COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 March 26 Update
Posted on 03/26/2020

March 26, 2020


Dear Fife Public Schools Families,


As you may have heard, OSPI is now recommending all school districts begin the process of resuming educational services for students to the best of their abilities beyond providing learning resources.  


Immediately upon getting the notification from OSPI, our Teaching-Learning-Innovation (TLI) department met with all of our principals to finalize our organizational steps, as we had been anticipating this order from OSPI.  Our principals met with each of their Instructional Leadership Teams, representing each grade level or academic subject area. The teams had two tasks. First, identify the materials/content/projects with which we wanted to begin our resumption of educational services.  And second, to determine a reasonable schedule for delivery of those services. This second task has many components. The schedule for a 6 year old will necessarily be different than that for a 16 year old. In addition to being teachers, our teachers are also parents and caretakers, with, in many cases, their own children at home.


We have several guiding factors as we resume educational services. We do not want our students sitting in front of screens for 7 hours.  Not healthy or possible in almost all cases. We cannot simply replace brick and mortar schools online. Student work must be flexible and reasonable in its timing, as every family’s situation varies. 


As with our Fife Feeds program and our Healthcare Professional/First Responder childcare programs, our learning and teaching model for our students and teachers will evolve, develop, and get better as time goes along.  Please be patient with your child’s teacher(s), as none of our teachers have been asked to do anything like this before.


We have asked our principals and teachers to have the initial materials identified by Monday, March 30, 2020.  The TLI department will then work with our principals to finalize scheduling structures on March 31, 2020. Each principal will send a message to his/her students and families with guidelines and instructions for each school following this message. 


We will begin delivery of educational services on April 1, 2020.  Our district will observe its normal spring break (April 6-10). There will be no ‘school’ during that week and we will resume educational services on April 13, 2020. However, during “spring break”, we will continue to provide meals and child care for healthcare workers and first responders. 


Last, as we move forward with our thinking about communication and planning for families, support resources, and student learning needs, we need assistance from you to understand what access and means of communication work best for your family. OSPI has recommended that we gather the following information: “First and foremost, determine the best way for instructional staff to communicate with each student and their families during this closure (including, but not limited to, email, phone, and videoconference). Districts should also know which students have consistent access to the internet, including web-enabled devices and smartphones.”

 

To help us determine your access to technology and the Internet at home, please complete this survey by tomorrow (Friday, March 27, 2020). Please only complete one survey per family. If you have already completed the survey for your family, thank you!


Be well and healthy and be on the lookout for more communication from our principals and teachers soon!


Kevin Alfano

Superintendent


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