal regulations, students will be charged for their meals based on their eligibility status: free, feduced, or full pay.
- Designated school pick up times and curbside pre-order service instructions for families will be available soon.
Yes! High school students will still stay on track for graduating on time. We are just moving from a semester-based system with shorter class periods, to a quarter-based system with longer class periods.
How does this work?
In "normal times" students take 6 classes a semester, and each class is 50 minutes long. Students earn .5 credit for each class over the course of a semester, which is 18 weeks long. At the end of a semester in "normal times," a student has earned a total of 3 credits (.5 credit for each of six classes).
On this model, students take 3 classes a quarter, and each is 90 minutes long. Students earn .5 credit for each class during the course of a quarter, which is 9 weeks long. The extra learning is made up because the class periods are nearly doubled. At the end of a quarter one on this model, a student earns 1.5 credits for three classes, and at the end of quarter two, the student earns 1.5 credits for the other three classes. Students end the two quarters (18 weeks' worth of classes) with a total of 3 credits, exactly the same as in "normal times."
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association adjusted its athletic calendar. As of right now, Lake Stevens School District is not offering athletics or extra curricular activities this fall. This decision to reinstate these activities will be based on health statistics and recommendations from the Snohomish County Health District and/or the Washington State Department of Health.
We are in close contact with our representatives from the College Board and International Baccalaureate to determine this. Please check back for more information.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has not announced whether the state testing will be cancelled again this year. We will share that decision as soon as it is announced.
We are working with our community partners and childcare providers to help support families during this unique time. Please review our list of local childcare resources and contact them directly for care.
ChildCare Aware has a list of childcare options, by region, for families. Additional information will be shared as soon as it becomes available.
As an essential service, childcare remained open through the Stay Home Stay Healthy orders. The science around children and COVID indicate young children are less likely to become infected. DOH adjusted the cohort or group size to fit the typical ratio size for childcare rooms for preschool-aged children. This is a maximum, and childcare providers may choose smaller group sizes. Childcare centers still follow DOH’s health and safety guidance, which includes symptom monitoring, distancing to the degree feasible, increased hand hygiene, cleaning, and ventilation. In addition, providers are now required to wear face coverings.
Lake Stevens School District will consider reopening facilities for community use on a limited basis once Snohomish County enters Phase 3 of the “Safe Start Washington” plan issued by the Office of the Governor.
The Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) decision tree (PDF) follows the similar low, medium and high risk framework described by the CDC based on rates of community transmission to inform local decision-making. The CDC says “Schools can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials to the extent possible, whether and how to implement these considerations while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable, and tailored to the needs of each community.”
District officials will work with the Snohomish Health District, who takes guidance from the Washington State Health Department, to look at COVID-19 activity levels to determine moving from distance learning to in-person learning. Community transmission must be low in order for schools to reopen safely for in-person learning. Gov. Jay Inslee, Superintendent Chris Reykdal and the state Department of Health announced a “decision tree” framework to help school districts determine how to resume learning this fall.
DOH’s “decision tree” framework offers metrics based on three COVID-19 activity levels:
- >75 cases per 100,000 in 14 days is considered a high COVID-19 activity level for a community. At this level, DOH recommends distance learning with the option for limited in-person learning who need it most – such as children with disabilities. Sports and extra curricular activities should remain on pause.
- 25–75 cases per 100,000 in 14 days is considered a moderate COVID-19 activity level. At this level, DOH recommends distance learning as described above, with gradual expansion of in-person education, beginning with elementary students. Younger students under the age of 10 benefit the most from in-person learning while also posing less risk for transmitting COVID-19 than older students. Most sports and extra curricular activities should remain on pause.
- Below 25 cases per 100,000 in 14 days is considered a low COVID-19 activity level. At this level, DOH recommends full-time in-person learning for all elementary students and hybrid learning for middle and high school, eventually moving to in-person for middle and high school.