Updated July 28, 2020Back to School Plan 2020-21 School YearDr. Urlich's Letter to Families dated July 27, 2020
Based on the information shared by County Executive Sam Page today regarding reports on the coronavirus infection spread and the 25 percent capacity restriction to be implemented Friday, July 31, we have a new focus.
My statement has consistently been, we want to be in school with our students because that is where we do our best work, and our students thrive. For us to engage in any face to face learning, based on the 25 percent capacity restriction, it would be impossible to deliver a rigorous curriculum to our students.
We are within a four-week window from the start of school. The county is expecting the positive numbers of coronavirus to peak the weekend before school starts.
To give our schools the maximum amount of time to prepare, we need to provide our Board Members with as much detail as possible about the All Students Online Learning Model. Tomorrow night, Tuesday, July 28, at 6:30 pm, we will hold a special board meeting to approve my recommendation on the learning model for the start of the school year. Based on the information released today and the proximity of the start of the school year, my recommendation will be All Students Online Learning for the first nine weeks of school.
We heard from our parents this summer. You want Kirkwood teachers and a rigorous and robust curriculum for your students. During the Board workshop tonight (Monday, July 27), we outlined how the student day might look (by level) in an online learning environment. It will be more rigorous. We will provide additional supports for students and more synchronous (real-time) instruction. To view the recording of the Board workshop, visit KSD's YouTube Channel.
I can promise you this. If we are able to have some version of in-person learning the second quarter, and a parent is not comfortable sending their student to school, we will make every accommodation for your student to finish the semester with a Kirkwood teacher and curriculum online.
We are considering many factors, and we will continue to provide detailed information.
In the coming days and weeks, we will provide more details related to equitable access to learning for all students. We will define staff members’ roles and responsibilities, restructuring job responsibilities where necessary, extracurricular activities, and other programs and services within our school community.
We will hold school-specific webinars for the rest of this week and next week to provide more details. We postponed the family survey scheduled for this weekend. After the conclusion of these webinars, we will engage our students and families in a survey to obtain feedback.
Coming to this conclusion is heartbreaking. We want to see students in school, but only if we can assure our students and staff members' safety. As a new member of the community, I have witnessed the strength of this school community.
We are a "One Kirkwood School Community," and we will emerge more resilient and stronger than ever.
Dr. David Urlich
Superintendent of Schools
Guiding Principles for the 2020-21 School Year
Every aspect of our reopening plan will be examined and aligned through a lens of equity, wellness, inclusion, and safety
All students/families who want in-person OR online options for school will have opportunities to do so, even if limited by social distancing guidelines
Consistent structures, processes, and communication will be created across schools and by level
Internal (family needs, achievement data, mental health) and external (CDC/health department) factors will be designed for flexibility so we may adapt to changing needs including cooperation with area school districts
Energies and resources will be dedicated toward meeting the immediate needs of students, staff, and families