Superintendent Bahr Newsletter
Dear Eatonville Staff and Parents,
We care about each and every one of our 2000 students and nearly 230 staff, and we are committed to making sure our schools are safe places to learn and teach. COVID-19 is the biggest safety challenge we are facing in the 2020-21 school year. I want to thank our parents and staff for continuing to support Eatonville Schools throughout the spring and into the fall.
Last week, I shared with you that we are preparing for of remote learning and the ability to serve our most vulnerable populations of students in small cohorts due to the alarming increase of COVID-19 cases in our region. We were advised that there is no way at this time to open schools in a regular or large scale hybrid model without the risk of significant transmission of COVID-19 based on the recent trajectory of infections in Pierce County.
This deadly virus has taken the lives of 1,653 people in Washington state, with 116 of these in Pierce County, as of July 31, 2020. Recent DOH data indicates the number of cases is increasing across the state, including in Pierce County.
Our school buildings house both students and staff, including some who fall into high risk categories. While what we know so far indicates young children are less likely to have severe impacts from COVID-19, this is an ever-evolving situation, and we know older children are capable of spreading the virus, with 11% of cases occurring in children aged 0-19. Students who are asymptomatic may also expose staff, their families, and others in the community, potentially creating a super spreader event. As a result, reopening school buildings for face-to-face instruction at this time in a regular school day creates an untenable risk for students, staff, and the broader community.
Eatonville School District has been engaged in ongoing conversation with regional school districts. Last week, all of the surrounding districts in Pierce and King County have decided to start the 2020-21 school year with “Stage 3 - Hybrid Learning.”
Students in greatest need of additional support as identified - through an agreed upon set of criteria, participate onsite, with an agreed upon contact and instruction time.
All other students participate in distance learning.
Staff able to be onsite for the purpose of planning and delivering instruction.
We will be working with Public Health – Pierce County to monitor when we can reopen schools with a more robust hybrid model. If the rate of infection has diminished, and face-to-face instruction is supported by public health guidelines, we will be prepared to transition to our hybrid models Stage 4,5, or 6 within a short amount of time (1-2wks).
Parents, we have heard you. As a result, we are making significant improvements to our remote learning model. The remote learning model we will be rolling out in September is not the same model you experienced in the spring. It will be much more robust, structured, and consistent. We are also continuing to refine the more inclusive hybrid model, so when it’s time to resume large scale in-person instruction, we are ready to do so safely. We know this is a difficult situation that will have an impact on our students, parents, and staff. Here are some supports we will be providing:
For staff, and families:
Device: All students will receive their own device (1:1)
Consistency: Consistent, predictable communication, and instructional schedules! For example, a consistent way to view and access links, schedules, and information on Google Classroom Learning Management System.
Remote Learning Guidelines: We will provide guidelines and assistance that will serve as a resource for families and staff in how to successfully navigate remote learning.
Professional Development opportunities: We are supporting our staff with Professional Development offerings in areas such as culturally responsive teaching practices, best practices for online instruction, how best to support social emotional learning, and building a school community in a remote setting. This will ensure that high quality instruction takes place every day during remote learning.
For students and families:
Technology: We have purchased enough Chromebooks for each student PreK-12 to have their own device checked out to them for the year. Connectivity will be addressed during the school year. This is great news.
Outside options and face to face may be available throughout the year: When school starts, we will be assessing the needs of our students and providing face-to-face options at times to groups as determined by the DOH to be permissible. Currently we are exploring outdoor options for students as well.
We also recognize that remote learning cannot fully meet the needs of some students with unique needs, and we are evaluating the ways in which we will be able to provide face-to-face, one-on-one, and small group support for these identified students.
More information will be shared in the coming weeks, as we continue to refine our remote learning plan, before school starts on September 2. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued partnership with us. We will get through this together.
Krestin Bahr, Superintendent
Remote learning recommended for Pierce County schools
Superintendent Bahr Letter from July 31
Tuesday, August 4 at 8:00 a.m. via ZOOM.
Meeting ID: 824 0097 2450
New Staff for 2020
- Annie Dattilo returning from leave - Math Teacher
- Susan Anderson (from WES) - interventionist
- Jordan Nylander - teacher
- Jennifer Brand - 2nd grade teacher
- Lindsay Southworth - SpEd resource teacher
- Robyn Johnson (from CCA) - kindergarten
- Jessica Sotl (back .5 from CCA) - counselor
- Christian Tonkinson - 4th gr. teacher
- Catherine Golden - 4th gr. teacher
- Caitlyn Stinson-Diess - 2nd grade teacher
- Rebecca Ames - 1st gr teacher
- Daniel Shyles - Math Teacher
- Brenda Waugh-Reimer - SpEd Resource Teacher
- Tim Leipold - EMS Asst. Principal and Athletic Director
- Bonnie Thomas - Art Teacher
- Dave Boyd - Full time sub teacher and athletic trainer
To view Stage 1 to Stage 6 - click the button (or visit: www.eatonville.wednet.edu)
See their link for athletic updates.
August Days of Celebrations
Here are some fun days in August.
You can send us photo at: email@example.com
August 3 National Watermelon Day--Have you ever had a watermelon seed spitting competition? Who can spit the seed the farthest?
August 4 National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day--Make cookies today and share your pictures with us!
August 6 National Root Beer Float Day--Make it a mid-afternoon snack.
August 9 National Book Lover's Day--Share on a selfie reading a favorite book in a favorite place. We can encourage our students to read by modeling!!
August 15 National Relaxation Day--We all need this day after the spring/summer we've all experienced!
August 19 National Potato Day-- Eat some potato chips for an afternoon snack or have a baked potatoes for dinner!
August 25 National Banana Split Day--Its a dessert kinda day. (Maybe some extra fudge and whip cream!)
August 26 National Dog Day--Send us a picture of your favorite four legged canine.
NEW from OSPI - 2020 Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Missing our Students
News from our Maintenance and Operations and our IT Departments
The M&O team and the IT team have been working hard hand in hand over the past few months during the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic. We've supported one another in purchasing and deploying over 150 staff devices, installing 45 industry leading security cameras at EHS, and providing ongoing support of our facilities in order to reopen our campuses when the virus is under control. In addition to staff devices, we have purchased and have begun receiving student Chromebooks that will allow our students to be 1:1 during the remainder of the pandemic.
During the uncertainty that this pandemic has brought upon us, we postponed several projects that will now take place in late August and early September. This includes siding and porch repairs at Columbia Crest A-STEM Academy, drinking stations in the high school, and the installation of wireless projection systems to replace broken projection systems within a handful of classrooms. We will also be restarting work on our security systems and planning for other long term projects.
During this time, we have been working closely with the building administration to ensure that all precautions are being taken when our buildings open to staff and some students in the Fall. This is just some of what has been accomplished and there is plenty more to come. We are grateful to be able to work hard for the students, staff, and community during such uncertain times.