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April 8, 2020

With Monday’s announcement of our schools being closed through the end of the school year, we wanted to be sure that all members of our KSD Community are fully aware of our Phased Continuous Learning Plan and what this new announcement means for our next phase.

The plan described below will provide instruction for students to make progress in their learning using our district curriculum. Our plans moving forward include support for student learning now that the statewide school closure is extended through the remainder of this school year. Our plans are developed using guidance from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), from the State Board of Education, in collaboration with the Kent Education Association (KEA), and in consultation with regional public school districts.

The timing and actions in the plan are intended to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that our teachers and other certificated staff are equipped to provide meaningful learning experiences for students. This information is not exhaustive, and we will need to adjust as the COVID-19 situation develops, as we receive new guidance, and as we learn from our experience.

 

KSD Continuous Learning Plan March 16 – April 24

Kent School District is committed to meeting OSPI’s guidance to provide continuous learning for each of our students. In our effort to maintain learning during this transition, the following supports and structures are in place or are currently in development:

Phase 1

  • Online learning resources and suggested learning schedules for all students by level and for Inclusive Education students available online March 16.

Phase 2

  • Online learning resource packets are available for all students and families by grade level and content area beginning April 3.
  • 2-3 weeks of learning packets are being mailed home to students and families for grades K-6. These packets should arrive early in the week of April 13 and are also available online.
  • Online learning packets available for secondary students online April 3.
  • Videos for parents and guardians supporting students using these packets are in development and will be available on our website.

Phase 3

  • Staff “office hours” and informing families how to best communicate with teachers begin April 13.
  • KSD Staff are also taking professional learning how to use Microsoft Teams for one to one and classroom connections with students.
  • Planning teams made up of teachers, principals, and assistant principals will convene to help further develop instructional resources for students and families.

 

April 6-10:  Scheduled Spring Break 

The Kent School District is following our planned/calendared spring break this week. Teachers will not be providing instruction this week. Please note that meal delivery and essential personnel childcare are continuing during the break.

 

KSD Home Technology Access Survey

We are committed to ensuring equity of access to technology for all KSD students and would like you to 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.

 

Continuation and Monitoring of KSD Continuous Learning Plan April 27 – June 18  

Phase 4

Our current plans are to continue with and expand the work that will start with our students and families the week of April 13. At the same time, we recognize that we may need to adjust based on what we learn as we move to this new form of remote teaching and learning at home. For example, it may be necessary to adjust daily learning targets, use different district digital tools, or respond to new/updated state or federal guidance.

We are working with our labor partners to ensure that our students continue to receive the continuous learning they need in alignment with the new state guidelines.

We also know that, given the challenges and variability in environments, our students may not learn at the same rate as they would have under normal circumstances. We will continue to do our best to address these challenges as we learn together in this very new environment. School and district administrators, with feedback from teachers, will monitor student learning in case expectations need to be adjusted. 

In addition, KSD will begin planning for the 2020-21 school year including:

  • Ensuring courses next year align with the essential learnings for this year.
  • Completing course selection and class placement
  • Hiring staff and all other typical pre-planning activities
  • Preparing a new plan for continuity of learning in the case of future emergency school closures, including the selection of a more comprehensive learning management system
     

2019-20 High School Credits, Grading, and Graduation

We also want to provide you an update on how we hope to proceed with grading and credits in the 2019—2020 school year.  First, we are absolutely committed to helping our seniors graduate on time.  To this end, we will continue to monitor the guidance from the Governor, OSPI and the State Board of Education through the spring.  Please note guidance could change, and we will adjust accordingly if it does. The State Board of Education is scheduled to issue their guidance and waivers in mid-April.

Our primary goal is to assist all students (including middle school students taking high school credit classes) in earning credits toward graduation. 

We are exploring the possibility of implementing a Pass/No Credit grading option for semester two courses. OSPI will be releasing grading guidance in mid-April and we will align our practices to state guidance. We are seeing an increasing awareness and understanding of our need to do this from our higher education partners both in WA State and outside WA State (in technical, two and four-year institutions). 
We are awaiting a response to this plan from NCAA. We do not yet know how they will interpret P/NC grades on a transcript.  If you are a student-athlete, please also reach out to the NCAA directly for more information.

AND

We will apply for the authority to waive graduation requirements in mid-April and work closely with administrators and counselors to waive graduation requirements for those students who are eligible and in a manner consistent with the guidance from the State Board of Education.
 

Thank you to all of our students and families for your grace and patience as we have worked to address the challenges resulting from the closure of our schools. We miss working directly with our students, but we are committed to making this Continuous Learning Plan experience positive and productive.