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June 26, 2020

Kent School District Back to School Task Force Launches

We continue to be busy with our back to school planning as we are at this time each year. We know guidance from local, state, and federal guidance will continue to change. As our plans are developed, we also want to keep you informed of our planning progress and assure you that our Back to School Task Force members have a shared understanding and unwavering commitment to what drives our local decision-making: student and staff safety. 

Our Back to School Task Force met for the first time on Wednesday, June 25. The Kent School District Task Force includes labor partners, PTSA members, students, community members, and district staff. This group of dedicated individuals has volunteered to commit their time, energy, and expertise in providing plans for reopening schools and the continuing education of our students. After receiving the OSPI guidance on June 11, we first took the time to unpack the direction and then worked on the infrastructure for the task force that came together to build our KSD plan. As equity is a core value of our district, to the extent possible, we wanted our task force to be racially diverse and represent the students we serve. We also wanted to ensure all of our labor groups were also involved in the planning process. 

Our strategic plan, our core values of equity, excellence, and community, all health and safety requirements, will guide the work of this Task Force. They will explore the delivery of virtual instruction to various student groups, budget constraints, and consider both the feedback gathered in the recent Thoughtexchange and the still open Family Climate Survey.

We will be engaging in intense planning to finalize a Back to School Plan for KSD board approval in alignment with OSPI guidance, which includes planning for three scenarios.

  1. All Students Physically in School Buildings. This scenario requires ensuring all physical distancing, hygiene practices, cleaning, and disinfecting procedures are met. We are prepared to support students and staff for the social-emotional transition back into the building. 
  2. Hybrid. This scenario includes both in-person and remote, online instruction. This scenario also means ensuring all safety and health guidelines are met for in-person instruction in all buildings. 
  3. Continuous Learning 2.0. This scenario includes preparing for all students to participate in 100% remote learning. 

By involving all KSD Employee groups, PTSA representatives, students, and community members in the development of this plan and including resources, checklists, and best practices to be delivered to all staff in early August, this should allow planning time for educators and school operations staff to coordinate this enormous transition. 

A final KSD Reopening Plan will be shared with the school board no later than August 3, 2020, for adoption by August 13, 2020. 

For our students’ future success, health, and safety, we will never waver in our commitment to supporting them on their educational journey as we work on plans to reopen our schools and prepare for the school year ahead.