This month seems to be a bit of that and a bit of this as a message. At the district level, we are moving forward with the work of preparing for the 2021-2022 school year while also having our feet planted in the day-to-day, month-to-month activities of 2020-2021. I want to share a couple of points about both as there are upcoming actions for you to be aware of.  

On Thursday evening, January 28th, the legislature approved that parents may request their student(s) attend school full-time during the pandemic if the state has not approved for an emergency school closure. Governor Reynolds signed it earlier today. 

At this time, we are awaiting further guidance from the Department of Education as to the details of this legislation as action by districts. 

For this year, while the pandemic emergency proclamations continue, the ability to maintain a student in virtual learning continues for parents should the student have a medical certification or, as established by our district, a parent have concerns around COVID-19 and the student is demonstrating success in their coursework. A student may not be failing a course and remain in virtual learning without a medical certification.

As district leadership, we had been discussing a movement to return to the expectation that all students attend school on Friday and how that day would look given the continued need for intervention for gaps in learning and for teachers to work with and prepare for, students continuing in virtual learning. We were holding to move forward with this transition as I have some concern about a potential quick increase in Covid-related illnesses as the more contagious strains of the virus move across the country which would move more students to a virtual format. 

Please watch for more information about this in the coming days, that may have an abrupt turnaround. We will communicate any changes via e-mail as well as an alert on Facebook.

Looking forward to the 2021-2022 school year, it is time for us to establish the school calendar.  As always, there is no perfect calendar and while some will be happy with one option, another will not and vice versa.  

We will use a process similar to last year. I will share the calendars and a survey with staff, parents and community members in the next week. Once the survey is closed, we will have a team of staff members representative of the various district roles meet to review the input and make a recommendation to the board at their February 15th meeting. That recommendation will be shared as part of the board packet and a public hearing will be held should a member of the public want to address the recommendation. Watch for this release as well…and again please remember…there is no perfect calendar.

I believe that captures my message of the month. As I said, it’s a bit of this and a bit of that.  Have a good month and stay safe. Thanks for your continued support of our district, and have a Happy Valentines Day!

Lisa Beames