Update for July 29, 2020

Posted by Lake Stevens School District on 7/29/2020

Dear Lake Stevens School District families,

This afternoon, the Snohomish County Health District made a recommendation that schools should not reopen for in-person learning this fall due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in our area. Tonight, the Lake Stevens School District Board of Directors held an emergency meeting where they supported this recommendation in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our students and staff members.

We will begin the 2020-21 school year with distance learning only, on Wednesday, Sept. 2. Detailed information will be shared in the coming weeks to assist with this transition.

What will distance learning look like?
During the emergency school closure last spring, we learned a great deal about the successes and challenges related to distance learning. While our staff did an excellent job of moving to this new way of instruction with little opportunity for preparation, we know that many improvements are needed when we return to distance learning in the fall. Your feedback, and the feedback from our staff members and students, has been critical in this process.

This fall’s distance learning will be high-quality and consistent with explicit expectations and accountability for teaching and learning. We will continue to provide professional learning opportunities to our staff members, and will also explore learning opportunities for our families to better understand this learning model.

Distance learning this fall will include:

  • A Learning Management System that provides consistency in the sharing and organizing of assignments and assessments; providing feedback; sharing content; and communicating with students and families
  • Daily student connections with teachers
  • Live and recorded teaching lessons using robust video tools
  • Small group instruction
  • Engagement and assignment expectations
  • Daily student attendance
  • More traditional grading system at all grade levels

We know that distance learning cannot fully meet the needs of all of our students. We are working to identify how to provide an appropriate continuum of services for students who receive special education and other important interventions.

When will students physically return to school?
In partnership with the Snohomish County Health District, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 infection data, and will reevaluate our School Reopening Plan to determine when it is safe to move to the next learning model. The School Reopening Plan—created by our School Reopening Workgroup— needs to be approved by the Board of Directors, and tentatively includes three learning models:

  • Distance learning at home
  • Hybrid learning that includes a combination of in-person and distance learning
  • Complete in-person learning for all students

We are extremely grateful to our School Reopening Workgroup for their dedication and perseverance to create guidance around In-Person Instruction, Online Learning, and Operations. This important work will be utilized right away, and will be especially important when we can transition to in-person learning.

Additional resources and information

All students will have the opportunity to check out a Chromebook as part of our 1:1 program. Wifi hotspots will also be available on an as-needed basis. Additional information will be shared as soon as it becomes available.

We will continue to offer meals to our students during the school week, and are in the process of refining this plan.

We are also working with our community partners and childcare providers to help support families during this unique time. Additional information will be shared as soon as it becomes available.

We know that you likely have numerous questions. While we don’t have all the answers at this moment, please know that we are working extremely hard to best serve our students.

This is a challenging time for everyone, and I ask that you continue to show compassion and grace to one another, and to our amazing district staff members. While this isn’t what we had hoped for, we look forward to the return to school, and the opportunity to virtually reconnect with our students, staff and families.

Warm regards,

Dr. Amy Beth Cook