2020-2021 School Year Information

SK Flex or SK Online

12/1/2020 UPDATE

Dear South Kitsap families,

We are eight months into life during a pandemic and we continue to adapt and evolve. The current Department of Health decision tree still shows positive case trends in the high-risk category (179 per 100,00 as of November 28). We will continue to monitor trends daily and work closely with Kitsap Public Health District as we make decisions around the return of students to campus. There has been some discussion from the Department of Health about raising the level of the moderate range to allow students to return more easily, but there have not been any changes made at this time. In the meantime, we have updated the Return to Campus timeline based on current case trends, student schedules, and the upcoming winter break.

January 11 – Kindergarten, First, and Second Grade students begin SK Flex
We are now planning to shift our Return to Campus timeline to begin January 11 for early elementary. Kindergarten, first, and second-grade students who selected SK Flex will be divided into 2 groups and attend in the morning or the afternoon on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. They will be in remote learning on the other half of each day and on Wednesdays. On January 6 we will confirm whether we are able to proceed with this plan.

January 25 – Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade students begin SK Flex

If we are able to bring our youngest learners back on January 11, the next step would be to bring back our remaining elementary students (grades 3-5) with the SK Flex AM/PM schedule starting January 25.

February 8 – Middle School and High School students begin SK Flex
Our secondary students (grades 6-12) will remain in a fully remote learning model until at least the end of the first semester, February 5. This delay has been made to reduce the learning disruptions that are involved when we bring students back. If we bring them back before the 2nd semester, students will have changes to their schedules to meet the Flex and Remote requests and then have to change schedules again at the semester. Beginning February 8, middle and high school students will be phased in on a two day per week in person (with half the students) and three days per week remote learning (asynchronous work). Students would attend on Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday schedule. On Wednesdays, staff would participate in grade-level collaboration, asynchronous planning, and connecting with students. We will keep you informed as these plans move forward.

Thank you for your partnership and support. 

Stay well!


11/12/2020 - UPDATE


Dear South Kitsap families,

We are finishing the fall quarter of remote learning. Students, families and staff have all shifted and adapted to meet the challenges of remote learning and we deeply appreciate your support. Our goal remains to get students back on campus as soon as we can safely do so.

COVID Case Trends

We are in daily communication with Kitsap Public Health District to monitor COVID-19 case trends in our county. As of the report today, case trends are 116 positive cases per 100,000 over the past 14 days. This is disappointing news as trends continue to climb and are within the high risk category. The decision tree from Department of Health recommends case trends in the moderate level for at least one week before we can move forward with our Return to Campus plan. Until that point, our timeline will remain on pause.

Communication on COVID-19 Positive Cases

Over the last several weeks, we have had four positive COVID-19 cases among staff members in South Kitsap School District. The staff work at Transportation, John Sedgwick, Orchard Heights, and South Kitsap High School. In all instances, no students were exposed. We work with Kitsap Public Health District on case investigation, contact tracing and notification of impacted individuals. If a positive COVID-19 case is reported within a school site where students are receiving in-person services, a communication will be sent to families at that school. This is in addition to communication done by Kitsap Public Health District as part of their contact tracing process. We will continue to follow our COVID-19 safety guidelines and cleaning protocols at each site for the safety or our entire school community.

Resources for Families

Life during a pandemic and remote learning has been challenging for everyone and we want to acknowledge the burden faced by our families. We also want to recognize the toll on student social, emotional, and mental well-being. The challenges facing our students include:  

  • Changes in their routines (e.g., having to physically distance from family, friends, and community)

  • Breaks in continuity of learning (e.g., virtual learning environments, technology access and connectivity issues)

  • Missed significant life events (e.g., grief of missing celebrations, vacation plans, and/or milestone life events)

  • Lost security and safety (e.g., housing and food insecurity, increased exposure to violence and online harms, threat of physical illness and uncertainty for the future)

  • Breaks in continuity of health care (e.g., missed well-child and immunization visits, limited access to mental, speech, and occupational health services)

The CDC has provided a family resource kit including material for different age students. Visit this link to learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/parental-resource-kit/index.html

We will continue to reach out to you with updates as we monitor COVID-19 in our community. 

Thank you for your partnership. We will get through this together.

Stay well!




11/6/2020 - UPDATE 

PAUSE on Return to Campus Timeline


We are in daily communication with Kitsap Public Health District to monitor COVID-19 positive case trends during remote learning and in our planning to bring students back on campus. Unfortunately, we are seeing a steady increase in COVID-19 case-trend activity (view link). Rates in Kitsap County are continuing to rise and are expected to meet the state Department of Health’s “High” COVID-19 Activity Level (Over 75 cases/100,000/14 days).

At this time, we will not move forward with Kindergarten and first grade students on campus next week. Local health officials have advised us that pausing the return of additional students to in-person learning is the safest choice for our school community.

We know this is disappointing news for our students, families, and staff. We also understand that our families have been adjusting schedules and students were excited to see teachers and classmates in person. Please note that any changes to elementary class assignments with SK Flex and SK Online will remain in place.

This pause does not affect the small number of students who are currently receiving in-person instruction or participating in limited on-campus activities.

We will continue our communication with Kitsap Public Health District and will further assess our Return to Campus timeline next week. We understand time is needed to adjust schedules and families can expect frequent follow up messages as the timeline is adjusted. 

Thank you for your partnership and support. It is greatly appreciated.


11/5/2020 - UPDATE

Dear South Kitsap families,

As we move from all remote learning to SK Flex and SK Online, our priority is the health and safety of our school community. At the board meeting last night, Superintendent Winter provided an update to the school board and as of today, the timeline to start SK Flex for kindergarten/first-grade is moving forward on Monday, November 9.

We continue to monitor daily updates from the Kitsap Public Health District on the rate of COVID-19 positive cases per 100,000 over the past 14 days. The rate for Kitsap County is 66.5/100,000 as of November 4. We will be using Friday, November 6 at 2:00 pm as our deadline to pull back from returning kindergarten/first grade on Monday if the COVID numbers rise above 75. If there are changes to the timeline, we will notify staff and families as quickly as possible.

We analyze data from Kitsap County, South Kitsap, and neighboring areas as many of our staff travel from outside of South Kitsap. Please reference the decision tree below from the Washington State Department of Health which is the tool we are using to make our decision for South Kitsap.

DOH decision tree

Please familiarize yourself with the Return to Campus Road Map. A tremendous amount of work by the entire South Kitsap staff has gone into preparing our schools. The COVID-19 Staff Safety Handbook details the health protocols we have in place and actions we all need to take daily to ensure the safety of our school community. While we have paid close attention to details, we will all need to provide some flexibility as we continue to modify to follow the latest safety recommendations from healthcare authorities.

Please reach out if you have questions or concerns. You can contact your school principal or email info@skschools.org.

 


10/8/2020

Dear South Kitsap families,

We have been carefully planning and preparing to bring students back to campus when it is safe. We discussed our draft Return to Campus Road Map at the board meeting on October 7. It is a flexible plan that focuses on the health and safety of our school community and recommends a phased in transition from all remote learning to the SK Flex model. Families will have a choice for each student to either remain in all remote learning (SK Online) or transition to SK Flex when it is offered.

SK Flex – Elementary and Secondary Models are Different see the changes below

Elementary AM / PM in SK Flex

Elementary students that select SK Flex will be divided alphabetically into two groups and attend class in person class either in the morning (A-K) or the afternoon (L-Z). The groups will each attend class in person for a modified half day schedule on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesdays, staff will participate in grade level collaboration, asynchronous (student independent activities) lesson planning, connecting with students, and holding class meetings. Along with frequent daily cleaning protocols, additional deep cleaning will take place on Wednesdays. Students in kindergarten and first grade will be the first groups to transition to in person learning in the classroom. Additional grades will transition to SK Flex over time. 

Middle School and High School 2 days/3 days in SK Flex

Middle and High School students will be phased in on a two day per week in person (with half the students) and three days per week remote learning (asynchronous work).  Students would attend on Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday schedule. On Wednesdays, staff would participate in grade level collaboration, asynchronous planning, connecting with students, holding class meetings with the entire class, and additional deep cleaning.

We are starting with training our youngest learners first to teach them safety protocols and practices. Then we will slowly bring back other grade levels as it is safe to do so. To be clear, the decision to have students return to buildings will be based on the science related to COVID cases. We will continue to monitor the health situation and will put the health and safety of our students and staff at the forefront of any decision to bring students back.

Next Steps

We understand that remote learning has gone really well for some families and others are anxious to get back in class as soon as possible. Before the start of school, we asked for your initial choice between SK Flex and SK Online for our planning purposes. After reviewing the Return to Campus Road Map and experiencing remote learning for the past few weeks, we will ask for a commitment for each student in your household. We will reach out to ask “When offered, would you like your student to transition to SK Flex or would you like your student to remain in SK Online (fully remote learning)”. The commitment is for the remainder of the school year and requests for changes later will be dependent on capacity. Please note that SK Flex looks different than it did before. Watch for communication from your student’s school asking for your commitment.