August 7, 2020

Dear Parents and Families,

I hope you are enjoying your summer.  I know that the manner in which we will be returning to school is on everyone’s mind, so I want to provide you with an update on our return to school plans.  At Monday’s board meeting, I will be recommending to the board of directors that we start the year in full remote learning. Assuring the health and safety of our students, employees and community has been in the forefront of this decision.

The decision to recommend full remote learning was very difficult.  Balancing the academic and health needs of our students, staff and community has been an incredibly complex task.  Nothing can take the place of having our kids learning in-person in our classrooms. However, after extensive discussions with health officials, doctors, our union partners, state officials, parents and community members and receiving a recommendation from the County Health Department to start the year in remote learning, the path forward was clear.

Looking ahead, we have two immediate goals 1) provide our kids an outstanding remote learning experience and 2) get our kids back in school for in-person instruction as soon as the community health situation allows. Your children deserve the best education we can provide whether it is remote learning or in-person instruction.

We have spent the summer improving the remote learning model. We are strengthening teacher-student connections through an expanded use of live and pre-recorded instruction that requires less adult assistance and daily scheduled face to face contact between teachers and students. We will be supporting families with consistent expectations for attendance, instruction and our grading practices will return to those used prior to the school closures last spring.  We are simplifying technology for students and families by using consistent learning platforms and we will continue working very hard to close the gaps in Internet and Chromebook access.  Our teachers will receive additional time for professional training, instructional preparation, and student and family outreach prior to school starting so that the remote learning is much improved.

Once the school board finalizes school reopening plans on August 10, we will send you more information. We appreciate your patience and support of our schools. You can email your questions or feedback to infoteam@longviewschools.org.

Respectfully,

Dan Zorn, Superintendent

Longview Public Schools