Calvin Watts. FILE PHOTO

Calvin Watts. FILE PHOTO

Kent superintendent Watts releases update about 2020-2021 school year

‘I do want to be clear that no date for hybrid learning has been set at this time’

  • Friday, October 2, 2020 2:49pm
  • News

Kent School District Superintendent Calvin Watts issued the following statement Oct. 2 to update the community about the 2020-2021 school year and remote learning due to COVID-19:

“As September comes to an end, I wanted to provide a few important updates to our students, families, staff, and community as we continue working together to support a safe and successful 2020-2021 school year.

I know that back-to-school has never looked quite like this. And yet, we also know that significant connections are being established, and relationships are being built between teachers and students this year.

As we’ve continued to work through the technical and adaptive challenges of remote learning these first few weeks, the adults in KSD (Kent School District) have also been addressing schedule changes, lack of internet connectivity, increasing meal site locations, materials distribution, and so much more. However, we cannot lose sight of the fact that strong relationships with caring adults and educators are crucial to keeping students and families involved in school and engaged in their learning. Building strong relationships with our students and families is a focus for us all year, not just during September Attendance Awareness month or in this time of remote learning.

I want to also thank our students and families for doing the impossible, for adjusting to remote learning, and for displaying patience, compassion, and a willingness to learn. We continue to add resources, events, videos, and more to our Family Tech Academy on our website to support families and students during remote learning. Please continue checking our website, reading your email, and thank you for keeping your contact information up to date.

I know some students are not only surviving remote learning, but are thriving in this new environment. And to those struggling in remote learning, students and adults alike, I see you too. This is not going to last forever, and we are here to help, which leads me to my second update.

I shared information in a recent Family Update that we are preparing for a transition to hybrid learning. We must continue planning for the unexpected and responding to the constant shifts. Since the board approved our plan in August, guidance has changed, and our global understanding of the impact of COVID-19 continues to change. Our Back to School Task Force will come back together to make necessary revisions to ensure our current hybrid plan aligns with new and recent state and federal guidelines.

We have also launched a new KSD family survey because we want to hear directly from KSD families about your readiness for a hybrid learning schedule. This data will also be considered by the Task Force.

I do want to be clear that no date for hybrid learning has been set at this time. The KSD Board and I are committed to making this decision with the priority being on the health and safety of all students and staff. This decision cannot be rushed. It must be based in fact, not fear. And we must be sure we are prepared for the opportunities and challenges that a transition of this magnitude is sure to bring before we safely return to in-person learning. We will provide more information in the coming weeks through all KSD platforms and upcoming board meetings.

We are in this together. Thank you for your continued partnership during this health crisis. Stay safe, and stay healthy.”

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