Recovery efforts and more options for students | Superintendent's Corner
Last updated 8/18/2021 at 2:47pm
In response to the effects of the pandemic, we have been working hard to develop ways to recover student learning and re-integrate students into school routines. Several of those efforts are already underway. This summer, over 1,500 students participated in summer school, the highest summer enrollment our district has ever had! That was by design as we intentionally reached out to families to help support students' learning needs at all grade levels and credit recovery for high school students.
We are also providing a jumpstart program this month for kindergarten and first grade students to support their readiness for elementary school. Elementary school families will conference with teachers the first two days of school to establish positive relationships and learn about students' specific needs to have a successful learning experience. We are also planning staggered start days in grades six, seven, nine and 10, to help ensure a smooth transition for students who may be new to a middle or high school.
In addition to the above recovery and support strategies, we are also offering more options for students. In May, we asked families to share with us their preferences regarding in person or online learning for the coming school year. Most interest was at the high school level. In consideration of that, district staff have worked over the last two months to design a Virtual Academy for students in grades nine through 12. There are now over 200 high school students enrolled in the Virtual Academy.
We have received questions recently from many elementary families about whether we will offer a distance learning option for younger grades. While we initially had not planned for a distance learning option for elementary and middle school, we understand the concerns about increasing COVID-19 case rates and students for whom vaccination is not yet available. In response, we will offer a limited distance learning program for students in preschool through eighth grade beginning this September.
We must follow the state requirements for a virtual program (Continuous Learning 2.0+) which now require a set daily schedule, daily attendance and 70 percent of learning to be synchronous with live teaching. While we know young students being on screens for such long periods of time is not ideal, we understand this option is a necessity for some families.
Mukilteo School District schools will open fully for in-person learning this fall. As we did throughout the entire pandemic, we will continue to follow the state and county health guidance. We recognize there may be concerns about increasing case rates. We will continue meeting with state and local health officials weekly and monitor the Department of Health's latest guidance. That guidance includes EVERYONE wearing masks indoors when on a school campus. This effort will help keep students, staff and families safe and healthy.
Staff are ready and looking forward to seeing students' happy faces back more fully the first day of school this fall. I want to give a special thanks to the many district staff who worked hard to make the above plans possible for students and their families.