Reopening Updates

Reopening Updates
Posted on 11/21/2020
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This page will have the most recent news and updates on reopening. Additional COVID-19 information and Reopening resources can be found on the COVID-19 and Reopening Page.

reopening


November 21, 2020

Dear Families,

After careful consideration and weighing the risks and benefits of keeping schools open for blended in person learning, we are announcing that we will pause our in-person blended learning and we will begin district wide distance learning after Thanksgiving Break, Monday, November 30, 2020.

With the significantly increased rate of community infection, our blended in-person learning model is vulnerable to frequent disruption due to out-of-school exposure of students and staff, and we are making the decision to transition now in a planned and organized way.

Our staff have a clear plan to provide high quality distance learning for students, including the Playlists on the eLearning webpage, Google Classrooms and SeeSaw, Zoom, and pre-recorded lessons. Attendance and grading procedures will remain the same. If you are unsure of your student’s distance learning schedule look for communications from your teacher or school and find Zoom links in the class playlists. You can always contact a teacher directly if you have questions about the schedule.

Important services will continue: Students who receive special education and other intervention services will be contacted individually with a schedule for in-person services.

At this time, we do not have a specific date that we will return to the blended learning model. We will continue to monitor the community transmission with the Jefferson County Health Department and will communicate with families regularly. When the health data indicates that community spread has reduced to a level where we may be able to return without significant disruptions, we will resume the blended learning model.

With the holiday season upon us each of our choices over the next few weeks will determine how quickly the cases decline in our community and allow us to return to in-person blended instruction. Please follow the governor's orders for no indoor social gatherings and limit outdoor social gatherings to 5 people. As a community we can all support one another through careful and thoughtful actions and behaviors.

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November 18, 2020

While we are continuing to see a rise in COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County, the cases are not associated with transmission in our schools. However, if the community transmission levels continue to rise, we may need to pause blended learning cohorts and transition to distance learning for almost all students.

We have not yet made a final decision about when or if the transition will happen. This gives us time to prepare for changes in learning models rather than making abrupt changes with no notice. We will not be closing schools as we did in the spring, and will still be able to offer limited in-person support for some students receiving special education or intervention services.

If a transition to distance learning is needed families can expect the continuation of:
  • Daily meal delivery and pick up
  • YMCA childcare at Salish Coast Elementary
  • Current grading practices
  • Daily attendance tasks
  • Playlists and Google Classrooms/SeeSaw
  • Technology support for school issued devices
  • Home internet support for low income families
We will not make the decision to transition to distance learning without first considering the large impact this will have on students and families. While schools that implement proper health and safety measures are not seeing significant in school transmission, continuing our blended learning model with the high rate of community spread may lead to frequent disruption due to out of school exposure of students and staff. We will continue to monitor the situation, and will provide an additional update before next Monday morning about our next steps.

Thank you for your continued flexibility as we adjust to this changing situation.

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November 15, 2020

Today Governor Inslee announced additional restrictions on business and private gatherings. There are no additional restrictions on K-12 schools or on continuing our in-person blended learning cohorts. Students will continue to attend on their scheduled days for in-person instruction, and the YMCA childcare program at Salish Coast Elementary will continue to operate. The decisions to prioritize keeping schools open where possible are based on prioritizing the educational needs of students.

In order for us to keep schools open for in-person learning we will need all families, students, and staff to follow all the state guidance both in and out of school to help stop the spread of COVID-19:
  • Do not come to school sick, or if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • Always wear a mask at school and when out in public
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Maintain six feet of distance between you and others when outside your house
  • Do not have indoor social gatherings with people outside your household
  • Limit outdoor gatherings to five people
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days after out of state travel
At school we will be continuing our health and safety measures:
  • Wellness screenings and temperature checks
  • Masking
  • Maintaining physical distancing
  • Exclusion of anyone with symptoms
  • No visitors in the school
  • Increased cleaning of surfaces
In addition, we are asking that families call and make an appointment before visiting the school or district office.

Our staff and students have been doing a good job following our health and safety protocols on campus, due to these circumstances we are taking a cautious approach and we are stopping the on campus band cohort rehearsals at Blue Heron and PTHS, and PTHS sports conditioning.  We will determine when these activities can safely resume based on the community transmission data.

The school district will be asking all families and staff to follow the travel advisory issued on Friday. If students or staff travel out of state, they will need to practice self-quarantine for 14 days after returning home before coming back to their school. Students will participate in distance learning during this time. 

We continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 in Jefferson County and work closely with Jefferson County Public Health to make decisions about maintaining in-person cohorts. We know that closing in-person learning will have a large impact on students and families, so we plan to keep our in-person cohorts open as long as we continue to be advised it is safe to do so. 
If your family is experiencing additional challenges or financial hardship please reach out to your school counselor or teacher, and we are able to connect families with resources in the community to provide assistance with food, housing, financial assistance, mental health care, and internet connectivity. There are also many community resources linked on this local page: https://l2020.org/covid-19/

School Contact Information
District Office, 360-379-4501
Port Townsend High School, 360-379-4520
Blue Heron Middle School/OCEAN, 360-379-4540
Salish Coast Elementary School, 360-379-4535

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November 11, 2020

As you may be aware public health officials are seeing an increased number of COVID-19 cases across the state, and even in our county over the past few weeks. Jefferson County Public Health has advised us that it is likely that there will be a surge in cases over the next few months.

Our schools are following the WA State Department of Health Decision Tree, which provides recommendations for the conditions necessary for in-person learning. Our superintendent meets regularly with the local health department, and Dr. Locke, and regularly monitor the COVID-19 conditions in our community.

If COVID-19 case continue to grow in our community, we may at some point need to move some or all students to distance only learning for a period of time. The closure of in person learning for a cohort, school, or the district may occur for just short period of time, a few weeks, or until the community spread of COVID-19 decreases to lower levels.

Ultimately, we will follow the data and science to make decisions about keeping schools open, and students and staff safe. This means we will be tracking the data on a daily and weekly basis to determine the next best course of action. 

The playlists will continue to be the anchor student learning for each week at each grade level and each content area so that learning can continue whether cohorts are meeting in person or in distance only. If a cohort, classroom, school or the whole district has to go to distance learning only, the transition will be easier than it was last spring since students and teachers all know how to use the playlist. 

Each school has a plan in place for student schedules if blended learners transition to distance learning for some period of time. If we transition to all distance learning, High School students will follow the distance learning schedule, Blue Heron students will follow the same schedule as if they were at school and teachers will be available on Zoom during the scheduled class times, Salish Coast students will get a Zoom schedule from their teacher. The same expectations of daily attendance check ins, turning in assignments, and grading will stay in place. If we need to close in person learning we will work to get all students back to blended learning as soon as the science of the pandemic allows.

Now is a good time to remember that the choices we each make outside of school will impact the schools ability to stay open for in person learning. Family gatherings are one of the largest transmitters of COVID-19. If family gathers must occur, do them wisely, especially if you go outside our county or others from outside our county come in. The Department of Health has helpful Safe Gathering Guidelines. 

Thank you for all that families are doing to support masking, handwashing, and social distancing, and limiting gatherings to help keep us all healthy and in school.


November 4, 2020

Starting November 4, 2020 we will begin using an updated Return to School Flow Chart based on recommendations from Jefferson County Public Health.

What will change
  • COVID-19 symptoms are now classified as either less specific and more specific
  • Someone with two or fewer less specific symptoms that resolve in 24 hours can return to school without testing or evaluation by a medical professional
What will not change
  • People with any COVID-19 symptoms will continue to be excluded from school
  • All other protocols such as masking, handwashing, and social distancing will continue
If your student has any of the below COVID-19 symptoms please keep them home from school and contact the attendance office. If your student develops a COVID-19 symptom at school they will be isolated until you can pick them up. Please make sure we have your current contact information on file.

COVID-19 Symptoms
More specific:
Fever (100.4°) or chills
Cough
Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
New loss of taste or smell

Less specific:
Fatigue
Muscle or body aches
Headache
Sore throat
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea

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September 8, 2020

Food Service

For distance learners and blended learners at home days, breakfast and lunch are available for pick up at Salish Coast Elementary from 9am-11am every day. Blended learners at school will receive meals if pre-ordered. To pre-order meals you will need to complete the Food Service Survey linked here. Meal delivery will begin later this week. All meals are no cost to enrolled students through December 31, 2020.

Tech Support
We are aware of an issue impacting some students from emailing their teachers. Our tech team is working to resolve that issue as quickly as possible. Need help with other technology issues, visit our Tech Support Page, https://ptschools.org/elearning/tech_support.

Questions about student schedule
If you need more information on your student’s schedule please contact their teachers or the front office of the student’s school.

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September 1, 2020

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have worked to get things ready for this very unique school year

Health and Safety Guidelines for Students Attending In Person
As part of our reopening plan, careful consideration was given to the safety of staff and students. We are fortunate to be able to provide “in person” learning. Listed below are some critical safety measures that allow us to open our doors. For all families with students attending school in-person here are important health and safety guidelines”

 

  • All students and staff will wear masks on campus.
  • All students and staff will have their temperature taken before entering PTSD buildings.
  • All students and staff will complete a daily wellness screening.
  • Students will work in dedicated cohort groups that are consistent each day.
Health and Safety Guidelines overview is found here.

Daily Wellness Screening
The Wellness Screening is a requirement each day before entry into the building. The process is simple. You can complete it through the Skyward website or Skyward Smartphone App.

Log into your Family Skyward Account.
  • Answer two screening questions
  • Click “submit”
How to use the Skyward App Video.
How to use the Skyward Website Directions.

If you cannot remember your Skyward password or don’t think you have an account, please reach out to your student’s school for assistance.

Chromebook Distribution
Chromebooks were handed out for high school students last week, and Blue Heron students this week. If your student has not yet picked up their chromebook please contact the school office to make arrangements. Salish Coast and OCEAN students will pick up chromebooks the week of Sept 8.

Tech Support
Middle and high school students should log onto their device from home and make sure they can open Zoom, school email, and google classroom. Self help videos, and tech support emails can be found on our tech support page. More information is added each day as we build our support video library. Please reach out if you have a problem so we can fix it as quickly as possible.

Student Schedules
Students schedules and teacher assignments at Blue Heron and Salish Coast will be provided to families this week, as well as additional school specific information. Salish Coast Elementary will be holding family conferences Sept 8 and 10 to help all families get started this school year.

OCEAN families will be contacted directly by the teachers to set up conferences.
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