Plans for the 2020-21 School Year
Bainbridge Island School District recently announced its plans for the 2020-21 school year. Families will select one of the following options for their students. NOTE: Students in the same family can select different options.
Hybrid Learning Model- Beginning the School Year in Continuous Learning
UPDATE: On July 28, 2020 BISD announced that students enrolled in the Hybrid Learning Model will begin the school year in a Continuous Learning (distance learning) environment; Bainbridge Island School District teachers will provide the instruction. Note: There may be exceptions for students with special education whose disabilities significantly impact their access to an online learning environment. Decisions regarding the implementation of a student's IEP will be determined by his/her IEP team.
At this time, we are unable to provide the in-person portion of the Hybrid Learning Model due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in Kitsap County. Dr. Susan Turner, Health Officer for Kitsap Public Health District, supports our decision to pivot to this educational model. In a recent letter she wrote:
Based on the COVID-19 disease activity in Kitsap County and our region, we do not feel it is safe to open schools for traditional classroom learning in August or September. The Kitsap Public Health District and Kitsap Public Health Officer support Kitsap’s school district plans to provide online educational services as the 2020-21 school year begins, in order to protect the health of students, staff, family members, and our broader community.
You can read Dr. Turner’s complete letter here.
NEW AND IMPROVED CONTINUOUS LEARNING 2.0
The Continuous Learning model BISD students will experience in the fall will be a significant improvement over what was offered last spring. Families can expect a more robust learning environment filled with increased expectations, enhanced engagement and consistent teacher feedback. We are thankful for the Continuous Learning planning team who has worked hard this summer to address the concerns shared with us last spring.
We are committed to implementing Continuous Learning for the first nine weeks of school. We will then reevaluate the situation to see if we can pivot to provide some in-person instruction. We know in-person instruction is the best for most students and staff, and it remains our ultimate goal.
Overview of Hybrid Learning Model
- Students in grades K-12 will attend school in-person for partial days for four days a week (Monday-Thursday) for approximately 2.5 to 3 hours a day. Half of the student body will attend school in the mornings; half will attend school in the afternoon.
- When not in-person, students will access their education through Distance Learning which may include assignments provided by teachers during in-person instruction and/or online components.
- Students are encouraged to be transported to and from school via private vehicle, bicycle or by foot. However, BISD will provide transportation to/from home for those students who need it.
- The hybrid learning model is based on the current information and is what BISD will use to move forward with its planning. However, because the COVID-19 crisis is an ever-changing landscape, BISD may find itself in a much different position in September. If the situation dictates, students in the hybrid learning model will pivot to full-time Continuous Learning 2.0, implemented by their in-person classroom teacher(s). BISD currently has a team working on this possibility with the focus of strengthening and improving Continuous Learning.
- Per Health Department requirements, students and staff will wear face masks while on site. (Students will have the option of wearing face shields, although fabric face masks are recommended.)
- Per Health Department requirements, students and staff will be screened daily upon entry. Requirements for screening are still being developed by OSPI and the Department of Health. BISD protocols will follow these requirements with additional information to be shared over the next weeks.
- Classrooms and frequent touch points will be sanitized per Department of Health guidelines prior to each shift of students. This practice will include a thoroughly balanced program of EPA registered disinfectants and green seal certified cleaning agents to provide a safe, sanitary, and healthy environment for all staff, students, and visitors. In addition, in order to provide the best indoor air quality possible, the HVAC systems of BISD schools are being re-programmed/calibrated to bring in the maximum amount of fresh air possible while simultaneously limiting the amount of recycled air that remains in the buildings.
- Compared to other in-person models the task force considered, this option provides more frequent and in-person contact with staff and peers, which is beneficial to students’ social and emotional health.
- This learning model requires students to wear masks for shorter periods of time as compared to other in-person models the task force considered.
- This model provides the opportunity for students with the greatest need (Special Education, English Language Learners, or other highly impacted students) to attend school for additional hours or receive targeted support services as determined necessary based on students' needs, and/or IEP team decisions.
- If desired, BISD will send students home with a sack lunch rather than providing meals to students on-site. (On-site eating is challenging for entire classrooms due to limited spaces/social distancing requirements, especially since it is impossible to wear a mask while eating a meal.) Meal accommodations will be made for students requiring an extended day (i.e. targeted support services).
100% Online Home Learning Model-
UPDATE: On July 28, 2020 the following message was shared the following message - We heard several concerns about the 100% Online Home Learning Model option and its heavy reliance on the Edgenuity platform. We are evaluating this option for students who require (or want) an entirely online learning model. We are looking to provide more BISD teacher support and instruction for these students and rely less on Edgenuity. More details will be shared once we have a firm idea on the number of students enrolled in this model.
- Students will complete 100% of their learning and assignments remotely. We are looking to provide more BISD teacher support and instruction for the 100% Online Home Learning students and relying less on Edgenuity.
- Edgenuity is based on Washington State Common Core standards and is used by school districts as an online school option. (For the past few years, BISD has used Edgenuity for secondary students who could not attend class in-person.)
- Edgenuity provides a full range of grade-level courses for elementary grades K-6 (reading/writing, math, social studies, science) and a comprehensive course catalog for secondary students (7-12) that will focus on graduation requirements and college and career readiness courses.
- Secondary students will take the equivalent of six year-long courses (credits) per school year with the flexibility to focus on two or three courses at a time, if desired.
- A BISD teacher will be assigned to each student. The 100% Online Home Learning option will operate at the district level and will not be directly tied to an individual district school.
- The Edgenuity program is not specifically designed for student interaction. However, teachers will work with a group of assigned students and try to provide opportunities for connection between students.This will be further developed as we have a better understanding of the students who will be participating in this learning model.
- Guardian support is necessary for younger students and highly recommended for older students.
- Allows students to participate in Washington State standard-based instruction from a home setting.
- Students are able to progress through courses at their own pace.
- There is no set time for students to login, which provides the flexibility many families need.
- If the COVID-19 situation changes and BISD is required to close our school buildings, it will not impact students enrolled in the 100% online option. Students will continue with this instruction model and will not have to transition to a different educational platform.
- Under this BISD online model, students are part of BISD. When applicable, students would have the option of participating in BISD-sponsored programs and services. In addition, the student is a senior, the student will graduate from BISD.
Both of these options have pluses and minuses, and require new teaching and learning approaches.That being said, given the COVID-related mandates BISD is working under and the fact that BISD school facilities were not built for 100% student capacity during this time of required social distancing, BISD is pleased with the options we are providing students and families and is confident that there will be great teaching and learning in the 2020-21 school year.
This announcement undoubtedly brought up several questions. BISD created a Q&A section of its website devoted to questions surrounding the two options. [Hybrid Learning Model Q&A, 100% Online Learning Model Q&A.]
This announcement was the first piece of a very complicated puzzle. The remainder of the summer will be spent tackling the details of these educational models and developing the processes and protocols to implement the state’s required health measures. BISD will continue to share updates as plans solidify. In the meantime, please know that student and staff safety is paramount, and BISD will follow the health practices outlined in the Reopening Washington Schools 2020 Planning Guide.