We are delighted to have our Kindergarten and Anderson Island Elementary students back with us for in-person learning and are thrilled to have our 1st through 5th graders returning before March 1st. Our staff has looked forward to this “welcome back” for almost a year.
With our continued focus on safety, we hope to have all students returning to an in-person learning model soon. Our team has been working on required safety protocols all year, with a COVID Safety Committee made up of representatives from every school in the district to identify concerns and make recommendations for improvements. Our safety strategies include:
- Mask requirements
- Physical distancing standards
- Health attestations and checks
- Contact tracing
- Rigorous cleaning protocols
- Limiting class sizes
- Providing online learning alternatives
- School-based testing program (starting in February)
In addition to our hybrid learning models, we are also planning for the implementation of additional supports for students after a year away from in-person learning. We know that many students will have additional academic and social emotional needs due to the pandemic, so we are focusing first on “acceleration strategies” – strategies designed specifically to help students “catch up.” Literacy skills and social emotional skills will be the focus for our K-3 students. For our older students, these strategies will be based on their unique needs, but core academic areas including literacy, math, and science will be included as components of our plans. These acceleration strategies will be implemented before and after school, and during school breaks (including spring and summer breaks). These strategies will be in addition to their classes, not in place of them.
Want to help us? A new volunteer opportunity has emerged. We will need help at our schools during student check-in and also with transitioning students from the school to the bus (or from the bus to the school). None of these volunteer opportunities will require large time commitments and you can easily sign up by going to http://www.helpcounter.net/steilacoom. We are excited to have our dedicated volunteers back in our schools!
Thank you for your continued support!
Dr. Kathi Weight