Coronavirus-19

Schools Closed but Learning Continues
Posted on 05/30/2020
Novel Coronavirus Info and Resources

May 30, 2020

Dear South Kitsap Families,

This has been a challenging spring for South Kitsap. With the school closure caused by the health crisis, we have been put in situations we didn’t anticipate both at school and at home. While our goal has been to maintain a level of learning at a distance, we have also been concerned with the wellness of the students, families and staff of the South Kitsap School District. We continue to focus on social-emotional health as we wrap up the school year in the next couple of week and especially as we prepare for what the start-up of school in the fall may bring. We are all hoping to get back to a traditional way of doing school, but we need to prepare a contingency plan in the event that the guidance we get from the state won’t allow that.

As we close out the 2019-2020 school year, we want to continue communication with families so that everyone is on the same page as we move into Summer and prepare for Fall.

Graduation and End of the Year Events

Next week, South Kitsap High School is hosting an alternative commencement ceremony to honor the class of 2020. Seniors have been assigned to small groups with designated time slots June 1-4 to come to SKHS, walk across the stage, pick up their diploma, and pose for photos. The walk videos will be live-streamed and then compiled with speeches and other memorable moments for a final 2020 graduation video. The plans for Discovery and Explorer are still in development and will be communicated once finalized. Unfortunately, Prom, field days, and other year-end events will not be happening this year, but schools at all levels are working to find ways to honor traditions and celebrate the successes of the year. You will be hearing from your individual schools about specific activities that are planned. 

Preparation for the 2020-2021 School Year

Planning for the next school year brings many questions. Will classes run as normal? Will we continue with remote learning? Will it be a combination of both in-person and distance learning? We have pulled together a Fall Planning Work Group to look at contingencies for the next school year. This work group will utilize guidance from the state as well as considerations for South Kitsap to create a plan for the start of school in September. Our goal is to finalize a plan and share with students, families and staff by the end of the school year.

I want to once again recognize the incredible hard work by our students, families, and staff during remote learning. We appreciate your hard work, support and understanding as we navigated the last quarter of the school year. This hasn’t been easy and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Stay well!

Tim Winter
Superintendent
South Kitsap School District
360-874-7009
@SKSDSupt

 


Watch the remote learning question and answer session Superintendent Winter hosted with Principal Goodwin, Principal Cain, and Principal Fundane't.

Link to video


April 24, 2020

Dear South Kitsap Families,

Preparing students for the next level of courses and readiness for life after high school is precisely why continued schoolwork is so important. Our focus as a school district is to ensure students are ready for their future. We want to limit any gap in education so students are ready for their next step. This is a partnership and requires effort from students, teachers, and parents.  

In order to ensure that no student is harmed by the school closure, as directed by our governor and state superintendent of public instruction, the following guidelines will be implemented regarding grading and report cards for the remainder of this school year for all general education and special education students.


Elementary:

New learning or work assigned during the school closure will not be graded for calculation of a final grade. Staff will provide specific feedback to students regarding their learning and/or assignments. Feedback is evidence of student learning. There will be no grades/scores entered on the third trimester report cards. All areas will be “Xed” and a district comment will be added about the Covid-19 school closure. Since we mailed second trimester report cards with the most current information, we will not be sending home third trimester report cards. 


Middle School:

New learning or work assigned during the school closure will not be scored or marked and put in the Skyward Gradebook for calculation of a final grade. Staff will provide students with descriptive feedback about the new learning or assignments. Feedback is evidence of student learning. 

Final indicators, academic and work habits, will not be scored on the second semester report card. A district comment will be added about the Covid-19 school closure. Staff will use additional comments, related to academic indicators, on the report card to describe where students are in their learning progressions with respect to the evidence that has been gathered both before and after the closure. High School credit bearing course grading are to be determined. 


High School:
 

For quarter three, students will maintain the percentage/letter grade that they had earned from January 27 through March 13. They will continue to have the opportunity to improve that grade by the deadline of June 12, 2020 by completing missing work. 

For the fourth quarter (March 16 - June 19), students who participated in remote learning will receive full credit (100%). The end of the semester grade will be calculated by combining quarter three percentage earned and quarter four percentage and dividing that total by two for the final letter grade. There will be no Fs given, only an incomplete for any student that had a failing grade at the March 13 cutoff date and who did not participate in remote learning. 

The shift to feedback-based assessment versus traditional grading is supported by extensive research that says:

  • Feedback is one of the top influences on student learning and achievement (John Hattie).
  • This is an opportunity for us to impact student learning through providing descriptive and specific feedback on student progression toward mastery of essential standards.
  • Grades are not motivating, except to the already motivated.
  • “When it comes to assessments, supporting student learning means focusing on feedback instead of a score or grade.” - Thomas Guskey.

Next week, I will host a Q&A Webinar using Zoom to discuss remote learning on Tuesday, April 28 at 6:30 pm. Watch your email and our social media for more information.

This is not easy, and it is not perfect. We appreciate your effort and patience. Thank you for reinforcing the why with your student(s).

Take care and stay well!

Tim Winter
Superintendent


 


April 6, 2020

Dear South Kitsap families,

Governor Inslee and State Superintendent Chris Reykdal just announced the news we were hoping not to receive. Students will not return to our classrooms this school year. We share your emotions in hearing this gut wrenching news. We will miss seeing our students and witnessing their growth in person. While we won't be able to share the same classroom space, we are committed to continuing our support of students. Students have completed 130 days of this school year. There is learning left to be done and we are ready. 

We will continue student instruction using our remote learning program. This is new territory for our staff, students, and families. Staff are reinventing what education looks like in South Kitsap and there are a few key things to remember.

  • Teachers are connecting with students and families. These relationships and communication are critical.
  • While it looks new, these are not new classes. It is just a new way of delivering instruction.
  • Teachers have prioritized the most important concepts they would like students to learn and they have come up with creative ways to guide and provide feedback on new learning as we move forward. 

Here are some questions we are hearing. 
Q:  How long should students spend learning each day?
A:  Our recommended guidelines for maximum time students should spend on daily learning are as follows: 45 minutes for grades K-1 in 5-10 minute spans, 60 minutes for grades 2-3 in 10-15 minute spans, 90 minutes for grades 4-5 in 20-minute spans,  3 hours for grades 6-12 or 30 minutes per teacher. 

Keep in mind that this is total daily learning time and can include reading, online activities, live format, recorded format, and printed formats. Parents can choose to extend learning time; however, teachers will strive to stay within the maximum minutes to allow families to balance workload. Parents can extend learning with outdoor play, reading to self or family members, art, PE, music, etc. Everyone is adjusting and many have multiple roles at home. We appreciate your patience as we adjust to this new form of instruction. 

We've identified the technology needs of our families and loaned out devices for those families that need support. We hope you have found a quiet place in your household for your student(s) to work. Please contact your student's school directly if you still need a device.

Q:  Is it safe for students to use Zoom?
A:  Teachers are using precautions like password protection and private invitations solely for their students.   

Q:  What if my internet coverage is spotty or we don't have access at all?
A:  There are areas with free WiFi around downtown Port Orchard and near the Kitsap Regional Library in Manchester and Port Orchard. There is also WiFi available in some school parking lots. Wave Cable just announced a program called Internet first that offers low cost internet access https://www.internetfirst.com  

Q:  Will meal service and child care continue? 
A:  Yes, YMCA and Champion child care will continue at Manchester, EPO, and Sidney Glen. Grab & Go meal service is offered Mondays and Wednesdays. View the meal service and child care flyers in the right column.

We know you will have many other questions and we will do our best to keep you informed. Many things are on our radar that we don't have answers for at this point including end of year events. Specific questions about classwork should be directed to your student's teachers. We will compile frequently asked questions and add them to our website. Please continue to follow the "Stay at Home" order and practice social distancing.  
 Thank you for your partnership and patience as we work together to support our students. We will get through this together.

Stay well,

Tim Winter