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Message from Superintendent Miner: Shoreline Schools to Begin School Year Online

Dear Shoreline Schools Families and Staff,

Last night, our board of directors voted to approve the recommendation to begin the school year in a 100% Remote Continuous Learning 2.0 model due to the current local impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find the slides from that presentation HERE. The school year will begin online on September 2 for grades 1-12 and special education preschool and September 8 for kindergarten.

I know that this is difficult news for many families, students and staff and very welcome news for others. Feedback from over 8,400 participants on our surveys, in our town halls and in our focus groups indicated that this recommendation impacts people very differently and there were no easy answers for this incredibly challenging situation. My recommendation was informed by conversations with Public Health – Seattle & King County and examining the data in our region.

Families indicated in our surveys and forums that childcare is a concern for them. We are assessing our ability to staff and offer childcare options through our Shoreline Children’s Center preschool and extended care programs. Additionally, we will work with our community partners to identify additional childcare options for school-aged students. More information on childcare options will be shared in a future update.

We knew that this outcome was a possibility when we began planning for the 2020-2021 school year, so our instructional leaders and staff have been working incredibly hard to develop an improved online learning model. Our Remote Continuous Learning 2.0 model will not be the same as our model in the spring. The state’s remote learning guidelines are very different from when schools closed in March. There are significant academic and social/emotional challenges to our students learning remotely and we will provide supports for those needs. Using updated guidance and feedback from students, families and staff, we have strengthened our Remote Continuous Learning 2.0 model to provide a more rigorous and engaging virtual-learning program with greater connections for all students at all grade levels. Students will have robust and challenging coursework that is reflective of the high caliber of teachers in our district and state learning standards.

Remote Continuous Learning 2.0 will include:

  • Synchronous instruction (live via Zoom)
  • Asynchronous instruction (recorded or individual student work time)
  • Small group synchronous instruction (live via Zoom)
  • Technology and internet access for all students
  • Taking of attendance, assessment, grading and feedback
  • Streamlined communications
  • Maintaining music, physical education and library services
  • Meeting social-emotional needs
  • Student meal pick-up sites
  • Family Academy webinars to support families’ knowledge and implementation of Remote Continuous Learning 2.0

While it is too early to predict how long we will be in the Remote Continuous Learning 2.0 instructional model, I will continue to monitor local COVID-19 infection rates and rely on public health guidance to reopen our school buildings. I anticipate that in the coming days, a metric will be provided, which will provide districts with factors to consider as they move from one model to another.

We will move from the 100% Remote Continuous Learning 2.0 model to the Hybrid Learning model outlined in last night’s presentation when we are able to do so. At that time, families will have the option to move their child to the Hybrid Learning model or continue with Remote Continuous Learning 2.0.

I know that there are many questions regarding starting school in the 100% Remote Continuous Learning 2.0 model. We are currently in the bargaining process with our employee groups to finalize many of those details and will be sharing more information and updates with you as it becomes available. We anticipate this will take the form of both written communication and webinars.

This certainly continues to be a challenging time for our families, staff and students. I am proud of the work our team has accomplished in preparation for this moment and confident that through the hard work of our staff, support from our community partners and collaboration with families, we can maintain our commitment to high-quality teaching and learning during these challenging times. 

Sincerely,
Rebecca Miner
Superintendent