Courtesy File Photo/Kent School District

Courtesy File Photo/Kent School District

Kent School District task force examines hybrid learning model in fall

Students won’t return full-time to buildings; final plan still to be determined

  • Tuesday, July 14, 2020 9:39am
  • News

Students in the Kent School District won’t be returning to buildings full-time in the fall, according to the latest report from the Back to School Task Force.

“Our desire remains to return to in-person instruction daily, safely for all KSD students and staff,” according to a task force post July 10 on the school district website. “At this time, we cannot ensure student and staff safety and have in-person instruction every day for all students at the start of the 2020-21 school year.”

Because of that decision, the task force is developing a hybrid learning model with students attending school in-person regularly but not daily. School district families will receive a readiness survey this week to help the task force know how many families are comfortable having students returns to school buildings this fall, even in a part-time status.

The task force noted that the nature of COVID-19 presents many unknowns; so its approach continues to be adaptable with equity and safety at the center of its planning.

“We acknowledge the need our families and staff have for accurate and timely information as soon as possible,” according to the task force. “Collectively our Back to School Task Force has come together to tackle the challenges planning for reopening our schools during this time. Our task force represents the perspective of parents, community members, students and all-district labor groups. Many of our nearly 4,000 staff can relate to the challenges as they are also parents who need to plan childcare, transportation and work schedules on the days their children will be learning at home.”

Instruction in both the hybrid model and remote learning model will be different than the continuous learning students experienced from the closure of buildings March 17 through the end of the 2019-20 school year:

• Per Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) guidelines, remote learning in any model will more closely align with in-person learning expectations

• Students will be assessed, and grading will be aligned to standards, regardless of the instructional setting

• All student work will count towards the determination of the student’s performance level

• Ongoing student engagement will be expected and closely monitored

* More training on the districtwide learning management system will be provided so that students and teachers can engage with each other daily on one consistent districtwide platform

• Information and training will also be provided on district-approved supplemental applications for learning and communication

“We will all need to continue to be agile and patient in the coming weeks,” according to the task force. “The plans our Back to School Task Force are preparing may change. We continue to receive new and updated guidance from local, state and federal authorities regularly. Right now, we are seeing spikes in COVID-19 cases as states have reopened. Any number of factors may cause us to shift between learning models before or after our first day of school.”

District staff plans to present a final reopening plan to the school board no later than Aug. 3 for adoption by Aug. 13. School is scheduled to begin on Aug. 27.

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