August 11, 2020
On July 29th, administration presented a return to instruction proposal to the board of education. This proposal was drafted by a committee made up of teachers, support staff, and administration. The goal of the proposal was to provide the best quality education in the safest environment as possible for our children. After several meetings dating back to early June, it became evident that remote learning was the best possible solution to begin the year. The district will also provide a phase in system allowing students to return to school when conditions are deemed safe. The phase in system may be flexible depending on the health climate and could incorporate multiple phases at one time for return.
We understand that the spring remote instruction was very difficult on parents, students, and our staff. The state has provided limited restrictions on districts allowing us to provide a structured environment with expectations that will help teachers and students grow as learners. As you read through our presentation you will see that we must meet the state mandated 5-hour instructional day for students in grades 1st-8th, and a 2 ½-hour day for PK and Kindergarten students. This instruction can be comprised of remote teaching and independent work. We feel the structure that is put in place will provide challenges and rigor to our curriculum.
We also understand that there will be struggles with families that have working parents and/or guardians. It is our goal to listen and work individually with those families so that we can provide instruction for those children and keep them on track as we move through the fall.
Our staff will report to work on Monday August 24th for a weeklong professional development training session which will incorporate the distribution of materials (Chromebooks, and other pertinent items for instruction) to students/families. Teachers will also provide a remote orientation on Thursday August 27th in which expectations will be shared and questions may be answered.
Students will begin remote instruction on Monday August 31st. We are excited to start the year and hopeful we may begin the phase in process in early October. Again, as we phase in we will provide a minimum of two weeks’ notice so parents and/or guardians can make appropriate adjustments for their child’s return.
Finally, I would like to thank the committee members that worked on our plan for providing positive and constructive dialogue in our remote learning plan. I would also like to thank the Board of Education for their support in these uneasy times and making hard decisions to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Most importantly, I would like to thank the parents for your flexibility and understanding as we navigate through these uncharted waters. Your support has been greatly appreciated!
Superintendent of Schools
Winthrop Harbor School District #1