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BISD announces its draft plans for the 20-21 school year

July 8, 2020

 

Dear BISD Community,
Today I am sharing with you Bainbridge Island School District’s Draft Reopening Plans for 2020-21. I realize that this is a lengthy letter and thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.

Please know that our task force put much consideration into the development of these plans with the goal to best serve our students’ needs while also working within the important health requirements outlined by the state.
At the end of this letter, BISD families will be asked to select an education model for the 2020-21 school year for their students. NOTE: Students in the same family can select different options.
 

2020-21 School Year Options

Hybrid Learning Model- 


Overview
  • Students in grades K-8 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.
  • Students in grades 9-12 will attend school in-person partial days for at least three or four days/week (TBD) 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. We are still analyzing how to balance in-person and remote content at the high school level. Additional information will be provided to high school families on the details of the schedule by next week. 
  • 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. In addition, we will provide transportation to certain daycare providers: Boys and Girls Club, Hazel Creek, Big Kids and The Parks Department Aquatic Center. NOTE: We are unable to provide transportation to non-BISD activities, appointments, play dates, etc. due to capacity and schedule constraint
  • The hybrid learning model is based on the current information and is what we will use to move forward with our planning. However, because the COVID-19 crisis is an ever-changing landscape, we may find ourselves 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). We have a team working on this possibility with the focus of strengthening and improving Continuous Learning. Later this summer, our staff will attend professional development focused on this topic. 
 
Safety Considerations
  • 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 our 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.
 
Benefits 
  • 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- 

 
Overview
  • Students will complete 100% of their learning and assignments via Edgenuity, an online curriculum platform. 
  • The curriculum 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.
 

Benefits

  • 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 model, your student is part of BISD. When applicable, your student would have the option of participating in BISD-sponsored programs and services. In addition, if your student is a senior, your student will graduate from BISD.
 
I acknowledge that both of these options have pluses and minuses and require new teaching and learning approaches. That being said, given the COVID-related mandates we are working under and the fact that our school facilities were not built for 100% student capacity during this time of required social distancing, I am pleased with the options we are providing students and families. I am confident that there will be great teaching and learning in the 2020-21 school year. 

This letter has undoubtedly brought up several questions. We created a Q&A section of our website devoted to questions surrounding the two options. [Hybrid Learning Model Q&A100% Online Learning Model Q&A.]This is a work in progress, and we will continue to update the content as the answers are refined. In addition, please use this form to send us additional questions, and they will be added to our list. 

IMPORTANT — ACTION REQUIRED:
Once you have read through the Q&As and have had time to process the options for your student(s), please login to Skyward and make your 2020-21 school year selection(s). NOTE: As with our Annual Back-to-School Check-in process, the primary guardian listed in Skyward is responsible for completing the selection survey.
In order for us to plan for staffing and transportation needs, please make your selection(s) by July 17, 2020 for grades K-8 and July 23, 2020 for grades 9-12. It’s important to note that your decision remains in effect for the school year, but there may be an opportunity to revisit at the semester if space is available. This is due to the complexities of assigning students into each model and ensuring we have proper staffing. 

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. We will continue to update you as our plans solidify. In the meantime, please know that student and staff safety is paramount, and we will follow the health practices outlined in the Reopening Washington Schools 2020 Planning Guide

What a journey we are on —  thank you for your continued support and grace as we travel down this path together. 

In partnership,
Peter Bang-Knudsen
Superintendent
pbangknudsen@bisd303.org 
 
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