Distance Learning Webinars
September 2 Webinar
Superintendent Susan Enfield hosted a webinar on September 2 with information about our distance learning plan in fall 2020. See the webinar recording below.
Superintendent Susan Enfield hosted a webinar on August 11 with information about our distance learning plan in fall 2020. See the webinar recording below.
And we are ready to go, Susan.
Great, thank you, Kyle. So good afternoon, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us for this update on our plans for the fall of 2020. I am Susan Enfield, superintendent for Highline Public Schools. And I am joined by some incredible members of our Highline Public Schools team. You will be hearing, thankfully, not just for me, but from our chief academic officer, Susanne Jerde; Kisa Hendrickson, our chief engagement and partnerships officer. And we also have Catherine Carbone Rogers, who is our chief communications officer, who will be fielding questions along with Bernard Koontz and Jennifer Reinig from our Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Team.
Rather than using the chat box, please use the Q&A box for questions. And our team will be responding to them as best they can as we go. And we will also share them verbally as we can as well. There was time, when we did this this morning, for some Q&A. So please type those in. And the questions that we can't answer or don't get to, we will certainly do follow-up FAQs on our website.
And I want to thank our interpreters for helping us out. And also, this presentation will be posted on our website as well. So if you have to leave early or if you know someone who couldn't participate, it will be available after. OK, Kyle, let's go.
So as many of you know-- I think this is very familiar to you-- our Highline Promise, to know every student by name, strength, and need, so they graduate prepared for the future they choose. This is the core of who we are, and for the past over eight years has guided our decision making and how we prioritize our work in Highline.
And as we collectively live through this global pandemic, this promise is more important than ever before because our team in Highline is committed to partnering with our families and community to make sure that, indeed, we do know and support each of our students by name, strength and need. Kyle.
So this is-- I think we've done a few other webinars before. And so these guiding principles will not be new to many of you either. And I won't read through all of them. You have them on the screen there. But we just wanted to refresh for you what has guided the work that we have been doing really not just this summer, but since we made the decision to close school in the spring, and since it was clear that we wouldn't return for the last school, year and that likely our 2020-21 school year was going to have to look different.
We really tried to adhere to these principles, as we did our planning work. And so obviously, grounding everything in our promise, but then clearly the health and safety of our students, our staff, our families, our community is job one. And so we have been taking our guidance from King County Public Health, from the Department of Health as well, in terms of when we believe it will be safe to bring students back and staff back into our buildings.
We worked very hard this summer to develop a hybrid model that would have allowed us to bring half of our students in two days a week and the other half in on two other days a week. That would allow for social distancing, mask wearing, keeping safe, so that it wouldn't look like those photographs that you're seeing from other parts of the country of crowded hallways and students not wearing masks. We had systems in place that would have prevented that.
Unfortunately, it became clear, given the rate of the spread of the virus right now, that it simply just was not prudent to bring people back into our buildings physically in the fall, much as we would like to. So we made the difficult decision that we would begin the year, as are all the districts in South King County and the road map region, start the year and distance learning. And that was the difficult decision that we've made. And we will talk about the few exceptions that we may be making to bringing some students back into the buildings while we are in full distance learning. Kyle.
So what is school going to look like in the fall? That is really what we want to share with you today. And I'm going to give you a few more introductory slides. And then Susanne will really walk you through what a day in the life will look like for students in distance learning. It will look very different from what many of you experienced in the spring.
So as you know, we had no time really to prepare in the spring for the shift that we had to make. And it was rocky, to say the least. And we acknowledge that.
Thankfully, we've done significant outreach since then. And many of our families, our students have been wonderful and sharing with us what your experiences were, and also what you need to see differently moving forward. So our goal is that distance learning in the fall is very different from what it was in the spring.
Students will be learning from home five days a week. It will be a combination of live instruction, where the teacher is there with the class on Zoom providing real time instruction, combined with students doing independent learning. Teachers will be doing the teaching. And our paraeducator will be providing small group support.
One of the things that we heard as a source of frustration for families and students was multiple learning platforms in the spring. So working with teams of staff across the district that included teachers, we landed on Seesaw as our elementary platform and Google Classroom as our secondary platform. And obviously, there will be other tools that we are going to use too to support this, but those will be our two primary. Kyle.
So some of the lessons learned-- again, we knew that we had to streamline tools so that there was less confusion. We know that access to technology continues to be a challenge. We deployed 13,000 devices in the spring and have also deployed well over 1,500 hot spots for those families who do not have internet access at home. We are working with the city of Berrien and with our other cities right now to see how we can partner with them to provide home internet access for those families who need it.
And we are continuing to deploy devices. We will be sharing-- if it's not already up on our website, it will be soon-- the schedule of times and days when our technology services people will be out at each school deploying devices for students who need them. So that will be made available very, very soon.
And obviously, we want our communication with students and families to be ongoing, authentic, and safe. And so we are using the remind-- hello-- we are using the Remind platform that will support text communication with students and families because we know that-- I think one of the great things that came out of the spring was teachers, and principals, and paraeducator, and counselors really learning how important partnerships with families are, and I think families learning how important the partnerships with their child's teachers and staff were. And so we really want to keep that communication going.
And with that, I am going to turn this over to Susanne Jerde, our chief academic officer, who leads our Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Team, and will talk about the work that they've done, and really give you some very specific examples of what learning is going to look like in Highline this fall. Susanne.
Thanks, Susan. And good afternoon, and thank you for being with us. And thank you also for all the questions that have come our way not only tonight in the Q&A, but all throughout the summer. It's really helped us, I think, refine and clarify our plan as we move forward. So I'm going to start with just a few terms to make sure our jargon doesn't get in our own way here.
So we talk about asynchronous instruction. We might refer to that as independent instruction. Really, that is a time where students can access sometimes video, sometimes a book, a journal, manipulatives. But they're learning at their own pace and when they have time to access. We know that family schedules are not going to match all of our schedules exactly, especially now during health and economic crisis. So we want to make sure that we're both predictable and flexible. So students need to be able to access it at their own pace in their own time.
I always like to relate this to how you and I might use YouTube. If we want to learn how to do something new, we go on YouTube. I might need to look at it three times to understand how to do some home improvement project. Someone else might look at it for just a moment, and they've got it, they can move on. So own pace, own time.
Synchronous instruction is live. It's when we come together via Zoom and we're a community. Similar time and similar pace, but there's always still that differentiation for students who need something different. You'll also hear us talking about teaching team collaboration. Our teachers have always collaborated. But we're really being intentional about making sure not just our teachers are collaborating, but we're having time in the schedule for our paraeducator, the other adults in the school to really make sure they're planning together, so that we can provide ongoing support to students every day, and it's aligned, and it makes sense to kids, it's connected, it's coherent.
And then lastly, you'll see a term small group synchronous instruction. So a teacher might have their whole group live on Zoom. They might have half of their class on Zoom. But what you're also going to see in the schedules and you're going to experience is students will have opportunities for small groups. It might be three or four with a paraeducator, as Susan mentioned earlier. It might be seven or eight with a certificated teacher. But the idea is we're going to be able to provide more small group personalized instruction through this remote model. Slide.
So in addition to the lessons learned from last spring, obviously keeping safety at the forefront, we really had to get clear on what distance learning must have in place before we really started building any plans. And we came up with some guiding principles that fall into three different areas-- academic, social emotional, and equity.
In academic, there's two key ideas. One is the idea of acceleration. And this isn't acceleration as in the third grader going very quickly up to fifth grade standards. This is ensuring that all students have access to grade level learning and are successful. We know that some of our kids are going to have gaps in their learning, particularly after the last few months. And we want to make sure that they don't keep those gaps, that we do everything we can to make sure we support them, and that we get them up to grade level.
And one of the strategies we're going to do for that is real time instruction. We believe that real time instruction with students connecting with adults is going to have the most impact. At the same time, we're building a plan that isn't reliant only on that because we know we need to have flexibility for our families as well.
In social emotional, we're going to make sure that there's a structure to support all of our kids every day. So you'll see class meetings in our elementary schedule. You'll see advisory in our secondary. We want to make sure we're building skills with kids and we're supporting them. Not only are our kids going through a health and economic crisis, they're having to learn remotely, which is brand new for them. It's brand new still for all of us. And many of us have been doing this for months now. We want to make sure we support the needs of that human part of our kids and really connect with each other.
And with that is relationship building. We want to make sure that kids are building those relationships with adults and with each other. And student agency-- we have always, as teachers, supported our kids in leading their own learning, and setting goals, and monitoring their learning, and advocating for themselves. But when we move to remote and students aren't in the actual classrooms with us, that becomes even more important. We really want to make sure we're supporting the family and we're supporting our students with the skills they need to be successful.
And most important is our equity component. We want to make sure that kids not only have access, but they have opportunity. And being able to provide more time to students based on need is one of those ways we're going to make sure all kids can get where they need to get. And we're going to be able to do it without pulling them out of classroom instruction, which has always been a tension in the school.
Our promise always will stay in forefront with building on strengths of students. And that includes the strengths of the family as well. We really honor and respect that and know that's part of the learning process. And then finally, our partnerships with you, our partnerships with our family and families with schools, as Susan said, is going to be critical at this time. Slide.
So this slide is just a guideline that we share with our teachers in our schools about how much time will kids spend on Zoom. And basically, the short answer is it'll vary. But it won't be the entire day. What you'll see here is, with our youngest learners, it might be one to two hours. But it won't be one to two hours at one time. It'll be short pockets of time for kids because we know engaging with a screen for an hour is not going to work for a five or six-year-old.
We also know that what we're going to ask our teachers is that when you're introducing new learning, we want to make sure those times are even shorter. So you'll see a guidance there around direct instruction or new learning being really about 10 minutes. Going back to that YouTube example, if I want to learn something and I have a choice between an eight minute video and a 40 minute video, I'm probably going to go with the eight. My attention span, I'll focus, I'll pay attention.
And then you'll also see 50% of the time when kids are on a screen with their teachers, it's going to be in a small group. They're going to get a lot of personalized instruction. It will not be a format like you're experiencing where there's over 200 and a panel of folks talking at you. That is not what we need for our kids. And they need to engage with adults. Slide.
So what does it look like? So here's an example of an elementary day. And this is just an example. Every day will be a little bit different. But I want to point out a couple of things that will be consistent. You'll see the parts of the day that are green are really intended to be live. They're synchronous, they're on Zoom, they're with an adult supporting student learning.
The blue is really intended to be asynchronous, independent. The student might be working on Seesaw or Google Classroom and doing something digitally as their task, but they also might be using manipulatives, or reading a text, or writing in a journal. So it's going to vary. We don't want only looking at a screen for our students' learning.
Things that are consistent in elementary is we're going to start sometime in the near morning. It might not be first thing, but it certainly will be in the morning is that class meeting, a time for teachers to bring their kids together to connect, to build relationships, to check in on the day, to build social emotional strategies, to help them with goal setting and make sure they're set for the day because they won't be with them every step of the day. And they want to make sure the kids have the strategies and skills to support themselves.
Literacy instruction, social studies-- the arts will all be part of the instruction that a kid might get virtually through Zoom. And there will also be time each day for either music two times a week, PE two times a week, and library once a week so that we're really ensuring our kids are getting a comprehensive education and we're really energizing our kids with some of the content areas that are so meaningful to them.
Math will happen every day We know that the gap in math is more prominent than any content area. And for our elementary kids, we want to make sure it happens every day, and it happens in a small enough group so kids can get the personal attention they need and the learning. And our team is actively putting together math manipulative kits that we will be distributing to families to help student learning, so they're not just learning virtually, but they have ways of really building conceptual understanding that they need in mathematics and the critical thinking that goes along with it.
You'll also see this check-in at the end of the day. So part of the theory behind this design is based on this relationships and student agency. So you'll see morning meetings and end of the day check-ins, two really important bookmarks that are going to be important for our students, making sure they're set up for the next day, that their laptop is plugged in, that they have what they need. So that is kind of the day in the life, the consistencies but also some flexibility as well. Slide.
By the way, I'll also add that, on our website, you'll be able to find weekly sample schedules. You can see what does the week look like as we think about the learning for both our elementary and our secondary kids. So what can you expect from your teacher? Well, there's a couple of things I'll just point out that I've already mentioned.
First of all, daily live instruction-- and it's going to happen in small groups and in large groups. And we're asking our teachers, when they're doing any kind of direct instruction, new learning, that they actually record it, if it's Zoom. Or we're teaching them about a software called Screencastify, where they can create a short instructional video. So if a kid can't access live instruction, they still get to learn, and they can access it at their own pace in their own time, and get where they need to get.
I've already mentioned individual and small group really supporting kids. Zoom and Seesaw will be our consistent platforms. And we want to make sure that our teachers are providing guided independent work for our students when they're not with an adult at school or via Zoom, so that there's going to be tasks on Seesaw and assignments that kids are working on. We're really going to build their independence stamina as well. And then finally, obviously, timely feedback to students on their progress and their learning outcomes. Slide.
So secondary-- so one of the decisions we made-- and this decision was based on a lot of input from families, and students, and staff was in the spring when we had six classes in secondary grades 6 through 12, it was pretty difficult to do six classes virtually. We made a decision to do three classes for a quarter, and then the next three classes the second quarter. So right now, all of our kids are scheduled in six classes. And if we were in person, they would have all six.
We're going to takes periods 1, 2, and 3 and do them for the first two and a little bit more than two months for the first quarter and then the second three. So a student could have-- they might have PE, science, and math. They could have LA, a language, and social studies. But they're going to have only three classes at a time.
But over the course of a semester, they're going to have all of their six classes and a semester's worth of learning. In addition, they'll have advisory every day, again going back to the social emotional learning needs of our students and the support all of our kids need to really deliver on that promise of being prepared for the future they choose.
So you'll see here that each period is about 80 minutes, 80 to 85. And that is not just-- again, it's not just a single period. It's almost like a double period because they have to learn a full semester's worth of learning in a quarter. At the end of that quarter, they will have earned 0.5 credits for each one of those classes, at least for our high school students.
But you'll see here that each class is made up of both live, and, recorded and some independent or asynchronous learning. But a kid will know this schedule, and it'll be predictable. Each period will start with live instruction followed by asynchronous.
When students are in their independent time, the teacher will be identifying students who need additional support and delivering small group help and making sure that kids are on track and keeping up to those standards. They'll also be partnered with other adults and paraeducators at the school so that more kids get more time with more adults supporting their learning needs.
I might mention here before I go onto the next slide, just because there were so many questions about it earlier, we've had a lot of discussions about can we offer all the classes we have in our master schedule. What are we going to do when we come back to hybrid? And our team has been very much researching, talking to others across the country about what should and shouldn't happen.
And we really believe that all classes can be offered virtually. We can offer instrumental music. We can offer ceramics. We can offer culinary arts.
Our team has been putting together lists of materials that we will provide to families that can support a student in learning the content. Some of it may be applied with materials that a family will support, such as culinary arts and making dinner for the family. But we're working hard to make sure that all classes can be taught and taught virtually.
There was also a lot of questions about advanced placement courses. And there was questions about, well, will my student have math every quarter? And the answer is that they will have math every other quarter. So if they have math first quarter, they won't have it second. It was one of those trade-offs we just had to make. And it was a hard decision.
Do we want our kids to have language arts and world language and math every quarter? Of course we do. But we're not in normal times. And so we needed to make a trade-off. So they'll have it every other, same with this advanced placement.
A student that wants to take advanced placement classes might have one class first and third quarter and another advanced placement class second and fourth. As a parent of a previous student in those classes, it could be an advantage. It's not perfect, but we really believe it'll help students learn.
And then before I go on, that last question I just wanted to make sure people knew-- and we don't have a slide for this, but we definitely will have information up on our website soon. There's lots of questions about students attending PSSC. And that's an important program for our students and one that we share with other districts across the region.
And our Puget Sound Skill Center, which is available for older students in 11th and 12th grade, will be offering three sessions a first-- it starts at 7:55, I believe-- a second, and then a third session later in the day. And our students will be able to attend PSSC for half the day and their home school for half the day. So we will have those schedules up and let you know. And we're excited about the opportunity that our kids can still stay focused on their interests and really make sure they meet their goals. Slide.
I also wanted you to know that we've been working really hard. Dr. Kristin Percy Calaff has worked with teachers and principals across the district to make sure we can offer our continuing signature programs that really make a difference for our kids. And dual language happens to be one of them.
So this is just a sample that we're sharing, that we are being very intentional and making sure that not only are we offering our regular gen ed classes. But our dual language is able to meet the language needs and the cultural needs that come along with this program. And they have a plan to make sure that that's in place as well. Slide.
So our students with IEPs-- this was a really important conversation, and it's an ongoing conversation to make sure we're meeting the needs of our students with IEPs. Some students do better in a digital medium, but not all. We have three key ideas that really hold true and we will make sure that we prioritize moving forward.
And one, of course, is access to the least restrictive environment. We want to make sure all students are meeting the needs of their IEP. And their IEP will drive that least restrictive environment. But we're doing everything we can to make sure that that access is there.
Two strategies we're using-- one is co-teaching, making sure that our special ed teachers are collaborating with other teachers in the building to make sure that all kids can have access and still have the specially designed instruction they need and is aligned with their IEP. In addition, we're providing all teachers-- every teacher in a school is going to get a module of professional learning this August and September on universal design for learning.
And universal design for learning is really based on a proactive approach to meeting the needs of students. In fact, the theory behind it is that if a student-- any barriers a student experiences is really based on the environment and not the student. And we really believe this is going to provide even more opportunities for our students to access both general ed, but definitely the least restrictive environment.
As I said before, we're also going to be able to provide more small group support to students. And when school is in session and we have all of our kids in our classrooms for six hours a day, students do get individual instruction, and they get they get support in small groups. But sometimes, they miss something else to get that support. And we're now able to provide that support without students missing instruction, which is exciting. It's the one bright spot in this whole pandemic that we're excited about.
Specially designed instruction will definitely be at the forefront, could be delivered by our special education teacher, general ed teacher, or a para. It will be driven by the instruction by the IEP, the student's IEP. And individual supports are going to be determined by our case managers. In fact, our case managers are planning on engaging with our families. Expect to hear from them late August, early September. And if you have any questions specific to your child, please feel free to reach out to your school, to reach out to your case manager, or to reach out to our special ed department. And they can help you with that.
Evaluations, reevaluations, IEPs will all be on the same timelines as they were previously. That's important. Those will continue. And family partnerships has been brought up many times. And it will and does remain an important component of our work with all of our students, and especially with our students with IEPs. So that will be an ongoing part of our planning.
We're also exploring, in conversations with others across the region, the ability and the possibility of being able to bring small groups of students back into the school, while we're in remote, to be able to provide that in-person support that some of our students need. The safety and well-being of our students and staff is a priority for us in this, but we are having conversations. So you can look for more information on that soon. Slide.
So attendance-- so last spring, We Did attendance mostly at a weekly basis, checking in with families. We know that there were a lot of systems that needed to be improved. This is one.
Attendance will be taken daily starting September. What we're going to ask is most attendance will happen in the normal way via Zoom. So kids are present, there's a teacher, they can take attendance. But we know that won't be 100% for all of our kids and our families. And they may not have access at that time, or they don't have access on that day.
If a student logs into their class link, logs into their Zoom-- or Zoom is when they're there-- logs into their Google Classroom or to their Seesaw, they will get credit. If they demonstrate they've engaged in the learning even if the teacher didn't connect with them directly-- and that will always be a priority. We will always try for that-- we want to give kids credit for that. And that will account towards their attendance. In secondary, attendance will need to be taken for each of the three different periods, as well as advisory. So a student can't just engage in learning for one period and get attendance for the whole day. They will need to engage for each of the subject areas.
Susanne, could I just add that this is a state mandate. So OSPI has been very clear that attendance taking must happen. So I just want to be clear. Susanne, one question that came up was around tardies. And how will that happen, if a student comes late to their Zoom, that sort of thing?
We will talk with our principals. And I don't have an answer for tardies yet. Again, I'm going to go back to predictability and flexibility. So tardies may not have the same weight they've had in the past.
Sure, thank you.
Yes. OK, next slide. So grading-- so many people have been asking about, how are my kids going to be graded? Is it going to be the same as last spring? And a couple of decisions-- we've learned a lot. And we've learned a lot from our students and our families in grading as well. And where we've landed is, right now, we'd like to have our elementary continue on a comment and feedback proficiency basis.
So what we've done is we've gone through all the grade levels, and we've identified the most important standards for students. We want our teachers to be able to provide comments and feedback on those standards to parents. We feel that's actually going to give them a lot more information than a rating will or a score. But that individual's feedback and comments is where we're headed with elementary.
With middle and high, it's a little different. We have to think about transcripts. We have to think about post-secondary. We really want to make sure we have what students need to be successful and won't harm them in any way.
So in secondary, grades 6 to 12, we are also identifying essential standards. However, we are asking our teachers to actually grade students at the quarter, again, which will be a 0.5 credit for each one of those classes. And they will either get an A, B, or C. And if they aren't hitting a C level, then they will get an In Progress. We call it an IP. And they'll have more time and more adult support to get that IP up to an A, B, or C. So the idea will be grades in secondary, comments and feedback in elementary.
And with that, I'm going to turn it back to Susan. Is there anything else you'd like--
Just one more thing, Susanne. School supplies has come up again. Families are seeing lists. What's the expectation of what they need to provide versus what we will be providing around instructional materials and supports?
Yes. So last spring, we were able to put together packets of school supplies and actually have them available at our meal sites. We've been working with the Highline Foundation to make sure that we have-- I know that they have over 3,000 backpacks of school supplies ready for kids and will be distributing them.
School supplies, as in pencils, pens, notebooks, things like that, are usually determined at the school level. What I do want our families to know, though, is we believe that there will be additional curriculum materials that our families are going to need. And we're not expecting them to go out and get them.
So our team has been putting together sets of materials and manipulatives for math, text materials in language arts, in science putting together some of the equipment-- not big equipment, but some of the materials that will be needed to really experience that the concepts at home. And we will be working with others in the district to either provide spots where families can pick them up and/or exploring the ability of our bus and transportation system to actually take them out to bus stops in a safe way. It won't be every day all year, but we'll have a schedule times where materials will be available for families to pick them up in a safe way, where we don't have a lot of social interaction
Thank you, Susanne. Before I turn it over to Kisa to talk about all of our whole child family supports and partnerships, I do just want to address-- I hear and feel the angst in some of the questions around the challenges of this for many of our families, of a Monday through Friday school schedule. By law, we are bound to do this. We have to provide instruction. That is how we are funded by the state.
We recognize that it is challenging. So please know that we are going to do everything we can, as Susanne said, to be as flexible as possible in supporting families. So whether that's making recorded lessons available that families and students can access at other times, if they can't attend synchronous learning, whether it's extending times for students to complete assignments because of whatever reason they weren't able to complete it by the designated time, all of that. So I just want to be clear that we are painfully aware that this is incredibly challenging for so many.
But we have to figure out how we can do this as best we can, and then address the specific needs of students and families as we go. But we will do everything we can to be flexible and supportive. And with that, Kisa, I will turn it to you.
OK, good afternoon. So first and foremost, you heard Susanne speak to it and Dr. Enfield speak to it several times. But I just want to drive home the importance of the family and student relationship. More than ever-- it was always important. But more than ever right now in this difficult time, it's going to be critical that our school staff have strong, solid relationships with our families and students. And so there has been a whole child team made up of district and school-based staff that have been creating strategies in these areas. So I wanted to share a little bit about what we're doing and what you can expect.
So first and foremost, we want to continue our family engagement and family partnership strategies. So we want to provide opportunities for families to connect with schools, families to connect with one another. And one of the things I'll speak to in the next slide will be about our family connections meetings in the first three days of school. And I'll share about that briefly. But you can expect some online coffee hours, some phone calls throughout the year. It's not just one and done at the beginning of the year.
Student classroom community building-- we also want to create opportunities for students to connect with one another. We recognize and understand that being physically away from their peers has been incredibly difficult for many of our students. And so our hope is to provide those opportunities. We will continue clubs remotely. We will have class meetings in the morning and other opportunities for students to connect with one another.
We also want to support students connecting with their teachers and other adults in the school. So this year, we are launching a strategy, if you will, where students will have an adult in their school assigned to them who will check in with them on a regular basis, on a weekly basis, who will reach out to them in a way that makes sense, where they can just check in how's it going, how's school going, how are things going otherwise. You will hear from your child's assigned adult prior to them reaching out to your student. So make sure you know who they are and they know who you are.
And finally, we want to make sure that we can support you in the best way that we can in terms of any additional needs that your students may have. So we will have a couple of screeners or assessments, if you will, one just checking in to see if there are is need for support around basic needs-- we have schools social workers who have been supporting and helping families get meal cards and other things. And we also have partnerships with community partners who have been helping, including our school's foundations, with getting families some of their basic needs during this difficult time.
We also will be administering school screeners-- universal screeners. We know that, again with the global pandemic and with students being separated from peers and a myriad of things that are happening with our students and families right now because of what's happening in our world, that it's impacting their mental health. And so we will be screening students-- and some of these screenings already happened. So this is not necessarily new-- but just to identify any additional supports that they may need in the area of mental health. OK, Kyle, next slide.
So I want to just talk a little bit about our family conferences. These are our student-led conferences that typically happen in October and November. We have moved them to the beginning of the year, September, September 3, 4, and 8. And this will provide an opportunity for you to connect with your child's teacher, to know who they are, sharing contact information, what's the best way to get a hold of you, what's the best way to get a hold of them.
And this is an opportunity for you also to share some of your concerns, any support you may need. I was doing my best to respond to the questions in the chat. And I definitely heard loud and clear many of you are working parents. I myself, my husband and I are working parents. And I have a first and third grader as well. So we're in the same boat.
And so I really want you to have an opportunity to share with your child's teacher about your family situation, what needs you might have, and how you guys can work together to create a plan that best meets your needs and supporting the students. And also, if you had the experience in the spring to be able to share things that worked well, and maybe things that didn't work well, and then for you to create a plan to be able to communicate with one another throughout the year, and really being flexible and making the adjustments as we go along. OK, Kyle.
So in the midst of all this, this last year, we actually have transitioned to online enrollment and online registration. And actually, I guess it was great timing. Anyhow, so typically, you would get a first aid package that would include an emergency card where you would provide updated contact information, emergency contact information, and also the health history form, where you could identify any health or medical conditions your child may have.
This is now officially transitioned to online. So you can register at highlineschools.org. And I believe you can go to Enrollment or Registration-- I can't remember-- and get that information updated in that way.
We also have a parent portal called ParentVue. And I saw some questions about that as well. This portal will provide you with information about your student's assignments, their grades, their attendance. You can also message your child's teacher here. So to set that up-- and I believe it's an app.
So to set that up, you will need an activation code. And those codes are held by your school. So you'll need to reach out to your schools to get those codes. And on the back-end, we're letting our schools' office staff know that they need to also be providing you with those activation codes.
If you are new to Highline, you will need to enroll your child online and set up a ParentVue account. And again, you can do that at highlineschools.org. If you need support with registration, with online enrollment, you can reach out to your child's school, or you can also reach out to our Enrollment Services Team. And some phone numbers and contact information will be available at the end of this presentation. OK, Kyle, next slide.
So we also have been partnering with the YMCA and other organizations for child care options in Highline Public Schools. These are fee-based child care providers. So as you can see on the slide, the YMCA will be held at Shorewood Elementary, Hilltop, and Des Moines. We have a partnership with Right at School. And that will that will be held that Gregory Heights Elementary.
SeaTac Parks and Recreation will be held at Bow Lake. And we are also partnering with Southwest Boys and Girls Club. And while it's not on site, they're located in the White Center area and they are serving Mount View, specifically Mount View, White Center Heights, Beverly Park, Southern Heights, Cascade, and Evergreen.
We will be holding a meeting with these providers, our Teaching an Learning Team, so that we can partner together about supporting your child's learning online while they're in these child care programs. Our hope is to also partner with other local childcare providers. We do have a list of some, but we don't have an exhaustive list. And so we're wanting to get the word out on that and host a meeting so that we can partner together.
If you need child care be on these organizations, you can always go to Child Care Aware to get a referral to child care agencies in the region. They are keeping track of that information. And as I understand it, that's up and down and changes frequently. OK, Kyle, next slide.
And these are just some helpful tips. This is by no means the end all be all about supporting your student on a day-to-day basis. And you may have some tips for us. And we love hearing from our families on this. But you should be getting weekly communication from your children's teachers. So we just ask to read that communication and respond as needed. If you have questions, always email or call your child's teacher.
As we talked about, there are synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. And so just ensuring you have what you need to log on to videos and access texts and online tools. For elementary schools, this may seem like a no brainer. But I don't know you-- I've certainly been in the position where my child's computer wasn't charged. So just being mindful of the little things like that-- we know kids even lose chargers, so keeping track of those things and helping, again, the younger children find and access the daily Zoom links.
And I certainly heard many of you in the chat box speaking to the fact that you're not going to be there during the day. And again, those are the opportunities for the asynchronous learning, and when you are able and available to help your child log on at the time that works for your family. And then for secondary, you can request access to the Google Classroom. There is a parent view, where you can see information about your child's assignments and you should be able to see the syllabus. So just reach out to your children's teacher about that as well. OK, Kyle, next slide.
So first and foremost, this is updated information about sports. And I just want to let everyone know that this information is actually dictated by WIAA. We don't have a lot of choice in. This and so we take our direction from them.
So first and foremost, at this time, our middle school seasons have been canceled. And it's in alignment with our high school seasons as well. We will be revisiting what spring semester looks like closer to that time. It just depends on what's going on with infection rates and whether or not the seasons are open at the high school level.
For high school, well, you can find detailed information about which sports fall into which seasons. It's a lot, so I won't go into that here. You can find that online at our website. But for your information, all of the seasons have been shortened. Our season one has been moved to the spring and will start then tentatively. This is all tentatively depends on what WIAA says.
And then season two is slated to start on December 28. But again, it depends on what's going on. One thing to note, because seasons are shortened, the schedules will likely include Saturday practices and practices during breaks, such as spring break or President's Day.
And then registration information for sports will open up around four weeks before the start of the season. So this information is really changing rapidly. And so we encourage you to check our website frequently for any updates, particularly as we get closer to season start.
I think that's it for me. So thanks, Kisa. So a couple of questions-- there's a question on the family connection meetings on the third, the fourth, and the eighth. Those are being held virtual. But they're not group-- they're individual for families, right?
Yes, those meetings are individual.
OK, because there was a question about, are those going to be other webinars? No, they will be on computer. We can't do face-to-face. But they will be individual between families and their student's teacher. And those are September 3, 4, and 8. We are looking to schedule another morning and evening webinar, like this one, on September 2. We haven't confirmed that yet, but we will and get that information out, so that we can provide you with more updated information prior to the first day of school for students, which is September 9.
And Susanne, could you type into the Q&A-- there's a lot of question on the start and end times for elementary, middle, and high, so what time they start in the morning and what time they end.
Yeah, I just-- oh, sorry.
I did answer that. But would you like me to just say it verbally for everyone?
That'd be great.
So secondary students, grades 6 through 12-- Bernard's looking at me, so he's checking me-- will be 8:30 to 3:00. That will basically be their day. But remember, there's flexibility in there. The periods will be set, but there will be also some independent time that can be flexed. Elementary will be 9:15 to 3:45. And the whole district is on the same elementary schedule.
Susanne, and PSSC, yes, is going to be virtual as well. And you mentioned that, that those schedules will be virtual. And then I don't know if you mentioned it, but our schools just reopened yesterday. Our office managers are back in the buildings. So class schedules are not ready yet. And who your student's teacher is may not be ready yet. Susanne, those should be available within a couple of weeks?
We're hoping in a couple of weeks they're going to be available, but our schools are hard pressed to get a lot done. So yes, our goal is a couple of weeks from now.
And Kisa, you wanted to talk about family conference options?
Yeah, I just wanted to add that those can be by phone as well. They don't have to be by computer. And then also, our schools are also-- we know there's some strategies around some virtual open houses and other things. So there will be other opportunities to connect with your child's school outside of individual conferences, where you're in the larger group.
Great, thank you. Going the wrong-- there we go. OK, so school meals. There have been some questions on school meals. And we have some information. And we will have more information for you later because we're still trying to work some things out.
So our summer meals program-- that is, we've been providing meals seven days a week to any student who shows up. And that's how the summer meal program works. This is all dictated by federal law. That will end on August 27.
We will begin our school year meal distribution on September 9. And that will be a daily meal distribution, breakfast and lunch, that students will be able to pick up each day. I am checking to see-- one of the questions is, can we provide multiple meals on a given day the way that we've done this summer? I'm not sure that we have that flexibility during the year, like we have in the summer. But I'm going to find out.
We are working on locations and delivery right now. So one of the things that we are looking at is, can we use our bus drivers to bring meals out into specific bus stop areas? The challenge is we can't do that for all of the bus stops because they have to be able to pull off the road, and that's not always an option.
So we're looking at how many bus stop areas we can do that, and then we will also look at providing them at different schools. We will provide meals at as many sites as possible to make it as accessible for families as possible. If you do need to apply for free and reduced price meals, you can go online to our website.
We are looking at creating a system where you can do that upfront. That's coming. If you have specific questions, I'm going to give you a contact at the end of the presentation. But you are always also welcome to call your child's school. And they can direct you to where you can get that information. But we are committed to providing access to meals as best we can, while adhering to the guidance that we have to abide by per the Feds. Next slide.
So we wanted to give you some follow-up contacts, if you have specific questions. So there's a phone number for school meals. Or you can go-- there's a link on our website as well. If you have questions around athletics, Phil Willenbrock is our district athletic director. And there's his contact information. Questions around registering your students, we have online registration now. But there is a number to call if you have questions in addition to the website.
If you are looking to get a device for your child-- an iPad if they're little, little, a Chromebook if they're older, Mark Finstrom is our chief technology officer. And his contact info is there. Catherine Carbone Rogers, however, will be putting out information that lists-- I think I said this at the beginning of the presentation, sorry if I'm repeating myself. We will be able to make comprehensive information around when our technology services department will be at each school to hand out devices. So that is coming. And again, you can contact your school as well.
And if you have questions around instructional materials or anything regarding course offerings, that sort of thing, Susanne Jerde, our chief academic officer, her email and contact info is there. And she or someone from her team can get that information to you as well. I want to-- fortunately, we have a little bit of time left. I want to open it up not just to Kisa and Susanne, but also Bernard and Jennifer. If you've been seeing any themes or things in the Q&A that you would like to share out right now for the good of the group.
Sure, thank you, Susan. So my name is Bernard Koontz. I'm an executive director in Teaching and Learning and largely support our secondary programs, our middle school and high school programs. And there's a lot of great questions out there about what's PE going to look like, and how we're going to handle those AP courses, and how are we going to do orchestra.
Those are all great questions. And what I really hope everybody can hear and can know is that our teacher teams, and our principals, and the specialists that support them are hard at work designing an approach to distance instruction that is going to modify the instruction, because they're not going to be in the band room, they're not going to be in the gymnasium at school, but they are hard at work to modify that instruction to provide an experience in those content areas at home.
And those details are going to roll out in the next couple of weeks. And I think what you see in the first couple weeks of September is going to evolve. And it's going to get better as our kids get used to engaging in this, and our teachers get smarter, and they hear feedback from you at home about what's working and what's not working. And our work is going to evolve together across the course of the year. So we're going to start strong. We've got strong plans in place. It's going to evolve and get better through the year.
Thank you, Bernard. Kyle, could you go back to the contact slide? Somebody needed the registration link again. Jennifer, anything that you would like to add? I know that Highly Capable has come up, if you'd like to address that.
Sure, our Highly Capable Program will continue on, much as it has in the past. Students served in the Challenge Program will continue with their peers in that cohort model with their identified teacher. For students who are being served in elementary school via Highly Capable Learning Plan, teachers will differentiate based on their individual areas of needs, strengths, and goals through independent work, through small group instruction. And then new this year is our Earned Honors Model, which is actually open to all sixth grade students. And more information about that model will be shared with families as the school year gets under way.
Another theme, if I may, that I'm seeing in the Q&A is around consistency of learning platforms and communication tools. And we heard that loud and clear from families, and definitely experienced that in our household as well, lots of different models being used. And so we really worked hard to streamline our use of technology.
So as I think it's been named, our elementary age students, and their families, and their teachers will use Seesaw as a common learning platform. And then Google Classroom will be used in our secondary. And so we're hopeful that that will help with consistency and ease of access not only for our students, but for our families who are eager to engage with their student in that learning.
Thank you. Susanne, there's a-- our friend, Kim Bobbitt, has a question around pre-K and the pre-K schedule because she has a pre-K and two elementary kids as well.
Jennifer, do you want to do that? You're probably closer and will give even better information.
Fresh on my mind. So yeah, so preschool will continue in a half-day model. It'll be four days a week, as it has in the past. One of the changes is that the non-school day for preschool will be Wednesday instead of Friday to align with the rest of the school district's calendar. So that is the big change.
We are working on designing developmentally appropriate instruction. We know, for all grade levels, it varies. And so the amount of time that teachers will be engaging in live synchronous instruction will vary based on grade level. And certainly, for our youngest learners, their age and developmental needs will be taken into account. That will be supplemented with other asynchronous activities to flesh out their school day.
Susanne, there's a question for students who received an Incomplete, what it will look like for them to transfer that into a grade.
Yes, our schools are actively-- they have the data on all students who have Incompletes. And they are creating individual plans within their school to support students. They might be supported by a teacher, they might be supported by the teacher that they have currently. But we're looking at students getting grades based on growth in the next class.
So if you got an Incomplete in English language arts and then next year you're in your LA class and you're doing well, getting credit for that, as well as actually completing assignments and tasks that demonstrate the learning. So we're looking at some comprehensive plans. But know that our schools want to partner with families and kids to make sure that those incomplete are all transitioned to grades.
And I know that many of these questions that I'm seeing really have to do with information that you will need to access directly from your school. And as I said, our office managers just returned yesterday. So they should be available, if you call, to find out when your parent meetings will be, when students' schedules will be available, when device pickups will be available. So please do contact your child's school if you have questions around those issues.
So anything else from any of my wonderful team members before I begin to wrap up? So I do just want to thank everyone for joining us. We had over 300 people this evening, as we did this morning. So I appreciate your time and your questions. I hope that we've been able-- I know we have been able to answer all of them. But I hope we've been able to answer many of them.
As I said, we will have another webinar as it gets close to school. You will begin receiving information from your child's school that will be specific to your child and your school, which will be helpful. But just know this, none of this is ideal. This is definitely not the school year start that any of us wanted. But we have been working all summer to pull together the best start we can under the circumstances that we are living right now.
So please know that our team will continue to work to hear you, work with you, partner with you, support you as we engage in distance learning through a time period that we just don't know. When it is safe to go back according to public health, we will transition back in our hybrid model that we have developed, and that you can see on our website. But for now, this is what we have to do for safety's sake.
So just know that even though we will be in distance learning, we are incredibly excited, as we always are at the start of the school year, to welcome our students back and to welcome our families back. And we are going to make this a great year, everybody. We can do this. If any community can do this, Highline can.
So thank you for your time tonight. Please continue to contact those of us whose contact information you have here. This presentation will be on our website, too. So if you know families who couldn't participate, you can refer them to it. And we will keep the information coming Thank you everybody. Please stay safe, strong, and healthy. And we will see you at the start of the school year.