Summer Planning for Fall
Students will begin the school year in distance learning. This comes based on the trajectory of COVID infections in King County, feedback from staff and families, and conversations with our neighboring school districts and our priority of the health and safety of students and staff.
At this time, we cannot predict how long we will remain in distance learning. We will monitor infection rates and rely on public health guidance to determine when we can safely reopen school buildings. We will consult the Department of Health decision making tool when deciding to transition to in-person learning and activities.
We are still planning for a return to in-person instruction in our hybrid model with social distancing when we are able to reopen school buildings. When we do reopen, students will have the option to continue distance learning if they choose. As much as possible, students will stay with their teachers and classmates while learning from home.
We have learned from your feedback and our experience last spring. Our Academics workgroup is developing a significantly improved distance learning program that includes:
- Live instruction via zoom
- Virtual small group support
- Improved broadband internet access, with support from our cities
- A device for EVERY individual student
- Non-digital learning materials (math books and manipulatives, literacy notebooks, etc.)
We recognize that distance learning cannot fully meet the needs of some students with special needs, and we are evaluating the extent to which we can provide therapeutic services to students who need them.
Since we will offer distance learning as an option after hybrid learning starts, we will postpone the opening of Highline Virtual Academy until Fall 2021. This allows us to fully focus on our improved distance learning program, which will be significantly different than what students experienced last spring.
This also gives us the opportunity to thoughtfully develop a permanent high-quality, challenging online school for Highline students who thrive in this environment.
We believe that keeping our students and teachers together--in distance learning or hybrid models--throughout this school year is critical for meeting the social-emotional needs of our students, which is especially important during a time of crisis and upheaval.