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September 30, 2020 Message from Superintendent Ben Ferney

Dear Families and Staff,

 

We are excited to share Valley School District’s plan to move from Stage 2 to Stage 3 in our 5-Stage Reopening Plan (refer to the Stages of Reopening summary on the VSD website). This plan has been developed and reviewed in coordination with the Northeast Tri County Health District and our insurance provider, Clear Risk Solutions. 

 

Our administrators and staff have been working diligently to prepare for the reopening of schools and are ready to help students and families make this transition. We will be hosting a virtual Reopening Meeting for families and community members on Tuesday, October 6th at 6:00 p.m., during which the District Leadership Team will provide important information about this Reopening Plan.

 

Additionally, the District Leadership Team members have created a COVID-19 Training video to guide students, families and staff in our health and safety protocols. A link to the training video will be available on the district website at www.valleysd.org (link URL: https://valleyk12wa-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/becky_parrill_valleyk8_org/ESQOk2tFSVtPlrnWvXqx7ksBBSJDTATjLp-mFW2nkaBeNw?e=nQXBww).

 

In moving from Stage 2 to Stage 3, our priority is to implement a cautious and stepped approach by bringing students back to campus over several weeks, starting with our youngest learners who have been shown to have the biggest challenges in remote learning. 

 

The targeted starting dates for each grade band’s arrival on campus and a brief schedule is:

 

Primary Grades K-2 – start Monday, October 12th

Kindergarten

  • Two cohorts (groups) with one teacher
  • Cohort A will attend Mon/Wed
  • Cohort B will attend Tues/Thur
  • Schedule: Full days, 8:30-2:15
  • Friday – Teacher Prep Day and connecting with distance learners

1st Grade

  • Single cohort
  • Schedule: Attend full days Mon-Thur, 8:30-2:15
  • Friday – Teacher Prep Day and connecting with distance learners

2nd Grade

  • Two cohorts with two teachers
  • Schedule: Attend full days Mon-Thur, 8:30-2:15
  • Friday – Teacher Prep Day and connecting with distance learners 

 K-2 grade bands represents roughly 1/3 of the K-8 student population

 

Intermediate Grades 3-5 – start Monday, October 19th

  • One cohort for each grade level
  • Schedule: Attend full days Mon-Thurs, 8:30-2:15
  • Friday – Teacher Prep Day and connecting with distance learners

High School Grades 9-12 – start Monday, October 19th

  • One cohort for each grade level
  • Each grade level cohort will attend one day a week
  • Schedule: Full days Mon-Thurs, 8:30-2:15
  • Friday – Teacher Prep Day and connecting with distance learners
  • Distance learning continues on days students are not on campus

Middle School Grades 6-8 – start Monday, October 26th

  • One cohort for each grade level
  • Cohort by grade level as much as possible
  • Schedule: Attend full days Mon-Thurs, 8:30-2:15
  • Friday – Teacher Prep Day and connecting with distance learners

Valley Early Learning Center (preschool) is already in operation with students attending on campus full time.

Targeted starting dates may change due to COVID-19 community spread, staffing needs, and other extenuating circumstances.

 

 

Valley School District staff are excited to have our students back on campus! We’re looking forward to connecting with you at the Reopening Meeting on October 6th at 6:00 pm online via Microsoft TEAMS. Meeting information and a link to the log-in will be released soon.

 

Please be sure to review the COVID-19 Training video where you and your students will find answers to the most frequently asked questions that have come our way so far.

 

During this transition, it will be important for ALL of us to be fluid and flexible as we move forward. Remember, we are all in this situation together, and Together is Better.

 

Take care,

 

Ben

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Here are additional details from the Valley School District 2020-2021 Reopening Plan, found at www.valleysd.org:

 

2. GENERAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

 

2.1. Valley School District will start the 2020-21 school year with students participating in distance learning from home. As the first semester unfolds, the District Leadership Team will make decisions about phasing in face-to-face learning, using a “hybrid” learning model combining some remote and some in-person instruction for some or all students. Decisions will be based on current local and regional COVID-19 infection levels indicating more favorable conditions for operating schools effectively with health and safety measures in place. 

 

2.2. District employees, school staff, and parents will work together as best we can to support our students during transitions from distance learning to in-person learning at school and, perhaps, back again. VSD will offer in-person educational services to the extent students, staff and parents can come together with confidence in everyone’s health and safety, including family members at home. Regardless of where we work and learn, we are committed to helping all students achieve learning goals. 

 

2.3. Valley School District typically has small class sizes (15-20 students) per grade, allowing ample space in classrooms to support social distancing when students and staff are at school. Auxiliary spaces such as the gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms, and music rooms will be utilized when needed for larger cohorts to support physical distancing requirements.