Hybrid Learning Webinars
Good evening, everybody. Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you to our interpreters for making sure that all of our families can access tonight's information. This is our latest Return to Learn update, and I'm joined by members of our wonderful Highline team, and we will walk you through some information. Please type your questions into the Q&A box, and we will answer those as we go and also share some of them, probably verbally, before we end our time together. So with that, Kyle.
So we begin everything in Highline by grounding ourselves in our Highline promise-- to know every student by name, strength, and need, so they graduate prepared for the future they choose. Now, more than ever, our Highline promise is incredibly important. Kyle.
And it tops our guiding principles. I'm not going to read through all these with you. I think that many of you are familiar with them at this point, since these have been guiding us over the past several months. But as we have said, keeping the needs of our students and the health and safety of our families, staff, and students are guiding our decisions, along with making sure that we are engaging with our families and community through this time as best we can. Kyle.
So what are we going to cover today? We are going to talk about where we are now. We'll discuss internet access and support. We will have a teaching and learning update, a health and safety update, and share some trending questions. So what are the things that we're seeing coming up in the Q&A themes and things that we think everybody would benefit from hearing. Kyle.
So I do want to point you to our Highlineschools.org, our website, and on the website, if you go up to the top, there's a Return to Learn tab. This is updated constantly by our wonderful communications team, and there, you will find a family guide, information on tech support, FAQs that are constantly being updated, along with recordings of these webinars. Kyle.
So as you know, we made the very difficult decision last Friday to remain in distance learning until the end of January, our first semester. And that decision was based primarily on the COVID activity that we're seeing in King County. And as you likely know, we are seeing the COVID positive rates rise. We're seeing it nationwide, we're seeing it here in the state, and we're seeing it in King County. But it's not just the King County average that guides our decision. We monitor the city-specific numbers, because the COVID rates are higher in South King County versus King County overall. And so that's important to note. Kyle.
So why did we make this decision? First and foremost, as I said, it's in the best interest of health, the health and safety of our students and staff. We have been clear and consistent in following guidance from the Department of Health and Public Health, and they've set a very clear threshold that we have to meet in order to bring groups of students back into school for in-person learning. And we are simply not near those targets and that threshold, so it was not safe to return.
Additionally, there is tremendous anxiety among families and staff and students around returning for in-person learning. And a lot of emotional energy and stress was being put into wondering, are we, aren't we? And we really wanted to sort of take that off of people's shoulders, because everyone has so much to deal with right now. And now, even though it's not the decision that we wanted, because we desperately want to see our students and our staff back in our buildings, we can now focus our energies on figuring out how we best support our students, our staff, and our families to do distance learning well.
Yes, it's not ideal, but it is how we are doing school right now. And we want to be as good at it as we can. And if anybody can, Highline can. So we are focusing on hearing from staff, students, and families, what's working and what's not, and making adjustments as we go. And additionally-- and this is very, very preliminary. More information to come, because we need to talk with our principals.
We are looking at bringing small groups of students potentially back into buildings for supervised independent study. So these are for students who need access to internet and giving them at least a little bit of school time. We need to work out the details, but we're in conversations with our principals right now. And I'm guessing that that will likely be a topic of our next family update, which will happen in the coming weeks. Kyle.
So the one exception in the near future around bringing students back to school are our students with special needs, and specifically our ILC and CBS students. We will be bringing students in these classes back in extremely small groups beginning in early to mid November. We, like every other district in the region-- all districts that I know of are doing this-- these are students who simply cannot access the services and support they need in distance learning.
And we believe that the small class sizes, very small, and the investment that we've made in PPE to ensure that our students and staff are safe, that we are confident that we can do this and do it well and do it safely. So technology and internet access-- we know that this is critical. We've deployed tens of thousands of devices and hotspots and all of that, but we also know that our students need home internet access in order to connect. Kyle.
And so while we have been doing everything that we can to make sure that our students and families have reliable home internet access and working devices-- and Mark Finstrom will talk a little bit-- our chief technology officer will talk a little bit about that in just a moment-- I do want to mention that we made the decision to put a technology levy on the November ballot. I believe ballots were mailed yesterday or today, so we should all be receiving them soon. And Proposition 1 is our capital levy for educational technology improvements.
And we just know that the fact that our students will have to access their learning and connect with their teachers and their peers and their school community through technology means that we have to make this investment. I want to be clear, the need for this levy was there before the pandemic, but the pandemic has amplified it and given us a sense of urgency. We have to make sure that every student has a working device and reliable internet. Kyle.
So what will the November 3 tech levy fund? It will replace aging computers for students and staff. I would guess that there are some students and families with us this evening, who have a device that maybe isn't working as well as it should. We have some old devices that need to be replaced. They don't last forever. And so we want to make sure that all of our devices are in good working order. Again, I've mentioned the need for internet access, and we want to make sure that our teachers have ongoing training and support in addition to making upgrades to cybersecurity and classroom technology.
The good news is that this tech levy does not represent a tax increase, which is very, very good news. And so while the board and all of us are very mindful of putting a measure on the ballot, we believe this is absolutely essential right now for our students and staff in this moment. And with that, I will turn it over to our chief technology officer, Mark Finstrom.
Good evening, everybody. Thank you, Dr. Enfield. I'll make this pretty brief. I just want to make sure I start with-- we have the Family Assistance Center. So if you are in need of assistance with that device that you have, you can reach out to us at 206-631-7999 (this number is no longer available), or you can even send us an email at email@example.com.
But I want to go into a little bit more about the internet access and what Dr. Enfield has talked about. We have been very-- working very [AUDIO OUT] hard [AUDIO OUT] internet access to families, out to students. So we have a number of hotspots that are out there with schools, but we also have received from the state of Washington an offer that includes 10 months of free internet service.
And you have to have a promo code for that, and we're going to be sending out information to all the schools. And the schools will be in contact with the parents, guardians to make sure that you get one of those codes. And if you are in need of that, you can actually complete the application with that promo code and get Comcast Internet Essentials.
As we move forward, the tech levy has an opportunity for us to provide internet access to families, as well as meet the needs of student devices and teacher devices. So if you have any questions, again, firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-631-7999. And I believe chief academic officer, Susanne Jerde is next.
Thank you, Mark, and good afternoon. You know, as Susan said, we have some time before most of our students will be able to be in our schools. And what that means is with hybrid some time out, it's more important than ever that we ensure our students are achieving and growing. We've been working hard to ensure that all of our students and any students with learning loss due to the closure of our school buildings have the opportunity to be engaged and supported in grade level learning.
You know, historically, educators have used three basic approaches when we address learning loss. Slide, Kyle. One is one that's been around for decades, and that is retention. Kyle, thank you. And that's when students maybe be held back a grade level. They've fallen behind their peers. And we say they repeat a grade, or they're failing a grade. That's one that's been used for decades not to much effect.
The other one is social promotion, where students just move up with their grade level peers, and that has a lot of social benefits. But oftentimes, they're not given the opportunity to really learn the content in the way they need. And the third is remediation, where we might teach students, give them some skill support, and this does have some benefit.
But overall, it also doesn't get our students to where they need. The United States faced a smaller scale but similar natural disaster with Hurricane Katrina, quite a few years ago now, but the schools closed in the state of Louisiana for some time. And what we were able to learn from that was that these approaches did not make-- did not help the students get to grade level in the way they needed to.
So we've been able to learn, and we have been implementing a strategy that we call acceleration. Slide, please. And our approach in Highline is to support student learning not by teaching faster as what we think of when we think of the word, "acceleration," but really to make sure we provide grade level learning to all of our students with the needed supports as they are needed.
So that means our teachers are working hard. They are providing meaningful and engaging learning with both online and offline tasks, and they're going to continue to strengthen our distance learning approach. We know that their collaboration and working together is making a difference. And also, our partnership with our families is going to be more important than ever as well. Slide, please.
So based on the decision and the considerations that Dr. Enfield shared earlier, we are going to be planning to bring our students served in integrated learning centers and community-based service programs in person later this fall. The goal, assuming COVID rates decrease, is that second semester will then be able to phase in students by grade levels with at least a week in between. The going slow allows us to minimize the risk of transmission, and we chose this phase-in of grades, as you see here, as a way to keep students as separate as possible in the buildings as we get routines established, and making sure we're returning our pre-K and our K students as early as we possibly can.
We'll know more in the coming months, and obviously, this is our current thinking, and we're continuing to learn from others across the country what works and what works well. And as we continue to work with our staff, we'll plan to bring our students back with much success. And so we're really looking forward to seeing them. And with that, I'm going to turn it over to Mr Scott Logan, our chief operations officer.
All right, thank you, Susy, and welcome, everyone. Appreciate you spending time with us this evening instead of enjoying your nice, quiet, peaceful dinner. So we'll get through the health and safety portion of this pretty quick here. Just want to share some of the direction. I know Dr. Enfield mentioned earlier the Department of Health issuing guidelines, and we are definitely following direction that is given to the school district, and it's a combined set of directions that we're using from the Washington State Department of Health, from the Office of Superintendent to Public Instruction, and also, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
The opportunity to get this combined guidance really has streamlined the process for deciding how we respond and react, because it limits the amount of varying information we get from different entities. When they all combine, they gave us one final document to work from. So we will be working from those guidelines. We recognize that we can't eliminate the risk of COVID transmission, but we can minimize it, and that's our goal. Data shows the following safety protocols are very effective in limiting the spread, so next slide, Kyle. One more, Kyle. One more slide. There we go.
So there's really five pieces to this. The PPE is the one that you always hear people talking about, and the PPE is a critical piece of this whole process. But we have to combine that with the handwashing, which is going to be part of lesson plans for the younger students. It's also going to be practiced by all the adults in the building. Physical distancing-- we have classrooms set up to keep students spaced the six feet of physical distancing. To the best of our ability, we're going to maintain that six feet distancing throughout the school day.
Disinfecting surfaces-- this has two approaches to it. One is that during the day, every classroom will be provided with safe disinfecting and cleaning supplies that can be used for incidental cleanups during the day that are needed by the teacher while classes are going on. We do have scheduled and defined disinfecting and cleaning procedures that'll happen in every classroom, every evening as well. And the final piece of this is screening and what you'll hear reference as attestations in the school district world.
Every adult going into the building fills out an attestation before they enter that identifies that they claim themselves to be symptom-free, and it gives all the clues to look for to make sure you're accurate with that. We require that before you enter. We are-- we have a final draft now for the student attestation that's going to be as simple a document as we could create and still have it-- have the right safety results for everybody involved.
This will be available electronically, or you'll have options for phoning it in and in person for submitting student attestations as well. Our goal is to have as many attestations electronically as possible for students, limiting the amount of time we'll have to spend screening students as they arrive at the door to get them inside the building first thing in the morning. Next slide.
So personal protective equipment-- again, I talked about where our guidelines have come from. There's been some great-- a lot of in-depth work in defining which types of activities will require which types of PPE for the adults in the building. It's a requirement that every student wears a mask. For those students that lose their mask on the way to school or maybe something happens and they spill something on it, and they need a replacement, we're going to have a lot of masks on hand to help students deal with that in those situations throughout the day.
We have-- we have the appropriate PPE for whatever level of the work is already in inventory at Highline School District, so we'll be able to provide staff with appropriate PPE to keep themselves safe as the day progresses. Next slide, Kyle.
So here, you can see the five categories that the groups providing guidance have classified work inside schools so that we can identify at what level we need, which PPE. Each section-- the negligible, the low, the medium, the high, and the extremely high-- have their own set of direction for PPE required to perform those tasks.
Negligible transmission risk are situations where staff are alone. I'm sitting alone in my office right now, so I don't need to have a mask on. If a teacher is distance teaching from the classroom, is alone in the classroom, those are situations where you don't need a mask. If a custodian is on the second shift and alone cleaning a building, they're not going to have a mask on when they're doing that work, unless they're in a hazardous situation.
The next level is low transmission risk, and this is going to be, for general instruction setting, predominantly what we're going to have in schools. So when we get to the hybrid model where we're bringing back more students, and we have more classrooms, it's going to be, for the most part, low transmission risk. This is where we can maintain the six-foot social distancing and all of the other practices that identified in that earlier slide-- the handwashing, the sanitation, all the different tasks in that earlier slide.
Medium risk transmission-- this is going to be small group, maybe small group teaching, where six-foot distancing is mostly maintained but not always. There's a specific set of guidance around this level of risk for PPE. Again, students are only required for the mask. That's all that's required on the student side. There are adjustments for the adults in each of these situations.
High transmission risk-- that's where we're in sustained close contact, we require specialized PPE. There is going to be high transmission risk in some of the special ed programs. When we come back, [INAUDIBLE] see where we have students who need one on one direct contact support throughout the day. Those would be considered a high risk transmission. Our goal is to keep the students safe and the adults safe at the same time.
In an extremely high transmission risk, these are going to be the few and far between situations. Every school have an isolation room set up. If a student develops symptoms that are COVID-related, the student will be asked to go to the isolation room. There'll be an adult that will manage and supervise that room and have the appropriate PPE to manage that until a parent can come and pick up their child. There are a couple of situations where nurses working with [INAUDIBLE] care with kids who have those issues going on, hit with some different types of medication, personalized medications that will require the extreme high level of PPE.
And I believe, at this point, I am turning it over to Lita O'Donnell, I believe, for the responding to COVID.
Actually, I think it's going to go to Val.
It's Elaine. It's Elaine.
Thank you, Scott. Welcome, everyone. Welcome We want to talk a little bit now about responding to COVID cases and how we will do that in the district. The positive case reporting-- we'll talk a little bit about that. Close contact tracing-- when classroom or school closure would happen, that protocol, and then also, the great partnership that we have with Seattle King County Public Health, on which we work very closely with for the guidance and the protocols that we have in school. Let's see. All right.
So for reporting positive COVID cases, we would just like the families, students and families should report-- if your teacher is the first line person that you're talking to, report that to your teacher. But also please feel free to call the school and talk to your principal or your school nurse to report that information. And then the school nurse will follow up with the student and family for anything regarding symptoms and contact information. So we will have that information for Seattle King County Public Health. And anyone who has been exposed to someone with a positive test will be contacted by the school nurse.
So if there's a COVID outbreak, and your student is at risk of exposure, you'll be contacted by the school. If you do not receive a phone call, this means your student was not at risk. And any positive case at school, our health services team will consult with Seattle King County Public Health on what steps to take.
Next, please. OK. So for school closures, the school will close and switch to remote learning for 14 days when there's two or more classrooms dismissed due to outbreaks in the schools with 10 or fewer classrooms, or 10% of the classrooms dismissed or dismissed due to outbreaks in the schools with greater than 10 classrooms. So you don't have to remember these numbers. We will closely monitor this and follow King County Public Health guidance and inform you in these circumstances.
For the classroom closures, a classroom will close and switch to distance learning for 14 days when we have two or more students or staff in the same room area that test positive for COVID. The cases have symptoms that start within 14 days of each other, and someone was in close contact. And we just want to clarify that close contact is defined within six feet for 15 minutes or more with a person with a confirmed positive case. The cases-- and also, when we're looking at these cases, the cases aren't associated with one another in setting, like they don't live in the same household or if they were in the same club. So then these cases are not associated in another setting when we're looking at this.
So for Seattle King County Public Health, they provide us with wonderful resources for guidance, and this is one of the tools that they've provided us with. And the school nurse can work with you to determine when your student can attend school and what to do if they've tested positive, what to do if they've been in contact with anyone.
And this guide, and there's many others that have been provided by Seattle King County Public Health, that help us to look at, when can the child go to school? When can they not go to school? When can they return? And this is just a great guide of many others that we have received from Seattle King County Public Health. And now I want to hand it over to Val Allan.
Val, we cannot hear you.
How about now?
There you go.
There we go, sorry. Thank you. So I'll start again. So I wanted to review briefly the social emotional supports for the students at Highline. Prior to coming back, the emotional concerns that staff have had regarding students have been forefront in their minds, knowing the impact on distance learning, being isolated, the uncertainty of things that are going on.
And so teachers are working together to provide the most predictable and safe learning environments possible, creating routines that they can depend upon, including morning meetings, circle time in the morning and in the afternoons, the advisory, the check-ins that happen weekly by trusted adults, so really kind of trying to maintain a pulse of what's happening with students and also providing lessons around social emotional learning. Next slide.
In addition, there's also our school-based supports where the social workers, school counselors are working together, and that could look like a home visit from a distance. That could be providing basic needs when needed, helping support the community efforts regarding food, delivering hot spots, counselors to offer drop-in office hours. So if parents or students need to contact them remotely, they know where to go.
Also, counselors are dropping in to classrooms, advisories, so they're visually-- so students get to know who they are, especially if it's a new school to the students. And also, when either a parent has requested or there's an agreement or a referral to a mental health agency or one of our strong community-based partnerships. And there are also-- there's resources on the district website, as well as the school website for families as they are kind of trying to sort out how to best support their students.
OK, and I don't know if-- I think this is a question and answer time. It is.
Thank you so much, Val and Elaine, for being here. Kisa Hendrickson, who is on our team, it's her daughter's birthday this evening, and we believe in health and family first. So she is putting her family first tonight. So I want to thank Elaine and Val for being here.
I just want to provide some clarifying questions, and then I will turn to Catherine Carbone Rogers to speak to some of the trends that she's been seeing. But first of all, just some clarification. Yes, we will be in full distance learning with a few exceptions for students with special needs through the end of the first semester, which is January 28. We cannot give an official start date yet, because too much can happen between now and the end of January. And so as we get closer, we will certainly be providing you with updates as to when we will begin coming back in a hybrid. And yes, when we do come back, it will be in a hybrid, and it will begin with elementary.
I will just say that right now, the guidance that we are getting from public health and some districts in our region, given their COVID activity rates, have been able to come back in hybrid. Public health is only advising bringing students back in hybrid in elementary. They are not suggesting that we bring middle and high school students back, even in a hybrid right now. So that is just a question that we will just have to continue to monitor as it gets closer. And obviously, we will keep everyone updated as we learn more.
Secondly, I just wanted-- I just saw in the Q&A that some frustration with some of the answers that we're giving. It's to talk to the teacher or the principal. We will provide-- we're providing as much support as we can to our teachers and principals. However, sometimes if it's a question specifically about your child's class or concerns you may have with knowing what your child's assignments are or their progress, that is a question that only your child's teacher or principal can really help with. So it's not that we're deflecting and trying to add more to the plates of our teachers, principals, and para educators who are working so hard. It's just that we simply can't answer those questions.
With that, Catherine, I will turn it to you.
So there are a couple of questions for Elaine. One is, what is considered an outbreak? You're talking about an outbreak. Can you define that? Are you talking about just one positive case in a school when we're talking about a school closure, in other words?
Oh, OK. So when we think of an outbreak, as in the-- are you talking about in a classroom? That's when they were talking about in the classroom. It depends on what is determined by Seattle King County Public Health for their guidance for the number of cases in one classroom within a 14-day period, and usually that is two cases in the classroom. So that's considered an outbreak in the classroom.
And then when they look at the percentage for the school, they're looking at the percentage of-- if there was two or more classrooms within a school with 10 or fewer classrooms, so if there's only like 10 or fewer classrooms in the school, and you have two or more classes are dismissed because you had two people in each of those classes that had tested positive within 14 days, that would be considered an outbreak in the school. Or if you had a school that had 10% of-- had classroom-- had greater than 10 classrooms in the school, where those classrooms had to be dismissed because they had two persons in the classroom that had tested positive within that 14-day period.
Thank you, Elaine. I've got another one for you while you're on the line here. There's a question about vaccines being available at schools, or where would vaccines be available? I'm not sure if they're talking about just general vaccines.
Yeah, I think they're talking-- there's been a significant dip in childhood vaccines, so measles, those sorts of things. Elaine, I believe we're partnering to put on some vaccination clinics.
Right, so working with Public Health in regards to vaccination clinics that are being provided in the community, and then also, in some of our sites, our partnering sites so that kids are being immunized. And so that information is usually communicated in the family updates as well and information that goes out to the school, because we really do want our children to be immunized.
There is a question about SeeSaw, Susanne, and whether we will be sticking with it through the whole year. Can you take that one?
Certainly. Thank you, Catherine. And I appreciate the feedback. We are getting feedback from throughout the district, and some of it very positive and some of it not as positive. But I think at this point, what we're doing is we're just continuing to make sure we're getting input.
We have a survey that will be coming out, actually, very soon to our students and our staff and our families around their experience in distance learning, so we can continue to learn from it. And some of the suggestions that came in about, can there be another way of submitting work, I'm certainly happy to start looking into to see if we need to supplement. So thank you.
There are a couple of questions about the athletic seasons. Scott, can you answer those? Of course, they're canceled, or when they might be starting back up.
Yeah, so I just choked on my water here, so I'll try and get this out. But first, I would start by just saying we are working closely with the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association and our two leagues, KingCo and NPSL, to make sure that we are making decisions united with the districts that we compete with in league play so that we don't create any district or school that has an advantage or disadvantage in the athletic competitions.
For just scratching the surface on schedules, middle schools, season 1 and 2 are canceled, and season 3, we're still waiting on guidance from Department of Health and WIA to determine what's going to happen, what the fate is for season 3 at middle school. High schools got all four seasons shortened, and season 1, so the fall sports season, was moved to spring. Tentative start date for season 2 is December 28th, and then practices for season 2, 3, and 4 are likely to be scheduled with extra days, including some Saturdays to get kids up to competition level at a quicker pace.
Hopefully, that answers the-- scratches the surface, anyway, on the athletic questions.
There were a few questions that came in through the thought exchange that we held last week. And the top one was really more about a comment. Susan, maybe you can address this, just about distance learning not being sustainable for parents who are juggling work and family. And so maybe you could just respond to that.
Yes, I know. It is incredibly hard, we know, on so many families. Unfortunately, there-- we are just limited in what we can do to provide relief. We do have childcare at some of our schools that is available. And Catherine, I believe there's information about that on our Return to Learn and on the website. So child care is available.
As I said, we are looking at the possibility of allowing some small groups of students-- I'm not talking about our students with special needs who will be coming in for services. I'm talking about perhaps opening our schools up for small groups of students to be supervised, which could provide some relief. But I wish that I could do more. We all do. We know that this is incredibly hard on our families.
We are making sure that our teachers and our para educators and our principals are connecting with families and students and providing as much flexibility and predictability and support as possible. And I know that this will ring hollow, and I wish there were more that I could say to be reassuring. But we all just have to be forgiving of ourselves and one another right now.
Everything we're doing is imperfect. This is not a situation that any of us would choose to be in, but it is our reality right now. And we are doing the best we can, while keeping our students, staff, and families safe. And that's our reality.
There was also a question on the thought exchange about how parents can know grade level expectations for their students so that they can partner with the teacher and with the student, and make sure that they can learn the things that they're supposed to get at each grade level. So I do want to let you know, we have started building family learning guides, and we have them made now for kindergarten, third grade, sixth grade, and ninth grade. And they're posted on our website. If you search in the search box for family learning guides, you'll find them.
We do have other grades in the works, but they're not published yet. And I would say, please work with your teacher to learn what the grade level expectations are for your child's grade level, if you are not in one of those four grades that has a published guide at this time.
Catherine, I just want to add, too, I want to respond to Manny's comment around sometimes for their second grader, it's overwhelming. You know, all of us, our teachers, our staff, all of us recognize the incredible stress that everyone is under. If your child needs more flexibility in turning in assignments and the pace at which they are working, please just communicate with the teacher. I know that our teachers will make accommodations so that students who are feeling overwhelmed or can't keep up can work out with their teachers how to do the work in a way that isn't overwhelming them in the way that it is. And so please, please reach out.
The other question that Catherine and I want to respond to is around why the hybrid starts with elementary. What our health officials know about the virus right now is that young children don't seem to transmit the virus in the same way that adults and older children do. And because that is an area that they are still figuring out, the guidance we are receiving is that it is safer to bring elementary students back, and they want us to hold off on secondary students until we know more and/or the virus is at acceptably low levels.
There is a question about middle and high school and when they might return, Susan. Would you like to address that? I know we talked about it earlier, but this might have been somebody who [INAUDIBLE].
Yeah, sure. So when we come back in hybrid at the end of January-- I'm sorry, early February. It's the end of January our semester ends. We will begin with elementary and phase that in, and then move on to secondary as public health advises us it is safe to do.
As I said earlier, even those districts right now in our region that have COVID activity rates that are low enough that allows them to bring elementary students back in hybrid, they are not bringing back secondary and-- I'm sorry-- middle and high school students, because that is not guidance that we've gotten from public health yet.
Susanne, do you want to talk about-- I know I sort of spoke to it in general, but there's another question about the so much homework and overload. And can you just speak to how families can get support in making sure that the workload is manageable for their child?
Yeah, I think you really named it. You know, what we do is we give our schools and our school leaders and our teachers guidance about what that amount to be-- we have what we call frameworks that kind of gives the scope and sequence, if you will, of learning. However, every classroom has a different makeup, and every student has a different need. And I think what's important is that students are engaging as much as they can in the Zoom or synchronous learning, but then connecting with the teacher on those times where they're just not able to do the asynchronous.
Most of our teachers have time in their schedule to do small groups. Now I don't want to oversell that, that students are going to get one on one tutoring. But they can get some small group support. We've built that into the schedule to try and provide as much support for kids and families as possible.
Yeah. Well, no, let's just acknowledge some days are just hard. We're all having tough days now and again. And you know, there may be a day where your student just says, I can't. Tomorrow's another day. So again, grace and forgiveness of ourselves and one another, knowing that everyone is experiencing the stress and the strain of our current environment in different ways.
Susanne, there were a few questions, both in the Q&A tonight and on thought exchange, about Zoom sessions being recorded. The question was, can Zoom sessions not be recorded due to privacy? You want to talk about how teachers are supposed to handle new instruction?
Yeah. So we've been providing our teachers with tools, and again, we're still learning, but they're getting pretty good at it, in making sure that any new learning, there's a way for students and families to access it asynchronously at their own time when they can. So that could include hitting Record on Zoom, and if there's privacy questions-- and sometimes there is-- we ask the teacher to put it on speaker view, which would be only their face being shown. They can also ask students to turn off their cameras.
Teachers are finding lots of strategies to make sure that all students and families feel safe and comfortable. And of course, teachers are going to let students know if they're going to be recorded. There's also a tool that we're using with teachers called Screencastify, which a teacher can record new information even before school starts, although we encourage them to do it during the moment so that they're not overloading themselves with lots of new work. And then this can be uploaded into Google Classroom, can be uploaded into SeeSaw, so families can access it.
In addition, though, not everything has to be a video of the teacher. We do believe kids actually pay attention when their teachers do the video. It's funny how interesting it is when your teacher flubs or makes a mistake, or you can watch it more than once. But teachers are also finding really and they're sharing with each other videos that help better on different educational sites, and then also just other textual information. Kids don't have to watch a screen the whole time to do their asynchronous learning.
Thank you, Susanne. I wanted to speak-- there was a question around locations of meals. So this is really, really important. I am a broken record on this. There is so much that is out of our control, so much that we would like to do and cannot do as a system. The one thing that is in our control is to feed our children. And we will. There is no reason, given the fact that we have flexibility from federal government, that anyone under 18 is entitled to get meals every single day and seven days a week.
They can get those meals at their school site, at 70, I believe, Scott-- 7-0. Our bus drivers are going to 70 different locations across the district to deliver meals. Additionally, families can sign up to pick up a box of meals for the full week, if that's easier than showing up every day. Scott, do you want to jump in?
So I think you covered most of that. Everyone should know that every elementary school in the district is a pickup site for daily meals, so if you're not certain where the closest bus stop is, you can go to your neighborhood elementary school and pick up meals there. There's a sign up button right on the website. Just as soon as you open our website, you'll see Click to Order there, and you can also go into the Nutrition Service page and order from that point as well.
If you're giving a full week, it's great to order, because then you can say, this is family Jones, and we have seven kids, and so you're going to get two meals a day for seven days a week for seven kids. It'll be there and ready to go when you pull into the school.
Thank you, Scott. And I want to be clear. You do not-- families can come. You don't have to have your children with you. And this is for anyone under 18. You don't have to show any kind of identification. You show up and say, I need x number of meals. You'll get breakfast and lunch for those children. And this applies to everybody. And I want to emphasize this. Food is a basic need, and we are at a moment in time where there are those in our community who are truly suffering and who are, perhaps, not accustomed and thinking, maybe I shouldn't go get meals, because somebody else needs it more.
This is-- our nutrition services team is doing wonderful work to make sure that we can provide food to anyone under 18 in our community who needs it. So please, please, please, spread the word. We know that a fed child is a more ready to learn child, and so it's important that we spread the word about meal access. All the information is on the website, and I believe, Kyle, the next slide, do we have contact information?
Let me just clarify, it's 18 and under, so it's not under 18, but they can actually be 18 years old. They still qualify--
--for the meals.
Words matter. Thank you, Scott. I appreciate that. So we wanted to just share, as we wrap up, since-- yes, and we've still got about 10 minutes, so please keep the questions coming. Catherine, I'll turn it back to you for one more. But I will just-- if you have questions or concerns, we do have a process, so obviously, contacting your teacher is step one, if it's something about your student's instruction, learning, what have you.
If you can't get the answer or it's not resolved, please contact your principal. And if then it's like, no, I still can't get the answer that I need, please contact our ombudsman, Isuzu, who-- and her contact information is listed here. And you can email her or call her, and she will work with you and the school to get the information that you need. So please use this process.
Again, we don't want to add to the stress and strain that people are already under. Catherine, anything else that you want to--
I want to note that there's some feedback about wanting more PE sections in between Zoom classes. So thank you for that feedback, and then there are a couple of questions about the timeline of when we are going to be going back to school.
Yeah, as I said, we don't know. The one thing we do know is, with the exception of some of our students with special needs, we will not be returning for in-person hybrid instruction before the second semester. Our semester ends January 28th. Returning in hybrid will happen some time after that. I can't give you a date at this point, because, again, it will be driven by what's happening with the virus and the guidance that we get from public health.
And yes, I see a question here about maintaining six-foot distancing. That is why we would come back in a hybrid. We can't have all students in our schools every day together. We can't maintain the six-foot distancing. That's why we would have half of the students in certain days of the week and the other half in the rest of the week, the other two days of the week. So we will be sure to maintain mask-wearing and the physical distancing, and the six-foot distancing is why the hybrid is necessary.
And we will communicate with you as we learn more. And as soon as we know what the timeline is for starting school, we will communicate that out. But right now, we just can't say.
Susanne, there's a question about dual language and in hybrid, if students will switch classrooms as they had in the past.
I know that there is definitely a full plan and schedule for dual language. You know, Bernard, you are on here. I wonder if you might answer that question for me.
Sure. Yeah, I can address that. So with our dual language programs at the elementary level, the plans that are in place would be that students would stay in one classroom, so they would be interacting with one space. However, the teachers would transition between the classrooms. So the students would continue to engage in learning in both languages, but students would stay in one space.
There's a question about timing for flu shots, and Lita, do you have any dates? We'll certainly communicate clinics out in our family updates, but Lita, if you know of any dates, perhaps you could share those now. Or Elaine? OK, I'll--
Oh, I was going to say, I don't know the specific dates, but the pharmacies are offering them now, and the doctor's offices. They're being offered now, and you don't have to have an appointment at the pharmacies. And then anytime that we find out about clinics, that we would communicate that as well.
Yes, we will keep putting those out in our family updates that come usually once or multiple times a week, depending on what there is to share. Scott, there's a question about what happens if someone does not wear a mask in class. I'm not sure if that's your answer or if somebody else wants to take that one.
I'm happy to take it, and then Susanne, if she wants to add to it, she is welcome to. The first thing will be to educate and change the outcome of the situation. So work with the student. Figure out why it's not working, what the issue is. Maybe they need a clean mask. Maybe it's a different type of mask, which we'll be happy to support getting to that.
And then I think if we still can't get to the right answer, we need to make sure it's not a medical issue, where we have to address it in a unique way with people around maybe switching over what they're using or providing a clear shield that they can wear. There are some other options there to look at that aren't as good as having a mask on, but meet the expectations of the guidelines we've been given.
I don't know if Susanne wants to address that in any more depth.
No, I think the only thing I would add, Scott, is, as always, we would work with the family and come up with a plan that works for the student and the safety of the other students. I think what's important for all to hear is that we are going to make sure that the rest of the students and our staff are as safe as can be.
Catherine, anything else, or should we move to wrap up?
There's just one final question about student to teacher ratio on Zoom. "My child has 18 other students in kindergarten."
That can-- that does happen. Hopefully, that is not happening all day long that there may be sometimes when there is the entire class, and actually, our kindergarten classes are about 19 to 1. So that's about normal. But there's also opportunities for small groups, where there's fewer students. Yeah.
And that looks like it, so we should wrap.
So I want to thank everyone who joined us this evening. Thank you for taking the time. I want to thank our staff here who provided the information we have. Again, we know that these are challenging times, and we appreciate your being here. We appreciate your questions and your feedback. Please continue to provide us with that, and we will continue to communicate what we know as we know it.
But just know that keeping our students and staff and families safe and supported is our number one priority, and distance learning isn't ideal, but we're going to get better at it each day. And so I want to thank everyone who's stepping up and doing things differently. We're all doing things differently. And again, grace and forgiveness. That's the order of the day. So many thanks to all of you for joining us. Please stay safe, strong, and healthy. Good night.