Ben Eielson Jr./Sr. Weekly Update
September 4th, 2020
Ben Eielson Families,
Our second full week of school is coming to a close, it has been exciting to see our students connect with classes, communicate with others, and having assignments completed. It is with challenges and I want to let you know that it is appreciated the work each of our students and families have been doing to learn in a remote setting.
As you likely already know, on Wednesday, September 2nd the FNSBSD Board of Education voted and approved to keep secondary schools in remote learning for the 1st Quarter. The Board also approved a phased-in return to school plan for students identified by student support services and special education to be invited to come into the building beginning the week of Sept. 8th.
Identified students will be contacted by the school as we plan to start on Wednesday the 9th. Those students will work in pods or small groups in areas of the school supervised by staff. Receiving assistance by staff, then on Friday they will stay within the same pod and attend classes remotely, in the building.
Masks, social distancing, hand sanitizing, washing hands, issuing a chromebook- no sharing of devices, designated bathrooms, and lunch eaten at the pods are some of the protocols that will need to be followed for those students who will be here.
The District is currently in the Red operational zone, which isn't a shift for the academic delivery method as we were already in Remote instructional delivery - it did change the Alaska School Activity Association fall sports by not permitting competitions. We have cancelled competitions and for next week we postponed a contest and looking to reschedule when we are able to.
The following excerpt is from Superintendents message which describes the Phase-In Plan that the School Board voted on to identify students.
Student Education teams are convening to review individual student education plans (IEP) and identify the extent to which individual students with disabilities may require more access to in-person learning opportunities than their peers. The nature or severity of disability for some of our special education students may make it uniquely difficult for them to fully benefit from these remote educational opportunities and address their overall learning and developmental needs.
After review of each student’s individualized learning plan and the above considerations, teams will discuss return to in-classroom instruction based on the student’s individual needs.
Case managers will contact parents to review student IEP needs and schedule transportation.
Student Support Services
Program directors are reviewing district data and logs related to student academic and social emotional needs, dialoguing with families and educators, and initiating referrals.
Program directors are coordinating with principals to convene school-level Student Support Team meetings to determine in-building support options.
Program directors will begin contacting parents to review student needs.
Once students have been identified as requiring in-person service during remote learning, schools will assign those students to academic support pods at their home school.
Academic support pods will be designated by age/grade bands and follow all the COVID-19 appropriate social distancing, cleaning, and cohorting requirements spelled out in CDC, DHSS and Alaska DEED Smart Start guidelines. Students will have access to the breakfast and lunch programs.
As we begin to phase students back into buildings, we will continue to communicate new developments as they occur. You and your family can do your part to keep case rates down and help return students to school by practicing the safety precautions we are all very familiar with now: wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from people outside your core bubble, washing your hands regularly, and limiting the number of people outside of your family that you spend time with.
It is our goal to have students return to school as safely and as soon as possible.
Principal Ben Eielson Jr. Sr. High