Lake Chelan School Disctrict updates families on 'Return to Learn'

" Together when it counts"

 Dear Lake Chelan School District families,

Thank you for your continued support, positive approach and for your patience since we started this school year. We have received extremely positive feedback so far and will continue to make adjustments as we navigate the impact of COVID-19. I know that parents are both excited and anxious for their children to return to school in person.  The Lake Chelan School District is also eager to have our students back in school as soon as we are granted permission from    the Chelan-Douglas County Health District (CDHD) to safely do so.
 

Educational Justice Learning Support: For the past two weeks, we have been serving approximately 50 students in each building as per CDHD approval. These students are those who cannot access the internet due to location, and our Life Skills students. With the exception of our Life Skills cohort, these students do not receive direct instruction, they are provided a safe space to participate in online learning and they receive meals.
 

Staff Members Test for COVID-19: This past week, High School Life Skills classes were cancelled as a result of two employees at the High School reporting symptoms related to COVID-19. No students were “exposed” (as per the Department of Health’s definition of close contact) to these staff members and social distancing guidelines and masking regulations were strictly followed. As per CDHD guidelines and LCSD protocol, both employees were tested and results were negative.

A similar situation occurred at the elementary school this past weekend involving two staff members. One of the staff members tested positive on Saturday, while the second is waiting on results. With the exception of Life Skills students who were in a different part of the school, as an extra pre-cautionary measure, all other students attending school will remain at home on Monday until we receive further guidance from our local Health Department. As always, the safety of our staff and students is the number one priority of our school district.
 
Parent Conferences: Throughout this week, teachers will be contacting students and parents to set up a conference via Zoom for the week of October 5th-8th. This will be a great opportunity to connect with teachers one on one!
 

Preparing for Hybrid Learning: As the rate of COVID-19 cases continues to drop in Chelan and Douglas Counties, we are actively preparing to safely transition to a hybrid learning model (the term “hybrid” refers to a combination of online and in-person learning). Our leadership team continues to collaborate with teachers, principals, and parents regarding schedules and logistics including food service, transportation, and mitigation strategies.

This past Thursday, along with other regional superintendents, an exception request was submitted to the CDHD. The request involves bringing back our youngest and most vulnerable students - Pre-K through 2nd Grade. Once it becomes safe to do so, other elementary grade levels will be added in a progressive phasing strategy. Eventually, provided that COVID transmission rates remain stable, middle and high school students would eventually return to in-person classes.
 
As we wait on approval on the exemption request from the CDHD, we will be reaching out to Pre-K through 5th grade parents to determine their comfort levels relative to their students returning to school in a hybrid model.  We are planning to survey parents in the near future at parent conferences.

Sincerely,

Barry DePaoli, Lake Chelan School District Superintendent
  

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