COVID-19 Information
Next Steps in our Reentry Plan
Posted on 11/20/2020

It’s been eight months, and the situation around the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to evolve! As things change, we’ve had to adjust our plans—sometimes at the last minute. The governor recently announced a new set of restrictions in response to the recent rapid spread of the virus. We will continue working closely with state and local health officials, as well as our school board and bargaining associations, as we plan for our reentry.

Next steps for elementary students

We are now planning to bring back our kindergarten and 1st grade students on January 11. As previously described, they will have four half days of in-person instruction (AM/PM). They will be in remote learning on the other half of each day and on Wednesdays. On January 6 we will confirm whether we are able to proceed with this plan.

  • If we are not able to bring our youngest learners back on January 11, we are working on an alternate plan that would allow us to bring fewer students in at a time. The focus of that plan would be on students who are struggling the most. We recognize that this type of limited attendance is not ideal. But we believe that by starting small, we are more likely to continue making forward progress.
  • If we are able to bring our youngest learners back on January 11, the next step would be to start bringing back our remaining elementary students (grades 2-5) with the same AM/PM schedule in the following months.

Next steps for special education students

Under the governor’s new restrictions, childcare providers and school districts may continue to operate with current guidance measures in place. Therefore, our self-contained special education students who have been receiving in-person instruction will continue to do so. Our plan is to expand instruction for our preschool, elementary and secondary self-contained, Life Skills and Lite House special education students on January 11, according to the previously communicated schedule. (For more information about this schedule, please contact your child’s school or Special Services at 360-662-1040.) After that, we hope to continue phasing in and expanding in-person supports for our other special education students.

Next steps for secondary students

Our secondary students (grades 6-12) will remain in a fully remote learning model until at least the end of first semester (January 28). We are currently planning for what second semester might look like. We will keep you informed as these plans move forward.

Nov. 6: Pausing In-Person Return

As a leader in our community, our district believes in doing what’s right—even when it’s hard. So today we are making the difficult decision to pause the return of our preschool, kindergarten and first grade students.

We know this news will be disappointing to our students, families and staff. We’ve all worked so hard to prepare for Monday. For months, we poured our hearts into planning for this phase of reentry. Our schools were eager to finally welcome their youngest learners in person. We know our families, too, have already made adjustments to their schedules. And our students were excited to see their teachers and classmates in person. We are sorry.

Kitsap County Health District has informed us that they are seeing a steady increase in 
COVID-19 case-trend activityRates in our area are continuing to rise and are expected to meet the state Department of Health’s “High” COVID-19 Activity LevelLocal health officials have advised school districts in our area that pausing the return of additional students is the safest choice for our schools and our communities.

This decision does not affect the small number of students who are currently receiving in-person instruction or participating in limited on-campus activities (self-contained special education students and high school athletic conditioning). Unfortunately, there will be no expansion of schedules for these groups at this time.

We will meet with the Kitsap County Health District again next week to further evaluate our reentry plans and timeline. We will follow up with you again after those meetings. Until then, thank you for your understanding and support.

Oct. 22: Return to Play

High school athletic workouts start next month! 

From the week of Nov. 2 to Thanksgiving break, high school students and coaches may voluntarily participate in outdoor conditioning activities. 

Sports-specific pre-practice will follow, from the week of Nov. 30 until Dec. 18. The next Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) modified sports season for the 2020-21 school year begins Dec. 28, and includes girls bowling, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls wrestling and boys swimming. 

Safety 

The availability of practices and competitions are tied to COVID-19 case rates as well as the percentage of positive tests in Kitsap County. 

Students and coaches must also meet new safety protocols, including: 

  • Athletes will work out in pods of six or fewer 

  • Athletes should stay 6 feet apart when not engaged in sporting activities, team meetings or huddles

  • Coaches must wear face coverings 

For more safety precautions, read WIAA’s full Return to Play Guidelines

Next Steps 

High schools will send more information and schedules on Friday, Oct. 23, including the 2020 Out of Season Coach and Student Responsibilities

Students must  register online and have an up-to-date physical to participate. 

In keeping with WIAA guidelines, middle school sports are tentatively scheduled to happen second semester. Specific offerings are not yet determined.

Oct. 7: Athletics Update

Last night, we received the updated document we’ve been waiting for from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) that gives us authorization to restart school sports with the support of our local health district and our risk management organization. This document is based on new guidance from the governor, state health department, and risk management organizations.

Now that we have the flexibility and authority to welcome back our student athletes, we can bring back the three high school athletic director positions we put on standby earlier this fall. We’ll be meeting with our athletic directors this week to continue the planning and scheduling process for our athletic programs under this new guidance.

At this time, we are working through the WIAA guidelines for which sports or activities are allowed. These return-to-play guidelines are based on COVID-19 activity in each county. We will share more information about which sports will be available, and when they will begin practicing, as soon as possible.

To help ensure we’re ready, we are asking families of high school students to register for sports using our new online process. We are not asking families to pay fees at this time.

We will follow up with our families when we have more details. Thank you for your patience!

Oct. 6: In-person Instruction Update

Our goal has always been to return to in-person instruction as soon as it’s safely possible—and we’re getting closer to that day!

We continue to work with public health officials, and will reference the state 
Department of Health “decision tree” to help guide our reopening decisions. Our return will be slow and careful, so we can minimize any health risks to our students and staff.

Phase I: Self-Contained Special Education
Our plan was to begin by phasing in our self-contained special education students first. We hoped to bring them back late last month. However, we postponed their return due to updated guidance from the state Department of Labor & Industries. That guidance addresses the types of masks required for school employees who work directly with students. We are working through the measures with state and local health officials, and will welcome our self-contained special education students back when we are sure we are meeting all related requirements.

Phase II: Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade
We know that our youngest learners benefit the most from a classroom setting. Developmentally, there are experiences we just can’t replicate in a remote environment. We are planning to bring these students back on Monday, November 9. They will have 
four half days of in-person instruction (AM/PM). They will be in remote learning on the other half of each day and all day on Wednesdays. Remote learning will include both online and paper activities.

We know this half day schedule is a change from the AA/BB schedule we first expected. However, we believe the remote learning portion of the schedule will be more manageable (remote learning can be practice work given at the end of each in-person day), and this change will reduce the number of videos students need to watch. It also increases student contact time from two days to four days per week. We will be in touch with these elementary families next week to share more specific plans, timelines and childcare options.

Next Steps for Elementary (Grades 2-5)
After successfully serving our youngest three grades on site, we will gradually add 2nd and 3rd graders (likely December) and later our 4th and 5th graders (likely January). These students will also attend using the half-day model described above. We will share more details in advance, so families will have enough time to adjust their schedules.

Timeline for Secondary Schools (Grades 6-12)
Our phased-in approach to reopening means we will start with the elementary grades and build up. As a result, 
most of our older students will remain in a fully remote learning model until at least the end of first semester (January 28). However, some small groups of students in grades 6-12 may begin transitioning during first semester. (This could include special education students and students who need intensive academic support.) We will share more information as we begin finalizing those plans. During this time, these students will still have opportunities to connect with their peers and adult advisors. We will be reintroducing clubs and activities (online) this month. We are also planning for the return of high school athletics, although practices and competitions will undoubtedly look different.

Staffing Update
We are eager to welcome our students back to our schools because we miss seeing them in person. This phased reopening will also allow us to bring back more of the employees we put on standby earlier this fall. We will share more about those plans soon.

As you know, our staff is working incredibly hard to help our students succeed in this remote environment, and we know that you are, too. Thank you for partnering with us in your child’s education. We look forward to the day when we can ALL be together in person again. Until then, we are grateful for your cooperation and patience
!

Oct. 5: Preparing for Return to Sports

We know that many of our student athletes want to start practice with their teammates. That’s why we have been preparing to restart sports as safely as possible for students and coaches.

We're waiting for more state and local health department guidance before we can safely resume practices and games. But to help ensure we’re ready once a safe return to sports is possible, we’re asking families of high school students to register for sports.

Please visit the athletic registration page to register using our new online process. We are not asking families to pay fees at this time.

In the meantime, our district athletic committee continues to look at ways to allow athletes to meet virtually. It is also watching for new state recommendations. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has stated that for a return to play, it needs a recommendation from the governor, guidance from state and local health departments, and approval from risk management organizations that insure schools.

Schools will reach out with more information on virtual athletics and activities opportunities.

Sept. 23: Budget Challenge Update

We developed the budget for this school year with the information that was available to us over the summer. Given all the uncertainties, we knew we would need to make future adjustments based on our final enrollment.

When the school year started, we began collecting enrollment figures and other data we will need to guide these budget adjustments. We shared that information during tonight’s school board study session. Most significantly, our enrollment is down by about 500 students. Because the state continues to provide funds based on student enrollment, there is no doubt that our funding will be impacted. We also shared that, while our spending is down in some areas, spending is up in other areas.

Over the next few weeks, we will examine these additional expenses, as well as our revenue and our savings. We’ll need a clear picture of our actual budget before we make any decisions about adjustments. We will provide this update during the school board meeting on October 21. You are once again invited and encouraged to attend. Click here for the details.

We all know that schools are about more than budgets. District leaders will continue to focus on solving this challenge, so our staff can continue to focus on meeting our students’ needs and providing engaging learning experiences. Thank you for your support!

Sept. 16: Good things are happening!

This week marks our first “full” week of school. It wasn’t the return any of us imagined or wanted, but we are making the most of it. Good things are happening across our district. Here’s a quick review:

Building relationships
During the first four days of school, our elementary teachers met with nearly 100% of their families. That is remarkable!

Bringing back clubs
Our middle and high schools will be reintroducing clubs and activities (online) starting in October, and we are working on plans to start our elementary school clubs later this fall. We are excited about this for our students and for their connections to peers and adult advisors.

Staying connected with our athletes
We formed a committee to help us provide athletes with opportunities to meet virtually and stay connected until sports begin again. This committee will also be monitoring health and athletics guidelines as we prepare for a return to in-person sports. 

Recalling employees
We are encouraged to report that the demand for student meals has increased. This week we brought back seven (7) additional food service workers who were previously on standby.

Checking in
Now that we’ve had some time to settle into our new learning environment, we’d like to know what’s working for you, and where you need more support. We’ll be reaching out in the next couple weeks to find out. We’ll share those results, and we’ll also use them to improve our efforts.

Study Session: Wednesday, September 23
On a more difficult note, our enrollment numbers are down. Next week, we will have additional data around enrollment and other markers to support our decision-making strategies moving forward. We’ll be sharing that information with our school board. You are invited and encouraged to attend this virtual study session. Click here for the details.

August 25: Family Guide to Remote + In Person Learning

School starts next week! Although teaching and learning will look different this fall, we couldn't be more eager to welcome students back.

Reopening Guide for Families in the Remote + In Person Learning Model
We know you have been waiting for more information about the upcoming year, and we appreciate your patience. You’ll find a full guide by clicking here. This guide includes details on remote instruction, grading, technology, expectations and more. Families enrolled in CK Virtual Academy will receive more information specific to that model later this week.

Daily Schedules: What to expect
A day of remote learning in our Remote + In Person Learning Model will include about three hours of time online, as well as independent assignments and activities. Please see our reopening guide (linked above) to learn more. You’ll be hearing from your child’s school with final schedules and class assignments.

  • Teaching will be recorded, allowing you and your child to access the lessons when convenient for your family.
  • The weekly plan will go out on Fridays for the following week so you and your child can plan for the week ahead.

Attendance Requirements
Regular attendance is required and is critical to your child’s success. In accordance with new guidance from OSPI, we will take daily attendance based on evidence of participation, not based on a specific time. Some examples include: logging into Google Classroom, interacting with teachers, or participating in a task/assignment.

Helping Students Adjust
The first day of school is Wednesday, September 2. Our focus will be on ensuring a smooth transition for our students. We will work with families to ensure our students have the devices and materials they need, and our instruction will center on building relationships and providing support.

With your help, we will make this fall a positive and productive return to learning!

July 28: Fully Remote for at Least 9 Weeks

Last Wednesday evening, we shared an update on our reopening plans. Since then, circumstances have changed. Today, we are joining several other school districts in our region to announce a difficult choice. We will begin the 2020-21 school year in a fully remote learning model for at least the first nine weeks. At that point, we will reassess the situation.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are on the rise in our state and here in our community. As a result, the Kitsap Public Health District (KPHD) has now advised against opening schools for traditional classroom learning this fall (click here to view the KPHD letter). While we do recognize the importance of educating our students in person, our priority remains the physical health and safety of our students and their families, our staff, and our community.

We are determined to return to in-person instruction as soon as it’s safely possible. In the meantime, I want to clarify that this fall’s remote learning model is not the same model we experienced last spring. We have developed an improved, more robust remote learning experience that will have increased expectations for student participation, more consistency for delivery of content, and better feedback to students and families.

We know this news will affect our families in many different ways, and we know you will have questions. We’ve posted answers to some of these questions on our website;
click here to take a look. We will continue to add to that list as we develop more answers. This change does not impact the other two learning models available to families.

Please also take a moment and click here to watch a video from our superintendent, Dr. Erin Prince, to learn more about this announcement and what’s ahead for our district.

July 22: Options for Fall 2020

Last week, OSPI released a template for districts to use as we prepare to submit our reopening plans for the upcoming school year. This is a great tool as our five reopening work groups continue their planning efforts.  
 
Tonight, we shared our progress with the school board. Most importantly, we are now able to share additional details around each of our three options:  

  1. Remote + In Person (Hybrid Model) – This model may begin as fully remote, based on current guidance from state and local health authorities. 

  2. All Online (Pearson Connexus) 

  3. K-8 CKSD Homeschool 

While we are glad to share these new descriptions, we also know that there are still many unanswered questions. In particular, we are meeting with childcare providers to ensure our families have access to childcare.  

As we move forward with our planning efforts, we will continue to work closely with our state and local health agencies. The state Department of Health (DOH) released a new report last week. The report cautions that opening schools safely depends on continuing to reduce the amount of moving and gathering we do within our communities. According to DOH, working together to stop the spread of COVID-19 is "the only way we will be able to safely reopen schools in the fall.”

We will be in touch again following our next school board study session (August 5), which you are welcome to attend virtually. Or we will reach out sooner if we have new information to share. Thank you for your support.

July 14: Survey Results, Developing Options

Thank you for responding to our School Reopening Survey! The results are available now. Click here to take a look. As you’ll see, most families want their children back in schools for in-person instruction, and we’re working hard to make that happen. Many families also shared concerns about planning for childcare and other needs. We understand these concerns. As we plan for this fall, we’ll continue sharing details and updates so you can plan for this fall.

We are developing three options for families to consider:

  1. Hybrid – This would allow students to receive as much in-person instruction as possible. Students would learn both in-person and online with a CKSD classroom teacher. It would feature a consistent schedule with specific expectations for instruction, online work, and teacher access/support. This model would function on a rotating basis (about half our students would attend on each in-person day). We’ll provide more details about this option soon. In case of school closure, students would temporarily move to all-online instruction with Google Classroom, and no in-person instruction. In-person instruction would resume upon clearance from health authorities.
  2. All Online (Pearson Connexus) – Students will complete 100% of their learning and assignments via Pearson Connexus, an online curriculum platform. A CKSD teacher will be assigned to each student. This home learning option will operate at the district level and will not be directly tied to an individual district school. Guardian support is necessary for younger students and highly recommended for older students.
  3. Homeschool (Barker Creek Community School) – This learning option would be supported through our Barker Creek Community School with parent instruction, using traditional textbooks and resources provided by CKSD.


Our goal is to welcome as many students as possible back into our buildings this fall. The 
OSPI District Planning Guide provides specific strategies to help us achieve this goal with restrictions:

  • Require cloth face coverings for staff and students.
  • Check for signs of illness for all staff and students at entry each day.
  • Practice physical distancing (six feet) within each group of students as much as possible, including spacing of desks.
  • No field trips, assemblies, or other large gatherings.
  • Cancel or modify classes where students are likely to be in very close contact.
  • Limit nonessential visitors, including volunteers and mentors.
  • Limit cross-school transfer for special programs.


We’ve been visiting each of our schools and reviewing our programs as we prepare to implement these strategies. As a result, the following actions will be suspended under the current pandemic:

After school activities
After school clubs
Indoor facility rentals
Outside groups
Pool use
School-wide parents meetings
Special performances
Tiny Trojans

We know you are eager to see our schools reopen again without these restrictions in place. We are, too! Until then, we will continue to comply with OSPI and Department of Health mandates in order to keep our students, staff, families, and community safe and healthy. 


We will share more about our plans for this fall after next week’s school board study session. To learn more about that meeting, 
please click here. Thank you for your continued support and understanding!