Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When will the distribution of Free Farmers to Families Boxes boxes begin?
Answered May 19, 2020: Distribution of the boxes will begin Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Pick Up Every Wednesday Beginning May 27.
Pacific Coast Fruit Company received a $24.8 million contract from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help get food boxes to people in need in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. Procurement of the food and production of the boxes began Monday, May 18. For families in Kent School District, Tacoma Public Schools, and Federal Way School, distribution of the boxes begins Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
What is "Virtual Instruction"?
Answered April 24, 2020: Virtual instruction allows teachers and students to engage in synchronous instruction, similar to what might be experienced face-to-face in the classroom. The teacher would schedule a meeting with the class. The teacher will deliver instruction (preferably embedding appropriate checks for understanding) in a shorter amount of time than what might typically be delivered in a live classroom setting. Students will have time to engage in multiple opportunities to process and apply learning (i.e. sharing information, independent reading, discussion, collaborating, creating). The teacher could check in on individual or small groups of students during this time with individual chats. The teacher could provide just-in-time feedback to students to support their learning and respond to questions and challenges students might be facing.
What is a "Posted Lesson"?
Answered April 24, 2020: Lessons will be posted for, or emailed to, students to access the same day and time each week with either written step-by-step directions or an accompanying instructional video to support and guide students through instruction. Students will work to complete the assigned tasks, post, or submit assignments to their teacher, and review and apply feedback provided by the teacher.
Can teachers do both virtual instruction and posted lessons?
Answered April 24, 2020: Teachers may choose to switch between the Virtual Instruction and Posted Lesson models at their discretion.
When will instruction or lessons be posted?
Answered April 24, 2020: Instruction will be delivered virtually or scheduled for students to complete on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at their own pace
Why are there no office hours for teachers on Wednesdays?
Answered April 24, 2020: Teachers will use Wednesdays, and remaining workweek hours for planning, collaboration, and professional learning. Our adults are learning a great deal at this time too.
When are teacher office hours and what are they for?
Answered April 24, 2020: Teachers will hold regularly scheduled office hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from either 8:00 to 11:00 am or 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
During this time employees will remain available to communicate with students and families to support student learning. Teachers will be available by email, phone or teleconference through district provided software.
Teachers will communicate with students and families who have contacted them for support and will have the initiate contact with students and families who they have identified as needing support.
What is being done for Inclusive Education Students?
Answered April 24, 2020: All KSD students are general education students first. Special education teachers and ESAs will utilize available platforms to move their students toward IEP goals as much as possible in the online/remote learning environment. The format and delivery of the learning of special education students may look different than their peers.
What is being done for Highly Capable (HiCap) students?
Answered April 24, 2020: The format and delivery of the learning of students in HiCap classes may look different than their peers.
How is grading being done for students?
Answered April 24, 2020: We are continuing to review the new requirements for grades from the released Tuesday night, April 21. We will provide more information soon. What we do know is that secondary students will not earn grades lower than the grade they had at the closure of school on March 16 and elementary students will move on to the next grade in the Fall of 2020.
Why is KSD calling it continuous learning not distance or remote learning?
Answered April 24, 2020: Our Continuous Learning Plan is aligned with OSPI’s Continuous Learning 2020 Publication. The term “continuous learning” means establishing and maintaining connections with students and families to provide learning materials and supports using a variety of modalities (e.g., email, phone, printed learning materials, and available online platforms).
How many free meals is KSD serving each week for children?
Answered April 22, 2020 by Dr. Watts at the KSD Board Meeting, Updated April 28, 2020:
Federal rules do not require that students qualify for free or reduced lunch to receive a meal, and they do not need to be present. Our current free meal distribution model is a once a week distribution model which began Monday, April 13.
Our meal boxes contain 10 meals in each box, 5 breakfast meals and 5 lunch meals. We notified our entire KSD community that this new distribution model is to help support social distancing and support the safety and well-being of our entire KSD community, including our staff and volunteers who are distributing the meals.
- On Monday, April 27 we distributed 6,080 boxes (60,800 meals) of the 6,991 boxes that we prepared (69,910 meals). Food items not distributed today will be donated or if possible saved for distribution next week.
- We did pass out all of the meals prepared on our distribution day, Monday, April 20, a total of 51,110 meals, this was 12,368 meals more than the prior week, an average of average 10,222 meals/day.
- On Monday, April 13 all 3,874 boxes or 38,742 total meals were distributed. This was an increase of 12,644 meals more than the prior week, and an average of average 7,748 meals/day.
- This is all good news. We continue to supply breakfast and lunch to our students in the KSD community each week during this global health crisis and families only have to leave their homes one time per week to pick them up.
- Since the statewide school closure began on March 17, we have served 168,082 total meals - 84,041 lunches and 84,041 breakfasts.
- And based on our continued need, we are planning and preparing to increase our meal service by 16,000 meals with expectations to serve 67,000 meals on April 27.
Like in other communities in our region, state and nation, the need for support is great and continues to grow. Our KSD staff are rising to the challenge. Next week we will get a chance to do it again and we will prepare more meals for our children in the KSD community. We are committed to continuing to provide the meals students would normally have received during the school day, and on our website we have linked to local food banks, our partners and other community resources.
Will KSD Participate in the #BeTheLightWA night on April 17?
Answered April 16, 2020: At this time we will continue to follow the Governor’s directives. Students and families please continue to “Stay Home/Stay Safe”. We hope to participate in “BetheLightWA” at a later date. Our high schools will be posting information as this opportunity develops.
Will KSD provide on-site instruction during the closure for students with "significant needs"?
Answered April 8, 2020: On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced the extension of K-12 school closures through the remainder of the academic year. The order provides a direction for schools as they plan for the remainder of the school year. Under the order, schools are expected to continue education delivery through distance learning and continue to make progress in providing these services equitably. Under the order, school facilities may continue to be used for preparation of food service, child care and, under very limited circumstances, to provide other social services that are not possible to be provided off-site.At all times, these services are only allowed if they follow public health guidelines. To protect the health of students, staff, and providers, the intention is not that school buildings should be open and serving all students with significant needs. The intention is to provide districts with the ability to provide essential and necessary in-person services to individual students in the very rare circumstance that the services cannot be provided at a distance. (Governor Statement)
When can I pick up my or my child’s school supplies/instrument/belongings at the schools?
Answered April 8, 2020: At some point we will allow entry back into our school buildings at this time they remain closed. Our first priority is the health and wellbeing of all of our community members. The current “Stay Home Stay Healthy” order from Governor Inslee is in place through May 4, we will not reconsider opening buildings until that time. If there is a medical necessity to pick up an item now please contact your principal who can work with District Leadership on a plan to access the building. Please continue reading your email and checking our website and social media for updates on access to school buildings.
Are laptops going to be deployed to elementary students?
Answered April 3, 2020: We are committed to ensuring equity of access to technology for all KSD students and would like complete this short survey which asks questions about your household computer and internet access as well as support needed for continued learning at home. If you request additional information about access to technology, you will be asked to provide your contact information. We will begin deploying devices to those in need after spring break and are working to secure additional hotspots for families in need. We have been working through the safest way for families and our staff members to deploy devices to our families. We encourage any enrolled KSD family needing a device or support to complete the survey by April 10.
In the Superintendent’s message on April 3, Watts Happening, we deployed our KSD Home Technology Access Survey. Dr. Watts monthly newsletter is sent via Peachjar, goes directly to families and has the highest open rates of all of our newsletters we send to families, which is why we sent it via this platform first. We also posted the survey information on our Closure page Friday and our FAQ, and sent a mobile app notification Saturday. Did you know 76% of our families are signed up to receive mobile notifications from our district? We will continue promoting the survey on social media to families. Our communication plans are rooted in data informed decisions and include email, phone call, text, website, mobile app, and social media.
Is the district providing online learning for the prolonged school closure?
Updated March 27, 2020: On Monday, March 23, 2020 the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) changed its position on educational services during this school closure. The new guidance is that education must continue during the closure.
We have been consistently working on our continuous learning plan while all schools are closed through Friday, April 24. With this plan, we are also working hard to ensure that students who need devices get them. As a district, we plan to meet the guidelines from OSPI which includes instruction using printed learning materials, phone contact with teachers, email with teachers, technology-based virtual instruction, or a combination to meet student needs. We are working with our labor partners and Teaching and Learning to come to agreement on how we will meet this guidance.
More information is coming next week (March 30 - April 3). We appreciate your patience as we adjust and readjust to shifting circumstances and direction. Thank you in advance for your flexibility and patience!
In the meantime, please use our learning support resources by level:
- Elementary Resources & Elementary Daily Schedule
- Inclusive Education Resources
- Secondary Resources & Secondary Daily Schedule
Why are the school playgrounds and fields closed?
Answer updated March 23, 2020: Based on health department guidance and in alignment with Governor Inslee's Stay Home Stay Healthy Order, Kent Parks Recreation & Community Services, Kent School District playgrounds are closed to the public. This is an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. This means:
- "Touch surfaces" including playground structures and swing sets are closed
- All courts and fields are closed
- Everyone must maintain social distancing
- Groups of people may not gather
Please observe these rules so we can all do our part to slow the spread.
What is social distancing?
Answered March 22, 2020: Social distancing is staying away from crowds or congregations of 10 or more people with the intent of minimizing transmission of infectious disease outbreaks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance — approximately 6 feet— from others when possible.” Social distancing is recommended because medical professionals know that the virus that causes COVID-19 can travel at least 3 feet when coughed or sneezed and can live on surfaces for hours to days.
Will student graduations in June be impacted? What about AP or IB testing?
Updated March 19, 2020, Answered March 15, 2020: We are in close contact with OSPI. There are a number decisions that need to be made to support our students. More information will be coming soon. The State Board of Education will hold a Special Meeting on Thursday, March 26, regarding considerations for a waiver that will provide flexibility so students in the graduating Class of 2020 or earlier, who were on track to graduate, are not held back by school closures due to the novel coronavirus. The State Board expects to adopt emergency rules by the middle of April.
What conversations should parents have with their children at home?
Answered March 15, 2020: We know families, staff, and students are worried. We are committed to keeping you informed and working with you to keep our school communities safe. Want resources to share with your children? Here’s an informative graphic resource from NPR. Resources will continue to be shared with KSD families via Peachjar and KSD Social Media platforms, and the KSD App.
Where can I turn for more information?
- 2019 novel coronavirus (2019 nCov), Public Health Seattle & King County (this site includes FAQ in English, Spanish and Chinese)
- Novel Coronavirus Outbreak 2020, WA State Department of Health
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Guidance for Travelers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- WA State Department of Health novel coronavirus call center: 1-800-525-0127
As with any newly emerging infectious disease, knowledge evolves with time. Early on, it is difficult to know the source of the disease, the ways in which it spreads, how effectively it spreads from person to person, and how severe the infection is. We will continue to update the Public Health – Seattle & King County novel coronavirus webpage as more information becomes available.
Where should I turn for accurate information or to ask specific questions?
Please continue to consult the CDC, DOH, and PHSKC webpages for the most up-to-date information:
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- Washington Department of Health (DOH), Coronavirus School Resources and Recommendations
- Public Health – Seattle and King County (PHSKC), Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
If you have specific concerns about an exposure in your school, please call (206) 296-4774. We aim to address urgent questions as quickly as possible. For general questions about COVID-19 or Washington State’s response, we encourage families, students, and the public to call the Washington State Call Center at 800-525-0127.
How should we talk about coronavirus with our students and other children in our lives?
This situation can raise fear and anxiety for both adults and children. The following resources and helpful articles are available to families.
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus.” (NPR)
- Helping children cope with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak (World Health Organization PDF)
- Coping with stress during the 2019-nCoV outbreak (World Health Organization PDF)
Where can I find additional resources about stigma and discrimination?
Misinformation about coronavirus and COVID-19 can create fear and hostility that hurts people and makes it harder to keep everyone healthy. We’re stronger as a community when we stand together against discrimination. Together we can prevent, interrupt, and respond to stigma.
- Rely on and share trusted sources of information.
- Speak up if you hear, see, or read stigmatizing or harassing comments or misinformation.
- Show compassion and support for individuals and communities more closely impacted.
- Avoid stigmatizing people who are in quarantine. They are making the right choice for their communities.
- Do not make assumptions about someone’s health status based on their ethnicity, race or national origin.
Public Health – Seattle & King County has an anti-stigma toolkit with social media tools, a poster, infographic, and other information to help you prevent, interrupt, and respond to stigma.