Smart Restart - Fall 2020
Transportation Information for Seconday Students During Hyrbid
January 8, 2021
Important transportation and meal services changes are coming later this month. Please familiarize yourself with what’s happening and how it will affect your student.
Please be advised of important transportation changes happening later this month as we transition secondary students back to classrooms for AM/PM hybrid learning.
- Students are required to walk up to one mile to their assigned school. Students who live within one mile of their school do not qualify for busing unless there are safety concerns identified by the transportation office.
- Bus routes, stops, and times have changed from the 2019-2020 school year. Your child’s stop, bus/route, and pickup/drop off times have changed.
- New routes, stops, and times will be posted on the transportation website for AM and PM cohorts at wenatcheeschools.org/transportation by January 15. If you cannot find your students’ route/bus stop, please contact WSD’s transportation department at (509) 662-6168.
- Elementary student routes are subject to change. Some current elementary am/pm cohort routes may experience a bus/route number change as buses are reassigned to other routes. This change will begin January 21.
- High school students who live within 1 mile of Orchard and Foothills Middle Schools will walk to those schools where a bus stop will be provided to Wenatchee High School.
- District bus transportation will only be provided to the Wenatchee Valley Technical Skills Center from WHS at the beginning of each AM/PM cohort. Alternative transportation arrangements will need to be made from the tech center.
- Elementary and secondary students will ride on separate bus routes. All students will have an assigned seat on the bus and be required to wear a mask while riding the bus. Please have students wash their hands before coming to the bus stop and dress appropriately as windows will be open to provide ventilation.
- Students should arrive at their bus stop and be visible to the driver at least 5 minutes prior to its scheduled arrival time.
- Alternative transportation is available through Link Transit at no cost through the end of the school year. Contact Link Transit for locations and service details. Route navigators are available to assist students and families with riding Link.
Questions about student cohort assignments and daily school schedules should be directed to your child’s school.
Secondary Transportation Start Dates
- 6th Grade - Bus transportation will be available for 6th graders for orientation activities beginning Thursday, January 21.
- January 21 & 22 - Busing will be provided to AM and PM cohort students for 6th grade orientation activities.
- January 26 - Sixth graders will resume riding the bus following their assigned AM/PM cohort schedule.
- 7th, 8th, and 9th Grades and All WestSide Students - Bus transportation will be available for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students and WestSide beginning Tuesday, January 26.
- 7th and 8th Grade - All 7th and 8th grade students attending Foothills, Orchard, or Pioneer middle school will start riding the bus following their assigned AM/PM cohort schedule on January 26th.
- 7th and 8th Grade - All 7th and 8th grade students attending Foothills, Orchard, or Pioneer middle school will start riding the bus following their assigned AM/PM cohort schedule on January 26th.
- 9th Grade - All 9th grade students attending Wenatchee High School will participate in orientation activities on January 26th during their assigned AM/PM cohort schedule.
- WestSide HS - All students attending WestSide High School’s Day School will start riding the bus following their assigned AM/PM cohort schedule on January 26th.
- WVTSC - Please contact the Tech Center, Wenatchee High School, or Westside High School for information regarding scheduled transportation.
- 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade - Bus transportation will be available for 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students beginning Wednesday, January 27.
- 10th, 11th, and 12th Grade - Students attending Wenatchee High School will start riding the bus following their assigned AM/PM cohort schedule on January 27th.
Please note, routes, stops and times have changed. New routes, stops, and times will be posted on the transportation website for AM and PM cohorts by January 15 at wenatcheeschools.org/transportation.
Updated Return To Learn Timeline
January 8, 2021
Reopening Timeline for Grades 4-12
- January 11: 4th-grade
- January 20: 5th-grade
- January 21 & 22 : 6th-grade (Orientation)
- January 26: 7th, 8th, and 9th grades and All WestSide
- January 27: 10th, 11th, and 12th grades
More specific information on returning to hybrid instruction including daily schedules, cohort grouping, and mitigation practices will be provided to parents and guardians by their child’s school. Secondary students will receive their cohort assignments starting Monday, January 11.
Projected Timeline for Returning Grades 3-12 Presented to School Board
December 9, 2020
During the December 8th school board meeting district administration presented a projected timeline for safely returning grades 3-12 back to Wenatchee classrooms. The District plans to slowly return grades 3-5 to classrooms one at a time starting December 14 and then returning the remaining students incrementally one week after Winter break.
Projected Reopening Timeline for Grades 3-12
- December 14: 3rd-grade students
- January 4-8: Week After Christmas Break Evaluation Period
- January 11: 4th-grade Students
- January 20: 5th-grade Students
- January 26: Middle School and High School Students
Dates are subject to change.
WSD had paused plans for the simultaneous return of grades 3-5 classroom before Thanksgiving for the following reasons:
- A spike in community COVID rates
- Staff and student exposures outside of schools were high
- The health district advised not returning large groups of students back at the same time.
- Additional evaluation time was necessary to review mitigation protocols to ensure that they could withstand the spike in community COVID rates.
Upon pausing, WSD committed to the weekly review of this decision. Upon deeper evaluation, the District decided to move forward with the slow return of small groups of students by grade level starting with grade 3 on December 14. The district considered the following in the decision-making process.
- It is the district’s goal to reopen schools for hybrid learning as safely and as quickly as possible given the many known and established benefits of in-person learning
- The youngest and most vulnerable must be first to return
- Every day counts. The social-emotional and academic needs of students matter
- Schools continue to be safe because of mitigation protocols
- National/local experts agree that opening schools should be a priority
- Staffing levels have stabilized
- Perception survey data collected before Thanksgiving indicated the majority of students, staff, and parents were positive about continuing or returning to school for hybrid.
- Support of Dr. Peter Houke, an epidemiologist with the Chelan-Douglas Health District
The District is moving forward with plans to return students to the classroom in the midst of a spike in community COVID-19 rates for the following reasons.
- COVID-19 rates have remained low in schools, even while they have spiked to all-time highs in our community
- Mitigation works to keep schools safe. Health officials agree that schools remain safe due to the demonstrated effectiveness of mitigation protocols
- Right now, we are not returning large groups of students to our schools. Instead, we are bringing back individual grades one at a time
- Smaller groups (30-60) per building allow us to maintain the integrity of mitigation protocols and accommodate more students in the building safely
- The slow and methodical approach to returning grades 3-5 will allow us to move forward and not take steps backward
During the board meeting, the Executive Director of Human Resources, Kelly Lopez detailed the daily meditation strategies that happen in schools that have been effective in keeping COVID cases low. She further outlines the action and communication steps that are taken when there is a positive case that impacts schools and/or classrooms. Watch this portion of the school board meeting here.
For students and families not comfortable with returning to school for hybrid instruction, they may transfer to the Wenatchee Internet Academy (WIA). This online school was created specifically to support families and staff who would rather their students continue learning online. There is currently an open enrollment period for Middle and High School Students to transfer to WIA. The deadline for secondary student transfer to WIA is December 18. Enrollments received after December 18 will be waitlisted. Enrollment information can be found on the WIA website wenatcheeschools.org/WIA or by calling (509) 888-5222.
WSD plans rolling return to learn starting with 3rd grade December 14
December 4, 2020
It is our goal to reopen our schools for hybrid learning as safely and as quickly as possible given the many known and established benefits of in-person learning. Before Thanksgiving, we temporarily paused the return on grades 3-5 to our schools due to an alarming surge in community COVID rates. From the start of the pandemic, it has been WSD’s position to make thoughtful student-focused decisions that take into account the most current guidance from medical professionals balanced with the wellbeing of our students and staff.
At this time, it is our intention to continue moving forward with our return to learn plans. Instead of transitioning all 3rd, 4th and 5th-grade students at the same time, we intend to add one grade level at a time to avoid overwhelming our system with too many students, too quickly and risk increasing infection rates. Our COVID rates have continued to remain low in our buildings due to the implementation and adherence to our mitigation protocols. We need to proceed with an abundance of caution to maintain necessary healthy staffing levels. This is critical to keep our schools open for hybrid.
Starting Monday, December 14, 3rd-grade students will return to classrooms for hybrid instruction using an AM/PM model. The District and our schools will be sharing cohort assignment information next week.
Administration will be discussing a revised timeline for grades 4-12 at the Tuesday, December 8th board meeting. More information will be forthcoming.
While the infection rates have increased in our community and across the state, health professionals agree that schools continue to be safe places due to the strict adherence to mitigation strategies; health screening before arrival on campus, handwashing, masking, cleaning and disinfecting, and social distancing. WSD continues to work in partnership with local health departments to support contact tracing to help prevent the continued spread of COVID-19.
The importance of staying home when sick cannot be emphasized enough. Our schools encourage all students/parents, staff, and teachers to self-monitor for symptoms at home prior to leaving for school through required daily self-screening steps.
Community members have asked what the “magic” number is that will necessitate a district or school-wide closing. The reality is that there is no magic number. However, it is imperative that we keep our staff healthy to ensure we have adequate daily staffing numbers to teach, transport, and feed our students. We are monitoring our staffing rates closely and continuing to make adjustments based on necessary leave for either illness (cold/flu, COVID like symptoms), exposure, or a positive COVID case. Based on guidance from CDHD, if a classroom has two or more positive COVID cases, the classroom will be shut down. If there are two classrooms with two or more individuals with a positive COVID test, the school will be shut down for a minimum of 14 days.
Pulse Survey Data
The results of our recent parent, student, and staff pulse survey are in. The purpose of this questionnaire was to reach out and check in to gain greater insight into group feelings and perceptions about remote and hybrid learning and to provide a pathway for them to share their thoughts and truth in their own words. All responses were anonymous to allow for open sharing.
In addition to the qualitative data collected, we asked respondents to share their experiences, perceptions, and throughs in an open-ended response. District staff taking time to review all of the feedback provided. Overall, we value the honest nature of the responses and the time that individuals took to share their challenges.
550 staff, 198 parents and 369, 6-12 grade students completed the pulse survey.
With COVID Cases on the Rise, WSD Delays Plans to Return Grades 3-5 to Classrooms
November 17, 2020
It has been the Wenatchee School District’s goal to reopen schools for hybrid learning as safely and as quickly as possible given the many known and established benefits of in-person learning. However, due to high COVID-19 rates in our community, the District has decided to delay returning grades 3-5 to schools until after the Thanksgiving holiday. A specific return date has not been established due to the developing nature of the coronavirus’ spread in the community.
From the start of the pandemic, WSD has been unwavering in its approach to making thoughtful, student-focused decisions that take into account the most current guidance from medical professionals, balanced with the academic and social-emotional wellbeing of our students and staff. The District believes this decision follows our consistent approach.
For the time being, Wenatchee students will learn through the following models;
- Prek-2: Will attend daily in-person and online through an AM/PM hybrid
- Grades 3-5: Will learn online
- Grades 6-12: Will learn online
- Secondary students receiving social justice services will learn in-person
WSD is making the decision not to return all students to remote learning due to the high levels of COVID-19 in the community for the following reasons:
- This is an incredibly vital time in the academic development of our preschool through 2nd-grade students in the areas of literacy and math.
- We firmly believe that the mitigating strategies we have put in place in our schools are working well.
- The small number of students and staff we currently have in our schools is also working well, with limited infections.
- We don’t want to create a situation where infection rates increase by adding more staff and students to our schools, possibly resulting in the need to close all in-person instruction, as other districts have done.
- Health officials warn the risk of exposure and spread of the disease over the Thanksgiving holiday is dramatically increased due to social gatherings in homes and the community.
Health officials agree that our schools are safe places due to the strict adherence to masking, socially distancing, and proper handwashing protocols that are in place in our buildings. However, there is heightened concern that outside of schools people may not always be following the same strict adherence to these protocols.
Alone WSD cannot solve this health crisis, but we do believe that it is imperative to form a strong partnership between our schools and community. The District is urging our community to follow recommended health guidelines to slow the spread and return COVID-19 rates to low levels. Schools must be a priority and have a major impact not only on the academic and social-emotional wellbeing of our students but also on our local economy.
It is our hope that infection rates do not spike over the Thanksgiving holiday and we can return our 3rd through 5th-grade students to schools in the very near future. The Wenatchee School District will keep working closely with the Chelan-Douglas Health District, mental health experts, and our educators to reevaluate when it is safe to bring more students back to our schools.
PK-12 Hybrid Transition Times
November 5, 2020
Health and safety are critical to the success of hybrid learning in our schools. Now that PreK-2 scholars have returned to our buildings for hybrid instruction we will be closely monitoring our health and safety protocols and make any modifications necessary to streamline processes and make improvements. This time is important for us to observe and make adjustments with smaller groups of students in the building. We continue to lean into the guidance of the Chelan Douglas Health District to allow for a minimum three-week window before bringing back grades 3-5. At this time, we are making plans to transition middle and high school students back for in-person hybrid learning at second semester (January 26). Return dates are subject to change based on guidance and rates of infection after holidays when health care professionals anticipate a spike in the spread of COVID-19.
Kindergarten Through 2nd Grade Cohort Assignment Information
October 22, 2020
Kindergarten through 2nd grade families will receive a letter in the mail starting October 22nd from the District assigning their student(s) to either the AM or PM cohort groups. The letter also outlines daily routines and expectations for health and safety.
AM/PM Cohort Group Change Request
If your child’s cohort group placement creates a significant hardship for your family, you may submit a change request form using the online form. If the student is changing cohorts, transportation will not be provided unless required by a specific educational support program (ie., IEP or McKinney-Vento)
Option to Continue Learning Online Through WIA
If you are not comfortable returning your child to the classroom for daily hybrid instruction, you will be given the option of continuing with full-time online learning by transferring to the Wenatchee Internet Academy (WIA). Contact WIA at (509) 888-5222 or visit wenatcheeschools.org/WIA for details. Parents must complete an in-district transfer request form that is on the WIA home page no later than Tuesday, October 27 in order to move to WIA.
Required Daily Student Health Screener
To help us all stay safe and healthy we have implemented a new daily health and safety screening process. Parents and guardians MUST complete three screening steps for their students before they arrive at school every day.
#1 COMPLETE THE ONLINE HEALTH SCREENER
Complete the online health screener at http://bit.ly/wsdcovidscreen. In the event there is a COVID case, this online screener allows us to contact trace.
#2 FILL OUT A PAPER FAST PASS
Fast Pass booklets are available at your students’ school or can be downloaded and printed from the school website.
#3 SEND THE PAPER FAST PASS TO SCHOOL
Students will turn in their Fast Pass when arriving at school. This quickly tells us that a parent/guardian has completed the daily screener and the student is ready to safely enter the building.
After turning in their Fast Pass students will have their temperature checked by school staff and cleared to enter the school.
Parents will be called if their child does not pass the temperature check and/or they do not complete the required online daily screener.
Family members will be asked not to leave their vehicles when picking up or dropping off students at school. Your child’s school will communicate specific drop-off locations for your child and the designated entry point your student will use to enter school.
Riding the Bus
We will provide transportation for children who ride the bus. Routes have changed from last year and will be posted on the Transportation website wenatcheeschools.org/transportation by October 26th or you may call the WSD Transportation Department at (509) 662-6168 to confirm your child’s bus stop.
Free school meals will continue to be provided for all students through the remainder of the school year. Children who attend school on-site in the morning can pick up a school breakfast and eat it in their classroom. They will also be able to take a pre-packed lunch to eat at home. Children who attend on-site in the afternoon will pick up a school lunch when they arrive and will be able to take home a pre-packed breakfast to eat at home the following morning.
Health and Safety Practices
- If your child is feeling sick, they must stay home from school. If they are experiencing COVID like symptoms, they should consult a healthcare professional right away and notify the school office.
- All students and staff members will be required to wear masks or face coverings.
- We will space out desks in classrooms to provide at least six feet of distancing.
- Students and staff will be frequently reminded about the importance of proper handwashing.
- To avoid large groups of students gathering in one place, we will adjust the way students move between classrooms and other spaces in our schools.
Questions or concerns about hybrid learning should be directed to your child's school,.
We look forward to a successful and safe reopening of your child’s school on November 2nd. Thank you for doing your part to open our schools. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your child’s school office.
PreK-2 Students to Return for Hybrid Learning November 2
October 15, 2020
The Chelan-Douglas Health District (CDHD) informed the Wenatchee School District (WSD) that as of Oct. 9, more than 4,500 COVID-19 tests have been administered. According to CDHD, the testing resulted in approximately 1% positive cases. One of the most important factors in returning schools to limited in-person instruction is the prevalence of COVID infection within a community. Due to the low reported infection rate and in consultation with the CDHD the Wenatchee School District will begin implementing a hybrid model starting on Monday, November 2nd for Preschool through 2nd-grade students.
Our youngest PreK-2nd grade students will return to schools first, and over time additional grades will be added as COVID rates remain at low to moderate levels and it becomes safe to do so. The District will continue to partner with the CDHD to monitor and make decisions about phasing in additional grade levels. The CDHD advises that there be a minimum of three weeks before transitioning grades 3-5 to hybrid.
The district will move to an AM/PM hybrid model for PreK-2 that will combine daily in-person and online learning five days a week. Taking this approach will allow WSD to maintain social distancing and cohorting while providing daily essential in-person instruction in literacy and numeracy.
In the AM/PM model, half of a classroom of students are onsite in the morning and half in the afternoon. When onsite, students will engage in the content areas of literacy, math, social-emotional instruction, and recess. When at home, students will participate in PE, Library, Art, Music, Intervention, Special Support, and Science/Social Studies.
Additionally, K-2 families who are not comfortable returning their child to the classroom for hybrid instruction will be given the option of continuing with full-time online learning by transferring to the Wenatchee Internet Academy.
We recognize that the Latino community has been disproportionately impacted by COVID. The district will continue to partner with the CDHD to evaluate the testing data in this regard and will work to enhance communication with Latino families about hybrid learning and the safe transition back to school.
In the coming days, schools will be following up with families with further details on how teaching and learning will look using the AM/PM hybrid model, along with information on health and safety protocols, meal services, pick-up, and drop-off procedures, and busing.
Once schools are open, students and staff will need to adhere to a variety of health and safety measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. These include daily health screening, mandatory face coverings, social distancing whenever possible, frequent hand-washing, and the regular cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and common spaces.
The Wenatchee School District continues to follow sound protocols aligned with expert health guidance to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect the health of our students and staff. For further information and updates on the district’s reopening plan, please visit wenatcheeschools.org/smartrestart
News and Information Updates:
Chelan-Douglas Health District Community Test Results I 10/15 New Release
District Cabinet Team Outlines Hybrid Transition Plan at School Board Meeting
October 13, 2020
District senior leaders presented an overview of the District’s current planning for hybrid learning to the WSD School Board of Directors at their regular meeting.
Key points discussed were:
- The District is awaiting test results from the prevalence testing efforts from the Chelan-Douglas Health District (CDHD) from last week. Approval from CDHD is required to re-open schools for hybrid instruction.
- A transition to a hybrid model will not take place until after fall conferences (October 28-30) for PreK-2 grade students, if approved by the CDHD.
- A two week transition period will take place to allow for adequate communication to parents and staff and for required health and safety strategies to be fully implemented.
- The District is recommending an AM/PM cohort model be implemented for PreK-2. This means that students will spend part of the day at school and part of the day at home daily. This is a difference from what the district was originally considering which was an A/B schedule.
- Based on further evaluation and input from teachers, it was determined it is essential to return the youngest scholars to classrooms for daily instruction in order to build foundational literacy and numeracy skills before 3rd grade.
- State transportation funding has changed, opening the door for the district to look at the AM/PM hybrid teaching model.
- The District has looked, listened, and learned from stakeholders and other districts who have reopened to learn about successes and failures. District leaders visited the Moses Lake School District, where schools are open K-12 to observe how they are successfully handling health and safety protocols and procedures.
- The District recognizes this shift will have an impact on families due to the changing schedule.
- The District will provide a Smart Restart update to all K-12 families so they understand what hybrid means and how it may impact them. Schools will communicate specifics on cohort schedules and details regarding meals, transportation, and daily health screening protocols to K-2 families.
- The District’s comprehensive Smart Restart plan is available on the website wenatcheeschools.org/smartrestart
Dr. Gordon noted that right before tonight’s meeting, Governor Inslee approved Chelan and Douglas counties to move from the state’s safe start Phase 1.5 to Phase 2. It is not clear what implications this move will have on the District’s reopening plans. Dr. Gordon will contact the health district for further clarification.
View the Board Meeting
View the Presentation Slides
WSD Hosts Voluntary COVID-19 Testing in Hopes of Reopening Schools Sooner
October 2, 2020
The Chelan-Douglas Health District (CDHD) has advised the Wenatchee School District to begin preparations to transition to hybrid learning in mid-October. Based on current COVID-19 rates in the community and the downward trajectory of those rates, WSD is actively preparing to bring back our preschool through 2nd-grade students to school campuses for hybrid instruction. Additional grades will be phased in incrementally when it is safe to do so, and as long as COVID rates remain stable.
To collect valid and reliable data to aid in the decision-making process for reopening schools for hybrid, the Chelan-Douglas Health District will be conducting two COVID-19 testing programs in Wenatchee over the next few weeks. It is the hope that rates will show a low to a moderate level (25 to 75 per 100,000) of COVID-19 in the community. Based on data collected from the two testing programs the District anticipates announcing the exact start date for hybrid learning for PreK-2nd grade around October 12th.
The first is a community-wide testing program that will be held at the Wenatchee High School parking lot on October 6th, 7th, 8th, & 9th, from 1:00 - 7:00 PM. Testing is free and open to the public. ID is not required, and test results will be made available within 24-48 hours.
The second will be voluntary testing of WSD preschool and elementary staff and random sample testing of Kindergarten-2nd grade students and their families. CDHD will provide WSD preschool and elementary school staff with self-administered test kits at their schools on October 6th, 7th, and 8th.
The CDHD will preselect Kindergarten-2nd grade students and their families for voluntary testing, using a random start systematic sample system which will ensure a valid sample representative of district demographics. Students and families selected for random sample testing will be contacted by school district staff to make arrangements to be tested on either October 7th, 8th, or 9th.
The purpose of the COVID-19 testing programs is to determine the coronavirus's prevalence in our school community. The prevalence testing provides critical information on the overall number of affected individuals at a point in time. Using this information, CDHD will have the statistical data necessary to determine when and if it is safe to begin hybrid instruction at elementary school campuses. Similar random sample testing of students and families will continue to be conducted as grade levels are incrementally phased in.
"The more people who get tested, the better data we will have to determine the infection rate in our community," said Wenatchee Superintendent Paul Gordon. Acknowledging the community's concern, especially among the Latino leaders and families, about the implications of reopening schools. Gordon stated that the scientifically reliable testing data collected would validate our plans to safely reopen schools.
All testing is voluntary, and no personal health information will be shared with the Wenatchee School District. WSD will only receive overall infection rates for schools and grade levels.
Public Community-Wide Testing
October 6th, 7th, 8th, & 9th
1:00 - 7:00 PM
Wenatchee High School
The Chelan-Douglas Health District will facilitate free COVID-19 testing for the public at the Wenatchee High School parking lot. No ID required, and test results are made available within 24-48 hours.
Random Sample Kindergarten-2nd-grade student and family testing
October 7th, 8th, and 9th
Location details and times will be communicated with selected families.
A random sample of students and their families will be chosen by the Chelan-Douglas Health District for voluntary testing. Students and families who are selected for testing will be contacted by the school district and provided with instructions on when and where testing will occur.
Voluntary Preschool and Elementary Staff Testing
October 6th, 7th, and 8th
The CDHD will provide staff with self-administered nasal swab test kits for WSD preschool and elementary school staff. Test kits can be picked up at preschool and elementary school offices. Test results will be made available to staff within 24-48 hours.
Preparing for Hybrid
September 25, 2020
As the rate of COVID-19 cases continues to drop in Chelan and Douglas Counties, district staff are actively preparing to safely transition our schools to hybrid learning (online/in-person). Our leaders are currently collaborating with teachers and principals on schedules and operational logistics (meals, transportation, mitigation strategies, etc.).
Along with other regional superintendents, we have submitted an exception request to the Chelan-Douglas Health District (CDHD) to bring back elementary students first starting with our youngest and most academically vulnerable scholars in PreK-2nd grade. Additional elementary grades would progressively be added as it becomes safe to do so. Middle and high school students would be added in the future as COVID rates remain stable.
We are currently awaiting approval from the CDHD on the exemption. Our next step is to reach out to our PreK-5th parents with a survey to gauge their comfort level returning their students to school through a hybrid model. The survey will be sent directly to PreK-5 parents next week.
Launch to Learn Week (Aug. 26 - Sept. 3)
Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year! While this year will certainly look different, what remains the same is how much we can’t wait to connect with you and your students. Our staff has missed seeing your child and is ready to get back to teaching.
During the first week of school, all Wenatchee School District schools will be participating in Launch to Learn Week activities. The purpose of this time is for students and families to get acquainted with teachers, become familiar with our new learning tools Canvas™ and Zoom, and to ask questions. More importantly, with a new year, new classes, and new faces, building relationships will be foundational to the work that goes on this week. We’ll be doing this together and we encourage you to communicate with your child’s teacher and school if you have questions or experience challenges along the way.
Our building principals and district administrators have created some flexibility regarding student learning opportunities. At the high school level, Wenatchee Internet Academy provides more flexibility around daily schedule times. At the elementary and middle school levels there is limited flexibility. Students and parents must communicate with teachers during Launch to Learn Week regarding any challenges they anticipate with participation in the daily school schedule. The teacher(s) and building principal will meet with the parents to discuss what flexibility will look like for their child. School schedules are now posted on school websites.
During the first week of school, in-person teacher meetings will take place to support students and families. Parents who cannot meet in person can schedule virtual meetings with the teacher. Teachers will contact families to schedule a time to meet. At the meetings, teachers will focus on reviewing the daily schedule, establishing routines and structures, helping students log in to their Canvas and Zoom accounts, distributing technology and educational resources (books, etc), determining family needs, and conducting any necessary assessments. Student account login information will be mailed to parents and an additional copy of login information will be provided during teacher meetings.
Launch to Learn Resource Packets
Resource packets customized for each grade level will be available for drive-through pick up at elementary schools during Launch to Learn Week, August 26-September 3, between 11 AM - 1 PM.
The purpose of this packet is to support remote learning when students and parents are not meeting one-on-one with teachers. The packets will include learning activities for reading, handwriting, math, science, and specialists. We are asking students to complete the packet and return it to their teacher for evaluation. This will provide an indication of how we can best support your child.
Each school will be distributing Chromebooks and iPads differently. Check your school’s website for details on distribution dates, times, and availability. Please note, we are currently awaiting a shipment of devices. At this time we may not have a devices for every student.
During the Launch to Learn week, virtual teacher meetings will take place to support students and families. Parents who cannot meet virtually can schedule an in-person meeting with the teacher. Teachers will be contacting parents in the days ahead to schedule these meetings.
Launch to Learn week activities will focus efforts on building relationships, reviewing the daily schedule, establishing routines and structures, helping access student's Canvas and Zoom accounts, distributing technology and educational resources (books, etc), and conducting outreach to parents/students.
Each school will be distributing Chromebooks and iPads differently. Please check your school’s website for details on distribution dates and times.
WENATCHEE HIGH SCHOOL
At the high school level, Launch to Learn Week will be very student-focused and will include activities and interactions that center on building relationships, reviewing the daily schedule, establishing routines and structures, accessing Canvas, and distributing technology and educational resources (books, etc).
Students will be attending virtual classes during the first week. School advocacy staff will engage parents if their child does not attend or is experiencing barriers to learning. WHS will mail a letter with student login information to access their online classrooms in Canvas.
Parents will be provided with a video overview of the new learning management system Canvas. During week two of school, parents will have the opportunity for additional support from the school.
Wenatchee High School drive-thru device distribution for the students who don’t have a device at home (We are awaiting a shipment of devices and currently do not have enough for every student at this time) will take place on August 24 and 25 from 2:00 - 6:00 PM. Students who are unable to pick up a device during those times should contact the school office to make arrangements (509) 663.8117
WestSide High School’s Launch to Learning Week will focus on many different aspects of engaging the student population. Most importantly, the staff will spend time checking in with students and families. During Launch to Learn week, WestSide staff will focus on working with our students in small numbers to help orient them with the new learning tools Canvas and Zoom. During the first three days of school students will receive an email with a Zoom line to participate in an online orientation session.
Chromebooks will be distributed during WestSide’s Back to School Bash on August 24 from 3-6 p.m.
WENATCHEE VALLEY TECH
Launch to Learn Week will be very student-focused at WV Tech and will include activities and interactions that center on building relationships, reviewing the daily schedule, establishing routines and structures, creating Canvas accounts, and distributing technology and educational resources (books, etc). Students will be attending virtual classes during the first week. Students and parents will be contacted by their teachers to schedule virtual meetings.
Students will need to pick up a Chromebook from their home high school. If they are unable to obtain a device at their home school students should contact WV Tech to make arrangements (509) 662.8827
WENATCHEE INTERNET ACADEMY (WIA)
During the Launch to Learn week WIA teachers will schedule virtual meetings with students to support students and families on August 27 and 28th. Launch to Learn meetings will focus efforts on establishing a required learning plan, building relationships, reviewing the daily schedule, establishing routines and structures, helping students access their Canvas and Zoom accounts.
Students who currently have a school-issued Chromebook or iPad may keep that device for learning through WIA. For students who do not currently have a device for learning WIA will communicate with enrolled students and families a schedule for Chromebook pick up locations.
During the August 11th school board meeting, district leaders presented an overview of school schedules and restart plans for the first week of school.
Please note there is a typo on the elementary start times presented in the board report video. The correct start time should be 7:45 AM. We have corrected the error on the slides posted below to reflect the correct start time.
Read the Board Meeting Summary Report
View the presentation slides
View the presentation slides (Spanish)
August 11, 2020
Smart Restart Parent Letter
The Wenatchee School District cares deeply about our students, our employees, our parents, and our community. We are committed to making sure our schools are safe places to learn and to teach. COVID-19 presents the biggest safety challenge we have ever faced. Due to an alarming increase in the spread of COVID-19 in Chelan and Douglas Counties, the Wenatchee School District Board of Directors took action on July 29, 2020, to return to online learning for the fall. We arrived at our decision after numerous meetings with regional and state public health officials, where they advised us that the risk of opening our schools for face-to-face instruction was too great. This was due to the significant amount of COVID-19 cases in our community.
We will start the 2020-2021 school year remotely through Continuous Learning 2.0. All PK-12th grade students will learn online until the risk of significant transmission of COVID-19 has decreased enough to safely resume hybrid (online/in-person) instruction. The Wenatchee School District has developed a Smart Restart Plan that details our Stage 1: Continuous Learning 2.0 Online Learning and our Stage 2: Hybrid Learning Plan.
STAGE 1: CONTINUOUS LEARNING 2.0 ONLINE
At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, all WSD students will learn through Continuous Learning 2.0 online. Students enrolled in all physical schools will continue instruction virtually with their classroom teacher(s) using a new learning management system (LMS) called Canvas™. The virtual school day will begin and end at the normal time and daily attendance will be expected and required. Students and educators will engage in a continuous day of learning through the use of technology. School days will include typical courses available to students such as reading, writing, math, science, health, special services, intervention, physical education, art, etc. Continuous Learning 2.0 is a temporary plan to ensure continuity of education during school closures and will transition back to hybrid (online/in-person) instruction and an eventual return to full in-person instruction when it is deemed safe for students and staff to return to school.
Using the feedback collected from our stakeholders, the District has made significant improvements to our remote learning model (Continuous Learning 2.0). The remote learning model we will be rolling out on August 26th is not the same model experienced in the spring. It will be much more robust, structured, and consistent.
Wenatchee Internet Academy (WIA)
Families who prefer that their child(ren) continue learning online through the entire school year and do not intend for them to return to school for in-person instruction at any point during the year may enroll their K-12 students in the Wenatchee Internet Academy (WIA). WIA is a full-time, stand-alone virtual school supported by Wenatchee School District teachers. The registration deadline is August 17. Registration is available at wenatcheeschools.org/WIA.
STAGE 2: HYBRID
Stage 2 of the Smart Restart Plan would entail PK-12 students coming back to the classroom using a hybrid model (online/in-person) when it has been deemed safe by local and state-wide health agencies. Based on public health recommendations, younger students will be prioritized to return to classrooms first for in-person instruction. While at school, mandatory health and hygiene protocols aligned with guidance from the Chelan-Douglas Health District and Washington State Department of Health (DOH) will be followed by students and staff.
Additionally, we have taken the following steps to ensure our students and families are supported.
Childcare: Our partners at the Wenatchee Valley YMCA will offer limited childcare at some school sites. Details of services are still being developed. More information and registration information is available on the YMCA website wenymca.org/student-care
Grab-and-go meals: Breakfast and lunch will continue to be provided at school sites through drive-thru pick up.
Technology: We will continue to check out Chromebook computers and iPads for students who need them. Our goal is to provide devices for each student in your household that may need one. However, constraints on manufacturing may delay this ability until the end of September or later. We will begin the year by checking out devices to those in need who do not have a device in their home to use for remote learning.
Internet Access: More information about how to connect to low-cost and free Wifi hotspots around the Wenatchee area is available at wenatcheeschools.org. We will continue to have our open wifi hotspots at schools and throughout our community in addition to a limited number of cellular hot spots for families most in need.
Parent training opportunities: We will be offering parent training and support on various topics, including How to Navigate Online Learning and How to Support Your Child’s Learning.
School Welcome Back Interactions
We know that parents and students look forward to annual ‘meet the teacher nights’ and welcome back events. These interactions are essential for building relationships and helping both students and parents get comfortable with learning online. Our schools are currently planning these events and orientation experiences for families. All interactions will be held in a manner that is allowable by local health officials and aligns with current guidance. Families can also expect to receive information about their child’s daily schedule and specifics on school routines. Information on events and schedules will be shared by your child’s school in the days ahead.
Please be sure your contact information is up to date so you don’t miss this important information. You can update your information by contacting your school or by filling out the “Update My Contact Information” form on our website wenatcheeschools.org.
School offices will continue to be closed to the public. However, parents may call to speak with office staff and schedule appointments to visit the office for school business.
WSD appreciates the patience our stakeholders have given us and we look forward to connecting with you this school year. This year may not be starting in the way that we envisioned, but we are dedicated to the delivery of high-quality instruction no matter the delivery method. Please take care of one another by following the Department of Public Health’s guidance on social distancing, and wearing masks while in public. The sooner we can decrease the spread of COVID-19, the sooner we can get back into the classroom.
August 4, 2020
Parent Town Hall
Over 600 parents participated in Town Hall to ask questions about the District's restart plans for fall. Below are links to view the recording of the meeting, slide presentation and Q&A collected from the live chat.
Watch the Town Hall
July 30, 2020
Wenatchee School District Board of Directors approved Superintendent Gordon's recommendation to start the school year online during a special meeting July 29th. The District will implement a two-stage approach to returning to the classroom starting with online and transitioning to hybrid when conditions allow.
Watch the meeting
View Board Presentation
View Board Presentation - Spanish
View Board Summary Report
July 27, 2020
Wenatchee Schools will Start 2020-2021 School Year Online
The Wenatchee School District has announced that due to an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases in the community and across the state, it will recommend to the school board that school begin online August 26th for all K-12 students. The board will hold a special meeting and take action on the recommendation Wednesday, July 29 at 6:00 PM.
Initially, WSD planned to return PK-5th grade students to classrooms for in-person instruction in the fall and secondary though a hybrid (online/in-person) model. However, in light of new information from medical professionals and the health department, the District has changed direction and moved to resume school online until it is safe to return in-person. Students will learn in virtual classrooms taught by teachers at their enrolled schools until conditions allow face-to-face instruction.
In a meeting with regional superintendents, public health officials advised opening schools would lead to a significant transmission based on current infection rates. Medical professionals cited that in Chelan and Douglas counties, COVID-19 cases have increased to 425 per 100,000 people. An acceptable level for possibly reopening schools would be closer to 25 per 100,000.
With over 7,840 students and 1,200 employees, safety is the District’s number one priority when it comes to decisions about restarting school. “This is not where I want us to be; this is not where our staff wants us to be; we want our students back in the classroom,” said Wenatchee Superintendent Dr. Paul Gordon. Gordon also acknowledged the burden that a return to online learning places on families but underscored the fact that it is currently not safe to resume any level of in-person instruction at this time.
WSD school buildings house both students and staff, including some who fall into high-risk categories. What is known about the disease so far indicates young children are less likely to have severe impacts from COVID-19. Older children are capable of spreading the virus, with 11% of cases occurring in children aged 0-19. Asymptomatic students may also expose staff, their families, and others in the community, potentially creating a super spreader event. As a result, reopening school buildings for face-to-face instruction creates an untenable risk for students, staff, and the broader community.
Using the feedback collected from stakeholders through surveys and focus groups, WSD made significant improvements to the remote learning model students and staff experienced in the spring. Now called “Continuous Learning 2.0,” the new online learning experience will be more robust, structured, and consistent. With Continious Learning 2.0 the virtual school day will begin and end at the normal time and daily attendance will be expected and required. Students and educators will engage in a continuous day of learning through the use of technology. School days will include typical courses available to students such as reading, writing, math, science, health, special services, intervention, physical education, art, etc. Continuous Learning 2.0 is a temporary plan to ensure continuity of education during school closures and will transition back to in-person instruction when it is deemed safe for students and staff to return to school.
Continuous Learning 2.0 will be different than the District’s online school, Wenatchee Internet Academy (WIA), a new offering the District rolled out a few weeks ago. The difference is that students participating in Continuous Learning 2.0 will eventually return to classrooms for in-person instruction when it is deemed safe. Students enrolled in WIA will continue learning online throughout the year.
Virtual Town Hall for Parents:
Parent feedback has been a valued component of WSD’s Smart Restart plan and will continue to be essential. The District will be hosting a Smart Restart virtual town hall meeting on Tuesday, August 4th, at 6 PM for parents to hear more about restart plans for fall. Parents can submit questions before the meeting here. Spanish translation services will be available. A recording of the town hall session will be posted on the district webpage after the live broadcast. For more information on the town hall click here
Additionally, we have taken the following steps to ensure our students, staff, and parents are supported:
For student, staff, and families:
- Consistency: Consistent, predictable communication, and instructional schedules! For example, a consistent way to view and access links, schedules, and information on our newly adopted Canvas™™ Learning Management System.
- Remote Learning Resources: We will provide clear and helpful information that will serve as a resource for families and staff on how to successfully navigate remote learning.
- Wenatchee Internet Academy (WIA): Families who prefer that their child(ren) continue learning online through the school year and do not intend to send them back for in-person/hybrid instruction at any point during the year may enroll their K-12 students in WIA. WIA is a full-time stand-alone virtual school supported by Wenatchee School District teachers.
- Training for all educators in order to ensure high-quality remote instruction for students.
Parents and families:
- Grab-and-go meal distribution at school sites for any students and families.
- Technology Access: We will continue to check out Chromebooks and iPads for students who need them. Knowing there may be multiple children in one household. Our intent is to have enough devices for every student who needs one, but constraints on manufacturing may delay this ability until the end of September, so we will begin the year with checking out devices to those in need who do not have a device in their home to use for remote learning.
- Internet Access: More information about how to connect to low-cost and free Wifi hotspots around the Wenatchee is available at wenatcheeschools.org. We will continue to have our open wifi hotspots at schools and throughout our community in addition to a limited number of cellular hot spots for families most in need.
- Parent Training Opportunities: We will be offering parent training videos and support on a variety of topics such as How to Navigate Online Learning, How to Support Your Child’s Learning.
- Childcare: Plans for childcare are underway now. Additional information will be shared with families in the coming weeks.
More information, including specifics around school schedules, will be shared as soon as possible. As the environment and information around COVID-19 continue to shift and change, we will adapt and respond as quickly as possible. In-person learning is best for students and educators but until it is safe to return we will continue to focus on supporting our students and families and those farthest away from social justice.
WSD appreciates the patience our stakeholders have given us. Please take care of one another by following the guidance of Public Health, social distancing, and wearing masks while in public. The sooner we can decrease the spread of COVID-19, the sooner we can get back into the classroom.
Our Next Steps:
- The School Board will vote on Superintendent Gordon’s recommendation to start school online during a special meeting Wednesday, July 29th at 6 PM
- Parent virtual town hall - August 4 at 6:00 PM
July 17, 2020
Our Commitment to Students & Families
As we parepare to open schools on August 26th we are committed to the following:
- We will articulate clear expectations of schools and teachers so students and families know what to expect.
- We will support coherent weekly transitions between in-school and distance learning.
- We will provide alternative instructional options, including full-time online learning, for families who choose not to participate in in-school instruction.
- We will plan for a seamless transition to full-time distance learning for all students, if necessary for public health.
- We will expect consistency of high-quality instruction and student learning experience across classrooms and schools.
- We will focus on the social-emotional needs of our students, acknowledging these needs have been heightened by the pandemic.
Smart Restart Reopening Committee
Wenatchee School District has formed a smart restart school reopening committee to create a thoughtful and safe return plan to prepare students, families, educators, and community for school to resume in the fall. Our Smart Restart Plan is based upon the current guidelines from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Our goal is to return to school for in-person instruction with enhanced safety and mitigation procedures. However, we must be proactive and prepared during these ever-changing times to continue educating our students if and when circumstances change throughout the year related to the health and safety of our students and employees. Currently, our SMART RESTART committee is working with task force teams to establish three educational instructional pathways, on-site, online and hybrid (on-site and online)
These teams are also developing procedures for school routines (meals, recess, riding the bus, pick up and drop off, etc.) that comply with current social distancing requirements.
Smart Restart Report
Due to all the factors and information needed to plan as COVID-19 issues unfold, the comprehensive Smart Restart plan will be released in early August. While summer may have just started, we know that families are eager to understand what a return to school will look like and how they can best prepare themselves and their children. The plan will detail operations and academics and will address the mechanics of mitigating factors necessary to comply with OSPI’s guidance and safely reopen schools such as masks, sanitization, and social distancing measures.
Parent Survey Results
As part of the Smart Restart committee’s early planning work, a survey was sent to parents about returning to school in the fall. 2,000 parents participated in the survey. We value the feedback collected and are using it as a guide for our planning. A second survey will be conducted in August to gauge further parent concerns. Review the Summary of Parent Responses
Leveraging local expertise and providing training
The information here outlines some of the work that's been happening during the past couple months and will continue to happen over the summer. Work groups have been assembled with representation from teaching and operational staff as well as building and district administrators. Prior input from students, families, and staff is being used to guide our work. With serving the whole community as our continued foundation, our committed focus on equity and access will direct our work and will help us develop a comprehensive Smart Restart plan that will be made available in early August.
Our purpose of growing the whole child remains firmly anchored as a design parameter during these unprecedented times. Our goal is to open our doors for in-person instruction on August 26th for all of our students. We remain committed to learning experiences that ensure safe, healthy, engaged, challenged, and supported opportunities for each child, no matter the instructional method. In our Smart Restart plan, we have attempted to provide quality in-person, online, and hybrid (online and in-person) learning options and to allow our families to decide what is best for them in a way that mitigates the risks while maximizing the potential rewards.
Through our Smart Restart plan instruction will be provided in the following ways:
|PreK - 5||
Wenatchee Internet Academy (WIA)
Wenatchee Internet Academy (WIA) is an online educational program that provides instructor-led online courses to elementary through high school age students in the Wenatchee School District (WSD). WIA presents students with a daily robust, interactive learning experience with a certificated teacher. This program is not simply a textbook online. All K-12 curriculum is similar to current WSD classroom curriculum and aligned with Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. WIA registration is now open for current students at wenatcheeschools.org/WIA
Learning Management System
To better support students and families, the District has adopted an online Learning Management System (LMS) called Canvas. The need for a single learning platform across K-12 was something we heard loud and clear from our parents and staff through feedback provided by focus groups and surveys. An LMS is a "one-stop shop" that will provide students, families, and educators support for years to come. The LMS will support seamless transitions from traditional face-to-face learning to online learning or a combination of both, strengthen communication, and enhance equitable access to students as they learn the priority standards. The LMS also has tools for parents so they can track their students’ progress and support learning at home.
Since the beginning of the shutdown, our Technology Department has been working to create an infrastructure that enables the District to deliver a safe and manageable online environment for all students and staff whether they are in a classroom or working remotely. In addition, we have ordered enough Chromebooks and iPads to ensure that each child has their own device for learning, barring unforeseen supply chain issues. Should we need to shut down for any reason in the future, students will be able to quickly transition to online instruction. Families that did not pick up a device for their child in the spring will have the ability to pick one up in the fall. Information on low-cost and free Wi-Fi service from local internet providers and a map of local public hot-spots is available at bit.ly/WSDWiFi
We want students back in school but must honor the safety needs of students, staff, and the community to make a smart restart this fall. Masks will be required for both students and staff, social distancing guidelines adhered to, and new ways of doing things in our school buildings will be introduced to ensure the safety and well being of all. Our Smart Restart comprehensive plan will outline how school routines like meal time, riding the bus, and pick up and drop will work.
This work cannot be done in isolation. More than ever before, there will be a need to rely on collaborative partnerships that deliver the resources, thought, and support of both internal and external stakeholders. We are working closely with experts from the University of Washington to develop high quality instructional frameworks for teaching and learning and reaching out to local partners for help supporting the various departments that collectively serve each child. We will lean into creative solutions to maximize partnerships throughout our greater Wenatchee community.
- Continuing to develop our comprehensive Smart Restart plan for reopening
- Adhering to OPSI’s guidelines for reopening schools
- Enhancing our online learning experience with the help of experts
- Examining the physical spaces at each of our schools to determine limits of social distancing
- Ordering necessary personal protective equipment and sanitizing resources
- Gathering additional feedback from families, students and staff through another survey in August