I hope the district patrons are finding value in the “USD327 @ 3:27” notes. My hope is that these will provide information of our progress as a district as we move closer to the new school year. I cannot reiterate enough, how fluid the situation is. When I talk about the “situation”, I mean the things we publish, the decisions we have made, the decisions we will make and so forth – they can change as guidance comes from the Kansas State Department of Education ( KSDE ), the State, our situation report locally, and the medical community as a whole.
Commissioner of Education, Dr. Watson, used a great analogy yesterday, when he spoke to the Kansas Superintendents. He mentioned General Eisenhower and how he had planned for a year-and-half for the allied invasion of Europe during WWII. They made all these plans, but when it came down to it… all they knew for sure was the day they were “storming the beach”. Once they landed, all of those plans they made had to be used to solve the problems that came up. They didn’t have plans for all the different situations, but those plans could be adapted for the situations that came up that day. That is a lot like what we are facing and will be facing with our responses of Covid-19 as the school year progress.
Many patrons have asked about the “USD327 Re-opening Plan” and when is it coming out? First it just isn’t that simple. Just know that we are working on and we hope to have more of “final draft” sometime next week, so the 327 Board of Education can review it at their regular meeting on August 10th. Second, see the first paragraph about the fluidity and rapidly changing. Perhaps instead of calling it the Re-opening “Plan”, it should be called the Re-opening “Process”. I heard a superintendent say this early this week and it seems to make a lot of sense. It is really hard to truly plan for all the conditions that we as a district and community will face. But know this, we have many people on our staff, we have students, we have parents, and we have patrons that are all living this and they are sharing and bringing up concerns and we will solve those problems “with everything we got.” Be it good or bad, we have to be more “reactive” than “proactive” and more “adaptive” than “preventative” in this new normal.
In short, “things” are going to happen this school year. But I am confident we are going to put our entire district and community’s effort towards managing those “things”. It may not be perfect but it will be the best effort with the info we have at that time. So be patient, extend grace, and lend a helping hand to each other.
There have been more discussions on what this “school year” will look like. We don’t know for sure, but our teachers are planning on the following when we talk about educational delivery formats:
- First and foremost, bringing our community’s children together for Face-to-Face ( F2F ) learning. Think of this as very similar to how school was last year before Covid hit in March, except with lots of extra pre-cautions and safety measures.
- Second is Remote Learning. Think along the lines of how we ended the 4th nine weeks last school year; BUT ON STEROIDS! Our partial learning days will not cut it this year… students need to be in touch with learning much more than the guidelines stated last year. Think full school days, keeping logs of learning activities that are occurring and daily interaction with teachers.
- …and a third format we call Hybrid. There are two different formats that come into play when we mention Hybrid and both are being discussed.
- Hybrid can mean a “change in the daily attendance schedule”. Half the students are F2F in school and the other half are remote learning. The next day, the F2F students are in remote learning and the remote learners are now in school for F2F and vice versa each day.
- Hybrid can also mean a “multiple learning platforms” occurring at the same time. For instance a teacher has their students in their classroom and is teaching while some are F2F and others are “zooming in” on the class by video.
- The points above are still in process, still in conversations and constantly being refined; and in reality will be refined all school year long.
Other items of possible interest:
- Teaching and student/parent communication platforms will be:
- Grades K-4 – Seesaw
- Grades 5-12 – Google Classroom
- Zoom for video teaching/communicating
- The special classroom committee meet this morning. They discussed music, PE, shop classes, art, business, and FACS classes and the best way to conduct those very “interactive” classes.
- A family survey will be coming soon. It does us no good to ask you what you think if you don’t know what we are thinking. So hopefully these messages will help you understand a bit more to answer the survey more accurately. Look for that survey coming out late next week or first thing the week after.
Building admin assistants, counselors, and principals have been working all summer, but will officially report on Monday to START the 2020-2021 school year. Here we go! It will be a great year! One that will be filled with lots of new opportunities and yes, some uncertainty too, but no matter what, we are ready to “storm the beach” on September 3rd. Stay Well and Be GREAT!