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Kent School District task force looks at remote learning proposal

Final plan to be reviewed Aug. 3 by School Board

The Back to School Task Force for the Kent School District looked at a remote learning plan last week as it prepares to make a recommendation to the School Board about what students and teachers will do in the fall.

A final decision about a back-to-school plan will be announced after the board adopts a measure on or before Aug. 12. School starts on Aug. 27.

“Our plans must be agile so we can adjust and update as needed, as the public health landscape continues to evolve,” according to a school district website post on July 17. “Please remember that this guidance may change as public health conditions evolve.”

Remote learning proposal

The task force focused last week on a plan for remote learning for all students. The group is finalizing details of the remote learning plan, including student participation expectations, grading guidelines and teaching expectations to ensure all instructional hours, whether done through remote or distance learning, independent learning evaluated by a teacher, or in-person learning, meet the State Board of Education requirements for a 180-day school year.

Remote learning will be available in the event school buildings remain closed in the fall, or should they close abruptly due to a resurgence of COVID-19, according to the district. Remote learning in 2020-21 will be of high-quality and consistently provided with more explicit expectations and accountability for instruction and assignments. Learning opportunities and supports for families on the districtwide learning management system, supplemental learning applications and student-teacher communication platform will be provided.

Ideally, throughout the school year, students will be engaged in remote learning in only short-term scenarios. However, the plan being finalized by the task force will provide schools the support needed for opening the school year in remote learning status if it is deemed necessary.

The task force also focused on how the district will continue to lead with the lens of equity, giving all students what they need to excel while recognizing the profound impacts this health crisis has had on students and their families.

Survey

All district families last week received a request to complete a Family Readiness survey by July 22. This survey will help the district know more precisely how many families are comfortable having students return to school buildings this fall, even in a part-time status. Additionally, staff received a survey explicitly addressing their concerns and needs for returning to school for the 2020-21 school year.

Next steps

• Discussing the three labor scenarios required by the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for reopening schools in the Back to School Task Force plan with all labor partners starting on July 20

• Providing the plan to the Kent School Board on Aug. 3 for review before the Aug. 12 board meeting for discussion and approval

• Submitting the board-approved plan to the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction on Aug. 13

• Starting the new school year on Aug. 27

For more about the reopening plan, visit kent.k12.wa.us/BacktoSchool.


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