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Reopening Grandview Schools - how we are working together to plan a safe school year

Reopening Grandview Schools

Dear Grandview students, families, staff and community members,

As a community, a lot has changed since schools were first closed in mid-March. When this began, we were all optimistic that school would soon be back in session and we’d get to close out the school year back in class. But, as we all know, that is not how things happened. Instead, we all came together as a community, showing grace and resilience, as we have continued to work through this global pandemic and all of the challenges it has brought with it.

We want to thank our entire community for supporting the district’s move to remote learning as we worked to finish out the school year with everyone’s safety in mind. I know we all felt a sense of relief and accomplishment when the school year officially drew to a close on June 17.

But with one challenge behind us, it’s time to gather everything we’ve learned over the past few months and look toward the future. The state of Washington, our state Superintendent Chris Reykdal and Governor Jay Inslee continue to provide school districts with guidance and requirements that pertain specifically to how we will start school in Fall 2020.

While we know that school will start this fall, we are still working out exactly what it will look like. We know that a lot of what it will look like will depend on what phase of reopening we are in come late August, early September. We also expect to receive more guidance from the state over the summer.

The state has been working closely with the Washington State Department of Health, and a Reopening Washington Schools Workgroup consisting of more than 120 members representing teachers, parents, students, community members and organizations, as it has worked to create guidance for the fall. The workgroup looked at more than seven options for reopening, but settled on what they felt were the three options that best meet our needs for an equitable opportunity for educational success.

The three options include:

  • Split or rotating schedules with continuous remote learning
  • Phased-in opening with continuous remote learning
  • Continuous Learning 2.0

As a district, we have been working hard to determine what fall will likely look like for our scholars. We have formed nine subcommittees, each tackling a different area of school reopening. The nine subcommittees are looking at different subjects to determine what they could look like and what infrastructure needs to be put in place to ensure everyone is safe. The subcommittees include special education, teaching and learning, school attendance, health and safety, family and community engagement and extracurricular activities.

Each of the subcommittees includes district administrators, building administrators, teachers, classified staff, parents, students, community members, as well as representatives from different community groups and organizations. Community members can be sure their voice is heard in the process by taking part in the Remote Learning Family and Student Survey that is available on the district’s website through July 6.

The subcommittees have been meeting at least weekly since late May, early June and plan to bring their findings to the district’s oversite committee in mid-July. Again, the oversite committee is made up of district and school administrators, teachers, classified staff members, community members and students.

Using both the guidance from our state, recommendations from our committee process and community input through our survey we will create a return-to-school plan that includes details that will work for our community and, most importantly our scholars.

We are also working closely with the Grandview Education Association and Public School Employees Association because we recognize that the needs and safety of our employees play important roles in sculpting our back-to-school plan.

As you have noticed, things change on us frequently, so it is important to remember that we aim to stay diligent, stay flexible, and stay positive for our scholars – your children.

We will continue to receive guidance from the state as the summer continues and we will have more details for everyone in a few weeks.

Thank you all for your patience and grace as we have worked through these tough times.

Stay safe, have a great summer and don’t forget to wear your mask.

Sincerely,

Henry Strom
Superintendent
Grandview School District

Do you have more questions about what the reopening of our schools could look like in the fall and what precautions will likely be taken? Please take a few minutes to read through the Office the Superintendent of Public Instructions Reopening Washington Schools: Questions & Answers for School Districts. Click here to find the Q & A in English. Click here to find the Q & A in Spanish.