Layoff or furlough costs
- The costs tied to layoffs or furloughing staff is being discussed with legislators regularly.
- We are aware of the issues of funds linked to transportation.
- We also know many meals are distributed by bus drivers.
- Legislators (Claire Wilson) are working on the transportation/funding issue.
Loss of revenue from dis-enrollment
- Though the loss of some students to other districts, online learning, or home-schooling is possible, districts should continue to provide the best programs they can to keep their students and families engaged and enrolled.
- $8.8 million dollars of CARES act funds has been released.
- OSPI is working to provide one year of internet service to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.
- Though this does not help ALL students, 92% of households have the cable connection capability to support internet connection.
Childcare Models for Fall Reopening - Alliance of YMCAs & Boys/Girls Clubs
- Donna Christensen (YMCA)
- The YMCA is partnering with schools for before and after school care.
- They work to meet the needs students, especially academically, by
- Providing Wifi capability
- Ensuring students have their school materials
- Assisting them in working on those materials
- Some YMCA staff have assisted schools with getting food to students using their unused vans.
- To help get care in rural areas the YMCA has
- Recruited childcare workers in rural areas
- Started new after school programs using local facilities
- ChildCareAwareWA is an organization that can assist rural school districts with identifying the nearest childcare providers who may partner with districts.
- YMCA care centers are ensuring safety with:
- Consistent small grouping of children
- Temperature checks
- Following all health department guidelines
- Katya Miltimore (Boys & Girls Club)
- The current issues centers are facing at this time are
- Gaining access to facilities
- Accessing maintenance and sanitation staff
- Districts should consider
- Using para educator support for school work in their partnered centers
- The educational justice and equity implications of their decisions
- Finding a partner to help provide care can help those children most in need get academic support.
- Ron McHenry (Boys & Girls Club)
- Boys & Girls Clubs are look into hybrid and partial day options.
- To best serve their students districts should be responsive to their care partners.
- This can help ensure
- Students are getting the right kind of academic support
- Children within the same districts can stay
- Other considerations
- Consider trying not to have all students engaged at the same time because often times high school students are watching their younger siblings.
- Think about union considerations when contemplating childcare partnerships.
Staff on Site
- There has been no state-wide decision on how to approach having staff work from school buildings while providing online instruction.
- Districts should consider if asking staff to appear on site is in line with the standard working conditions of their collective bargaining agreement.
- WSSDA suggests looking to your legal counsel and closely examining bargaining agreements when making decisions on having staff onsite.
DOH Metrics on Reopening
- The Washington Department of Health (DOH) has released a set of statewide metrics outlining their recommendations for in-person learning and extracurricular activities based on the infection rate for each county. DOH and the governor’s office strongly recommend school districts follow the metrics when making decisions for the upcoming school year. (Decision Tree document.)
- The DOH metrics identify counties in one of three categories: high, moderate or low risk.
- Governor Inslee made it clear districts are not legally required to follow these metrics, but he “expects” them to be followed.
DOH Metrics - Insurance and Liability
- Insurance companies strongly recommend districts follow the DOH Metrics on Reopening.
- While the districts are not legally required to follow the DOH Metrics, insurance companies suggest they do. If a district chooses to provide in-person learning and extra-curricular activities contrary to the DOH recommendations, insurance companies have informed us that they cannot guarantee all claims will be covered.
- If district insurance does not cover a claim any costs associated with that claim would have to be paid using their operating budget, possibly creating a larger budgeting issue.
DOH Metrics Athletics
- Pertaining to athletics, insurance providers have stated that having students/parents sign waivers will not be a sufficient defense if there were to be a claim or court case.
- WSSDA is unsure of the overlap between the DOH Metrics and the current WIAA guidelines and suggests districts follow the DOH Metrics with regard to athletics and extracurricular activities.
Evergreen School District has developed three 5-day models:
- Fully online
Public input has been very mixed with concern that information about education delivery options has been too complicated. Also, staff are saying we can’t know exactly what we can do until we get closer to starting instruction. Our plans are posted online
In Northshore School District we’re seeing the same issues raised as cited by Evergreen SD. We have a multi-stage plan ranging from 100% online to 100% in-building. This gives us flexibility to pick the model that matches the current situation when instruction is set to begin. Our plans should be posted online next week.
In Port Angeles School District a 50-person committee made our 86-page plan, now adopted, which offers a mix of options. Port Angeles sent out a survey for parents to pick the model that works for their families. We have issued an RFP for childcare services to offer services in all our schools.
In Washougal School District we’re hearing that grandparents will be caregivers because parents will be out working. This fact is causing tension in the community.
In Edmonds School District we have an AA, BB model for in-person instruction. In other words, we’ll offer two different options with 2 deep-cleaning days a week. We’re also prepping a 100% online option.
In Davenport School District we surveyed parents and only 7% said they want to keep their kids home for safety reasons. While 93% look forward to in-person instruction, they have lots of questions, especially on masks. We have feedback from a summer program for elementary kids that it took a couple days, but they got used to wearing masks and adoption/practice has improved.
In Rainer School District we surveyed staff and parents. We’re learning toward an AB schedule, but trying to stay nimble to adapt to conditions as they evolve.
Question to Tim Garchow: Are reopening plans tied to county reopening phases?
Answer: No, but certain things, like athletics, might be.
Maggie Tai Tucker
In Mercer Island School District we are thinking that when we need to divide kids into groups by grade we will do it by alphabet across schools, hoping that this will keep things simpler for families with kids at multiple levels. E.g. first half of alphabet goes in on Mon and Weds and second half goes in on Tues and Thurs., or whatever. So siblings will have same days at school and at home.
In Ocean Beach School District our elementary teachers will be doing a morning Zoom with the kids who are on their home days which will be done with the whole class (both the A and B group) to set the agenda for the day. Because some subjects are not going to be happening at school, we are planning to have some of the specialists work with online students.
Mukilteo School District all elementary students will attend schools physically in Mukilteo. We are lucky to have the space to accommodate them observing the safety requirements. Distance learning will be available for all students who will not return to school physically. In surveys our parents were equally divided about returning to schools; those who, for some reason or another, will not send their students and those who want them back in school full-time physically as long as the district adheres to the safety requirements.
Bellevue School District is exploring broadcasting our classes so off-site students can attend all or part of the classes. We are exploring instructional strategies that make things feasible/effective. We are also exploring partnering onsite and off-site students.
In Union Gap School District teachers can record their lessons when they are teaching for the other cohorts to watch.
- We expect OSPI to send out a template for school reopening plans to superintendents during the week of July 13. District reopening plans are due to OSPI at least 2 weeks before classes start. — Tim Garchow
- We’re trying to get some videos to share that we heard some districts are making. — Tim Garchow
- In Bellevue, we are broadcasting our reopening steering committee planning meetings so the community can listen and also send in questions. And then we post all the info after the meeting. —Christine Chew
- Yakima is creating a micro website dedicated to reopening. — Kristen Fitterer
- Yakima has been convening stakeholder groups with approximately 150-200 people participating. The wide-ranging spectrum of views expressed by parents has been remarkable. — Trevor Green
- In addition to weekly emails with updates on the process, Shoreline School District staff will be holding a series of virtual town halls with students, families (in English and Spanish), and staff.—Sara Betnel
- Sequim School District is holding community townhalls and the board has weekly meetings with the reopening workgroup. The district is using its strategic plan to help guide decision-making. — Jim Stoffer
- Port Angeles has a 52-member group working on reopening the plan. —Cindy Kelly
- Edmonds is broadcasting workgroup meetings. —Deborah Kilgore
- Some districts Include local daycares in decision-making.—Tim Garchow
- We have an advisory committee with representation from parents, students, communities of color, teachers, unions, and the board. — Deborah Kilgore
- We’re holding meetings with key communicators from each school to address 3 questions: what would a successful start of the 2020-2021 school year look like for your family? What would help your student the most in a 2.0 distance learning environment? How do we reach families who are less like to engage through a survey? Using feedback from the group to inform decision-making. — Judy Schwab
- We’re hearing positive things about districts using PTAs to gather info and engage parents. In Kent, for example, they’re making sure workgroups have staff and community representation. We’re hearing good things about the process in Kent, that it’s making people feel well engaged and informed.— Marie Sullivan
Recorded 6/18/20 (WSSDA Staff)
- We have discovered that you cannot screen with touchless until they are acclimated to the environment, so we are looking at screening in the classroom. —Amy Huntley
- As much as possible, we want kids back in our school buildings, but we have to do it in a way that is safe for students and staff. The Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) have release a set of requirements that all school districts must comply with when creating their re-opening plans for 2020. If districts are able to comply with all components of the requirements within their existing facilities and budgets for all students and staff then they can open with full onsite, daily participation in the fall. If they aren’t able to do so, then they must determine the maximum number of students and staff they can have on their campuses at any one time while still meeting the DOH and L&I requirements. Then they must determine the most appropriate instruction delivery model to meet the needs of their students. The guidance from OSPI outlines multiple options and considerations for districts to do so.
- Local school boards will be required to pass a resolution approving their district’s re-opening plan and attesting that the plan meets the requirements outlined by DOH and L&I. WSSDA will develop a model resolution for use by boards.
- WSSDA highly recommends all school boards review and are familiar with the requirements outlined by DOH and L&I. See pages 16-29 of OSPI’s Guidance on Reopening Schools (link). DOH and L&I reserve the right to change the rules and guidance as conditions dictate.
- Read the guidance to understand what is required of districts.
- We encourage boards to focus on how to govern, advocate, and lead.
- Govern — Review public comment procedure. Stay informed on OPMA. Review your calendar. Think about changes needed to board policies for the new school year.
- Advocate — All board members should become familiar with WSSDA positions and priorities in order to reflect them within your board, community, and when asked to communicate with legislators. Please connect with your legislators to build relationships, understand what each other are struggling with, and how support can be provided. Know projected additional costs, how your non-basic education dollars are being used for COVID-19 related expenditures, and how they are addressing equity issues. WSSDA can assist with scheduling meetings or even join you in meetings. WSSDA can also help with making talking points for meeting with legislators.
- Lead — Your community is looking to you to lead now as we navigate uncertain times. Be honest, calm, and encouraging. Review guiding documents like equity policy, strategic plans, board/district goals, and how work in your role can support and facilitate those.
- The OSPI Reopening Schools Planning Guide is available for review. District staff and board members should consider reading the document in its entirely. A few of the many details from that guide are provided below:
- Schools should plan to provide as much face-to-face instruction as possible. Students most significantly impacted by remote learning should be prioritized for face-to-face instruction.
- School districts will need to create a schedule that will work best for their students, staff, and community.
- Districts should consider flexible days for the 2020-21 calendar.
- School districts must work with their local health departments to determine when schools may be able to open.
- Students and staff will be expected to wear masks and maintain social distancing requirements.
- School districts must develop a Plan A and Plan B for reopening schools, considering what might happen if schools are expected to close again once the school year starts due to a resurgence in the virus.
- OSPI continues to facilitate the Re-Opening Washington Schools workgroup and anticipates that preliminary guidance will be released for district consideration on or about June 8th. A menu of options for districts to consider will be provided. There will be some requirements and some options for consideration in re-opening.
- OSPI is working with Department of Health to determine and communicate expectations for safe re-opening of schools.
- WSSDA is represented throughout the workgroup and subgroups.
- Next Thursday, the WSSDA representatives on the OSPI Re-opening School Work Group will be meeting as part of a smaller tactical group of elected official to discuss the State and District level policy consideration of reopening schools in the fall. President: Brenda Rogers, President-Elect: Rick Jansons, Board Member: LeeAnne Riddle, Board Member: Greta White, Board Member: Harlan Gallinger, and Executive Director: Tim Garchow will be joining the Chairs of the House and Senate Education Committees as well as other legislators and elected officials for this work.
- OSPI’s Re-Opening Washington Schools for 2020-21 Stakeholder Workgroup met on Wednesday, May 13, 2020. The agenda included a presentation from DOH with epidemiological data and considerations for the future. School board members were represented among the 100+ members of the workgroup. Some scenarios for re-opening the schools in 2020-21 were considered and discussed. WSSDA is advocating for local governance in determining the scenario that works best for them. Many more decisions are yet to be made, there will be somethings that are required by all districts and somethings that will be a local decision, so it is highly recommended that school districts wait to finalize any plans for the fall until the work of this group is complete.