Recent email from TSD superintendent Sean Dotson and a short clarification:
“Subject: Schedule Clarification
Dear Tumwater Families,
I want to follow up to share a couple of clarifications regarding the sample schedules you received earlier today. It is important to note that the times listed for classes on these schedules are not intended to imply that students will be on the computer throughout the time assigned for each class or subject. We recognize that excessive screen-time is not best for students and it would not be practical for students to spend many hours per day in front of a computer screen streaming live and recorded video. This is not an effective practice for distance learning, nor is it possible for many of our families to support.
Technology will be an important and valuable connection between students and teachers until we can return to in-person instruction. At the same time, our goal will be for students to have a healthy balance of activities away from a computer. We want our children to be active and healthy.
The schedule for a typical day will include opportunities to connect with teachers, and it will often include short instructional videos students will watch that teach new content. Along with the times when students will use a computer, the school day will also include time for students to work on activities independently. This may include reading, assignments, physical activities, and other projects they will do away from a computer screen. We know that some families’ schedules simply will not allow their children to access their learning at the times we have proposed. We also know that some of our families have Internet connectivity challenges, and we are finalizing plans to help these students access learning.
Please know that our intention is to provide flexibility that allows students to work on activities either during the scheduled time later if their schedule does not allow them to participate or work during the scheduled class time.
I hope this information helps clarify how the schedule will work.
Have a great weekend,
Sean Dotson, Superintendent”
“August 21, 2020
Dear Tumwater families,
As we continue in this time of uncertainty, one thing that has become very clear is our community is FULL of families, staff, teachers, administrators, and board members who are committed to making sure each and every student in our schools are taken care of!
We have been meeting with our employee associations to plan for school to start in the fall. Some of the fine details are still in progress; we know that you are waiting for all of the answers, and we appreciate your patience.
One thing we can share is the SAMPLE schedules that have been developed for elementary, middle, and high school students who are enrolled in their neighborhood schools (not TVA, CHS, or NMHS). Scheduling for our early learners (ECLC) and our 18-21 LINCS program are still under development.
As you review these schedules, please keep in mind that we are committed to being as flexible as possible knowing that every student/family has a unique situation and that sometimes a normal “school schedule” may not be possible. These schedules were created with these, as well as many other, considerations incorporated into them:
The schedule should allow us to transition smoothly from remote to hybrid instruction when conditions improve.
The State of Washington requires that all schools have a calendar with a 180 day school year.
The State of Washington requires that we provide Kindergarten students at least 1,000 hours of instruction and students in 1st-12th grade an average of at least 1,027 hours of instruction during the 2020-2021 school year.
The schedule meets requirements of our bargaining agreements with employee groups.
The schedule provides regular daily routines for students who need consistency, and it includes flexibility for families that cannot access remote learning during the regular day due to a variety of circumstances resulting from the pandemic.
At the secondary level, the number of classes and transitions are limited every day to help students focus during remote learning and reduce transitions and exposure when we return to hybrid instruction.
Of importance to know is that new content should be delivered asynchronously (recorded) or by other means so that all students can access this information and review it as needed. Live sessions (synchronous) are for class meetings, review of previous learning, and social emotional learning.
- BLE, EOE – Elementary DRAFT schedule (start time 8:55 am)
- LRE – Elementary DRAFT schedule (start time 9:05 am)
- MTS, PGS – Elementary DRAFT schedule (start time 8:40 am)
- THE – Elementary DRAFT schedule (start time 8:45 am)
- BMS, TMS Middle DRAFT schedule (start time 8:00 am)
- BHHS, THS High school DRAFT schedule (start time 7:40 am)
Once you see the schedules, we expect that more questions will arise. Please watch our district website COVID-19 section for FAQ’s that will be updated by early next week.
Attendance will be taken daily, understanding that not every student can sign into a class online at a specific time. Flexibility will be built into the attendance requirements. More information will be available soon.
This fall, grading practices will be more closely aligned with our regular grading system. A team of teachers and administrators are reviewing best grading practices in a virtual learning environment and will recommend any changes needed to our current policies and procedures for this year.
For families with connectivity limitations, we are looking for ways to provide alternatives which may include:
Home and/or mobile Wifi hotspots
For homes that have no internet options, possible small groups to meet at the school and, under supervision, access live and/or recorded instructional videos or class check-ins.
We appreciate your patience and partnership as we prepare to start a new school year in a way that is making history. This is new to all of us, and I know together we can make it work!
Take good care,
Sean Dotson, Superintendent”