March 24th PASD Update

March 24th PASD Update
Posted on 03/24/2020
March 24th PASD Update

March 24, 2020

Dear PASD families,

As we begin our second full week of closure, we can’t help but appreciate the love, support, and generosity of this incredible community that we live in. Each day, we hear and see amazing examples of kindness and goodwill. For example,

•   Food service staff, bus drivers, and paraeducators working in collaboration with our local food bank.
•   Secretaries, administrative team calling families to make sure their basic needs are being met.
•   Dedicated team of teachers preparing instructional material for their students.

We are blessed to be a part of this caring community.

Recognizing our schools serve as a centerpiece in support of our youth, families and community, we understand that extended school closure will create significant hardship. Children, families, and even our staff, count on the reliable and predictable rhythms of the school day. Contemplating weeks without that structure and care may seem overwhelming. With this in mind, please know that we are in the process of refining a comprehensive contingency plan intended to provide instructional support during this unprecedented period of time.

We are in a time where our world looks a little different and asks that we, too, find a different way of doing daily life. We ask for your continued flexibility. Our administrators, program directors, and teacher leaders have been working very hard behind-the-scenes to build sustainable and effective systems for academic instruction during this closure. We have received further guidance from the state, making education programs through distance instruction more achievable. We will rise to this occasion.

Many teachers have already connected with students and families in various ways to check in, provide instructional content and support students’ continued learning. Our staff will continue working through this crisis, and our expectation is that all students will be provided with learning opportunities every week. We will begin our next round of academic instruction no later than March 30.

•   This week for elementary, as we transition from providing resources for families to providing instruction, teachers will be connecting with families to develop plans for online learning. We will be using platforms we already have established in the district such as email, phone calls, DOJO, and Google Classroom. Staff are compiling instructional resources that families will need to pick up at their child’s school this Thursday or Friday from 10am – 2pm. These critical resources are essential to each students’ learning moving forward. Teachers are excited to support their students in new learning during this closure. Next week our district focus will be on math. This will allow teachers, students and families to become comfortable with our new delivery systems within the structure of the Eureka math curriculum. We will add content areas as all of our users (staff and families) have gained the skills they need to operate within our new platform.
•   Stevens Middle School, Port Angeles High School, Lincoln High School staff are preparing to move to online instruction using Google Classroom, which is an existing tool most students and teachers are already familiar. Teachers will be reaching out to students online via students’ school email (studentID@gg.pasd.wednet.edu) within the next few days with more information​and/or a quick survey for students. Stevens Middle School will be open next Monday and Tuesday from 11am – 1pm for students to pick up any text books they may need to access essential learning.

For our seniors in their final semester of high school, and our students receiving specialized services: we have teams working now in each of these areas, and will be ensuring personal outreach within the next week. We also expect more specific guidance from the state within the coming days.

We want to make sure that any family that needs a technology connection can gain access, understanding that our geographical location makes Wi-Fi access challenging. Therefore, we are in the process of identifying those areas that offer free Wi-Fi, including partnering with local businesses to gain “drive-up” Wi-Fi access as well. Will have more information available in the coming week.

We are also concerned about equitable access for our students and families when it comes to technology. The district has limited access to Chromebooks. Accordingly, if your student has access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer, then we will be unable to provide/lend a Chromebook. We need to make sure that these limited resources get to students that have no other access options. All questions regarding Chromebooks should be directed to your student’s principal.

In the meantime, we encourage families to engage in home learning as much as you can, recognizing each family and each staff member is in their own unique situation regarding work, health and child care.

Like all other school districts in Washington, we are working hard to respond to an unexpected and rapidly changing situation. It is likely that our instructional learning plans will adapt and change in the weeks to come, and we thank students and families in advance for your patience as we adjust our systems.