Board of Education Approves School Restart Plan
After much deliberation, thoughtful discussion, listening to input from parents, educators, health experts, and even our students, our Board of Education has approved a plan that we feel balances the importance of taking care of the health and safety of our students and employees while also balancing the need to provide a quality education to our students.
We have heard from constituents across the district who care deeply about having in-person instruction, and we want them to know that we do, as well. That is why we have chosen a cautious and thoughtful approach to the beginning of the school year. We want our students back as soon as possible, and we feel that this slow and cautious start to the new year will allow us the opportunity to come back much sooner.
This plan includes our students beginning the year through remote learning. Remote learning will be in place until the end of the first quarter, OR until health conditions in our city improve and allow us to bring our students back into the classroom.
The first day of school for students will be Tuesday, September 8th. Moving the first day for students from the original start date of August 25th to September 8th gives us two weeks to do the following things:
- Distribute laptops, iPads, and other devices to students who need them. We have 1,000 iPads and nearly 13,000 laptops ready to be checked out to students, with 2,000 more laptops on the way.
- We’ll have a chance to administer tests to gauge student learning. It’s important for us to know where our students are academically, so we can teach to individual student needs this year.
- The two-week window will allow teachers to set up meetings with students and their families. Remote learning will go a lot more smoothly if students and teachers can first establish a personal connection. Then, when remote learning begins, students will already be familiar with the teacher speaking to them online. Ideally, these meetings would take place in person, but we can also take care of them via video conferencing if necessary.
- The new start date will also give us time to train parents on how to use Canvas, our online learning platform, and how to access other online resources. We’ve listened to parent feedback asking us to streamline our online learning. We hope that by consolidating all our learning onto ONE platform across the district, and by providing training for parents before remote learning begins, that this period of online instruction will be a more streamlined experiences for students, teachers, and parents.
As we move forward, this plan may need to be altered as health conditions change, but regardless of what phase we are in, we want to reassure our families that we are committed to our vision of Excellence and Equity: every student, every classroom, every day.