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Posts Tagged ‘Coupeville School District’

Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King

Despite recent increases in COVID-19 cases in Island County, the Coupeville School District plans to transition to the second part of its reopening plan.

Superintendent Steve King issued a letter Thursday alerting families and staff members that a K-2 hybrid plan will launch during the school week of February 1-5.

This follows on the heels of Coupeville schools bringing back some students Jan. 19 for a restart of in-person learning.

That first group included special services students, kindergarteners, and others identified as “furthest from educational justice.”

The decision to proceed to step two, and launch the K-2 hybrid, was made after careful consideration.

“While we have had some recent increases in COVID-19 rates in our county, the overall case counts are well within the moderate-risk range of the state reopening metrics found on page eight of the K-12 Metrics and Toolkit,” King said.

The district received a letter of support from the Island County Health Department, as well.

For families who choose to send their students to school, the K-2 plan runs four days a week, Monday through Thursday.

 

The schedule:

8:45 to 9:00 — CES doors open to students for health screening and entry
9:00 to 11:30 — In-Person classes for Group A
11:30 to 12:45 — Teacher lunch and planning; room sanitization
12:45 to 1:00 — CES doors open to students for health screening and entry
1:00 to 3:30 — In-Person classes for Group B

 

The first week back will see a bit of a difference however.

“While in-person school will look very different with all of the mitigation work and guidance we are following in our schools, this is good news for our students and families,” King said.

The first three days back, Feb. 1-3, will be “transition days.”

“These days will be devoted to teachers having meetings with students and families who are either leaving or joining their classrooms,” King said.

“We will also spend time working with our families to carefully go over daily expectations and routines, as they are very different from past years due to all of the safety guidelines we are following.”

The regular schedule kicks in Thursday, Feb. 4, with Fridays continuing to be a distance learning day.

At the end of the first week back, King plans to review with staff how things went, with an eye on making any necessary adjustments before students return to class Feb. 8.

If the plan holds, grades 3-5 are scheduled to start a similar AM/PM hybrid Feb. 22.

Target dates for a return to in-person education at Coupeville Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (9-12) are currently Mar. 8 and 15, respectively.

“There are many more details to come as we transition to in-person learning, so please watch for information coming from your schools and from the district,” King said.

“Please know that we will continue cautiously phasing in our students to in-person learning if we are able to continue to prove we can follow all safety guidelines and demonstrate ability to limit any transmission of COVID-19 in the school environment.”

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Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King

They’re going back inside.

At least that’s the hope, as the Coupeville School Board approved a plan Monday for local students to return to in-person education.

The board voted 4-1 in favor of the plan presented by Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King.

Board members Kathleen Anderson, Christi Sears, Venessa Matros, and Glenda Merwine voted in favor, while Sherry Phay voted against the plan.

While the hope is to have all students back in classrooms by mid-March, much will be dictated by whether Coupeville and Island County can lower COVID-19 cases and hospitalization numbers.

Also huge is local schools being able to demonstrate an “ability to limit transmission in the school environment.”

Under the plan, in-person learning is targeted to start back up January 19 for students who were being served in-person before the last closure.

This includes special services students, kindergarteners, and others identified as “furthest from educational justice.”

The next level is targeted to begin Feb. 1, with a K-2 AM/PM hybrid being offered.

Families who choose to participate will send their students to school four days a week, Monday through Thursday.

 

The schedule:

8:45 to 9:00 — CES doors open to students for health screening and entry
9:00 to 11:30 — In-Person classes for Group A
11:30 to 12:45 — Teacher lunch and planning; room sanitization
12:45 to 1:00 — CES doors open to students for health screening and entry
1:00 to 3:30 — In-Person classes for Group B

 

If things are working as hoped, grades 3-5 would be added to the AM/PM hybrid Feb. 22.

Even if in-person education is restarted on those dates, elementary school students may choose to remain in remote learning.

At least one teacher at each grade level will be a remote learning teacher and will serve those students and families.

Targeted dates for a return to in-person learning at Coupeville Middle School (grades 6-8) and High School (9-12) are currently Mar. 8 and 15, respectively.

Other details are still being worked out on the district’s plans for its secondary schools.

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Kathy Bennett has been driving a Coupeville school bus like this one for almost four decades. (Photo courtesy Brad Sherman)

Give back a little to someone who’s given a lot.

Kathy Bennett, who was always really nice to me when she and her family came by Videoville, has been driving a Coupeville school bus for 35+ years.

At this point, some of her current passengers are grandkids of students who once rode her bus.

With the COVID-19 pandemic having shut down most in-person schooling, a lot of bus drivers have been sidelined, however.

As we approach the holiday season, Bennett’s family is reaching out to Wolf Nation, asking students past and present to send their mom a Christmas card.

If you include a sentence or two telling her a happy memory from your school days, or something good which has happened to you this year, even better.

Cards can be sent to the family homestead since 1977:

Kathy Bennett
3333 Day Road
Greenbank, WA 98253

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Working to keep local schools strong. (Photo property KA Bloomquist)

With the ongoing pandemic making every part of teaching harder, the Community Foundation for Coupeville Public Schools has stepped up big time to support remote learning.

The foundation, which normally issues grants to teachers and scholarships to students, has donated $45,000 to assist the school district.

A $30,000 check was given to the district to “supplement remote learning software and hardware purchases.”

Of that money, $10,000 will be used to help fund the iReady curriculum, with $10,000 going for the Character Strong curriculum.

The purchase of classroom technology (lapel microphones and cameras for teachers) nets $6,000, with the remaining $4,000 going to create 20 additional hot spots for students and their families.

The foundation then added an additional $15,000 donation for “Covid relief support.”

Fundraisers such as Dine Out/Shop Out, and the annual Circumnavigate Whidbey event helped raise funds.

 

For more info on the donations, pop over to:

https://www.4coupevilleschools.org/2020-covid-support.html

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Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King

Local classrooms are shutting down again.

With a substantial county-wide spike in COVID-19 cases, the Coupeville School District announced Wednesday that it is returning to full remote or distance learning.

This will go into effect immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday, and is scheduled to last from Monday, November 30, through Friday, January 8.

Coupeville Schools Superintendent Steve King issued the following statement:

 

Over the past few weeks we have been closely monitoring the rising COVID-19 rates in our state and county.

Up until recently our county was considered either moderate or low-risk when it comes to in-person instruction.

Over the past couple of weeks we have become a high-risk county for in-person school according to the chart on page five of the Washington State Decision Tree.

In fact, we have now more than doubled the high-risk threshold of 75 per 100,000 with the most recent time period (11/08/20 – 11/21/20) showing 152.09 new cases per 100,000.

We were provided with this most recent data in the past 24 hours and this morning we consulted with Island County Public Health, area superintendents, school board members, and our District Leadership Team, and the clear consensus was that we need to prioritize the safety of our staff, students, and community and go to 100% distance or remote learning.

For those students and families who have been able to have in-person services this fall I am sorry that we are having to make this change.

Your teacher(s) will be in contact with you in regards to what your fully remote learning program will look like.

Please know that our teachers have done an outstanding job of improving and implementing a very improved remote learning program for our students since last spring.

This was a complex decision for us as we know that for many families this will be extremely difficult to lose the in-person services.

Families who are having their schooling impacted by this decision should contact their teacher(s) or school office if they have any specific questions or concerns.

Our current food service program will continue for our families with weekly ordering and pick-up on Wednesdays and Thursday mornings.

We are thankful for our food service team providing this very important service during these difficult times for our families.

Staff who continue to work onsite will still be able to purchase daily lunches as well.

I am encouraging all staff members to work from home during this period of time if they are able to do so.

Having fewer staff members in the building on a regular basis will help reduce the risk of spreading COVID.

If you do work onsite please make sure you sign in as you enter the building and also on your classroom door if you are a teacher.

This will help us with contact tracing if needed and also with our efforts to efficiently sanitize our schools on a daily basis.

I know this has been a very difficult time for all of us but as we go into the Thanksgiving holiday I want you all to know that I am truly thankful for you.

I appreciate our students, staff, and families navigating these difficult and complex times with us.

I hope you can join me in being optimistic and hopeful in regards to our future.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you,

Steve King

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