August 21, 2020
Dear Parents and Families,
Thank you for being patient as we work through issues to get school started in a remote learning mode this year.
The district is postal mailing information to all families. The information will arrive in your mailbox next week and includes a remote learning Quick Start Guide, transition stages from remote to in person learning, a Department of Health guide to returning to in person instruction, special programs information, school starting dates, meal distribution and other information. This information is also on the district website at longviewschools.com.
The first day of school is Tuesday, September 8, the day after Labor Day. Your school principal will be sending out information soon about Chromebooks. Schools will schedule Chromebook distribution days before school starts. Between the days of September 2-4, your teacher will reach out to connect with you about remote learning. The Remote Learning Model will include regular daily schedules for students, the increased use of daily live video instruction and recorded video instruction to support students. Students will have daily, live contact with their teachers and opportunities to receive additional support when they might be struggling with their learning. We will be taking daily attendance and returning to our normal grading practices. Detailed information regarding schedules and expectations will be provided by each of our schools’ principals.
We have been busy all summer preparing for remote learning and the eventual return of kids to school. Each school has safety signage posted; plans are in place to check every employee and student’s health each morning before school. We have been working with the county health department. Detailed procedures are in place in case a COVID-19 case is confirmed at one of our schools. The district has a high frequency cleaning plan ready for our kids return to class, we joined school districts across the state in purchasing significant amounts of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. Each school has portable Plexiglas barriers for areas staff members meet the public.
Even though the school year will start in remote learning, we hope to transition to in person instruction as soon as the community health situation allows. The Cowlitz County health situation continues to improve with infection rates dropping. We are committed to the health and safety of our students and staff and know the COVID situation can change rapidly. We continue to work closely with local health officials who are concerned about the potential health impact of the upcoming Labor Day weekend. After the July 4 holiday, local COVID cases spiked higher and the primary cause was the increased social activity. Before making any decisions on beginning our transition to in-person learning, we want to be sure that the potential impact Labor Day might have on infection rates is considered in the decision making.
I encourage you to continue to follow the state’s safety guidelines that include wearing face coverings in public, maintaining social distancing, and regular hand washing. These efforts are contributing to the continued drop in infection rates and the more these rates drop, the sooner we will be able to get our students back to in-person learning.
When we do transition from remote learning to in person instruction, you will receive a 5 to 7 day advance notice for planning purposes. If you wish to keep your student in remote learning instead of transitioning to in person learning – that is okay. You will have the opportunity to do so.
Some of you have asked about the difference between remote learning and the Longview Virtual Academy (LVA). Remote learning is a short-term solution for students who intend to go back to in person instruction when school reopens. Students enrolled in Longview Virtual Academy intend to continue online learning long-term, even when in person school resumes. Presently, the Longview Virtual Academy is set up to serve students in grades 6-12. For more information about the Longview Virtual Academy, visit longviewschools.com/lva.
If you have questions about anything please send them to email@example.com. We will do our best to answer any questions you might have. Thanks and have a great weekend. We appreciate your support.
Dan Zorn, Superintendent
Longview Public Schools