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Update On Learning Options for Elementary Students
Posted 8/5/20

This is a follow up to our communication on July 31 regarding learning options for elementary students this year. As we stated, data is currently driving our decisions on how to begin the school year and provide the best learning environment for all our students. For the past week, our enrollment staff and our elementary principals have been analyzing the elementary parent survey data and a number of variables have required us to shift our approach.

The data shows an even split overall -- meaning approximately 50% of families chose the Online to In-Person model and 50% of families chose the Virtual Learning Academy. Our initial plan was to configure classes and teachers by the two learning models so classes stayed consistent once we moved out of Phase One. However, we understand that many families feel uncomfortable making these choices as the public health conditions continue to change. In fact, even in the last couple of weeks, we have had many families change their choice due to the fluid health conditions. Additionally, with a larger than expected number of families wishing to enroll in the Virtual Learning Academy, the ability to configure classes by school was challenging, requiring us to increase combination classes and reassign teachers across school sites. In short, we are working hard to keep students in cohorts associated with their current school. We know this is more optimal for students, families and teachers.

At this point, during Phase One, when all students are learning online, we will not assign cohorts based on the learning option families initially chose. Instead, class lists by school and teachers will remain stable and the class will all learn together virtually. Once we move into Phase Two, and we are able to return to campus in some capacity, we will re-survey families, with the goal of receiving feedback reflective of families' preferred choice at that time. Once we are closer to a Phase Two action plan, we will communicate the options and articulate the conditions we will operate under in Phase Two. Given the constantly changing health conditions under this pandemic, we hope families will feel more confident choosing a learning option closer to the time when we move out of Phase One.

Reminder for Parent ZOOM Information Sessions - TONIGHT
We know families may have further questions so we have scheduled another round of parent engagement events via ZOOM to provide further information and answer additional questions. In fact, we will explain the newly proposed change during tonight’s meeting so join us for further details. Spanish interpretation services will be available. Please join us!

Thanks again for all families who quickly responded to our survey and continue to reach out with questions and concerns. It goes without saying that we have never gone through a more complex return to learning and we appreciate your patience as we pivot again, all with the goal of providing the best possible learning environment in these unpredictable times.