The Kent School District on Monday, July 20, 2020 announced that it will begin the 2020-21 school year with remote learning.
“After reviewing the most recent data from staff and family surveys, guidance from health officials, and the draft plans from our Back to School Task Force, we have made the decision that we will begin the school year on August 27, with remote learning,” the district said in a statement. “All KSD families should plan for all students to begin the 2020-21 school year in remote learning.”
The district is seeking additional feedback through its Family Readiness survey, which closes this Wednesday, July 22.
The district says that already over 7,000 families have responded, and early results show “there is no easy decision for the fall.”
The majority of KSD family respondents oppose or strongly oppose full in-person school (56%). While families are undoubtedly uncomfortable with a traditional school model, support for the hybrid or full remote model is equal at 47%. Their Staff Readiness survey indicates a similar opposition returning to school buildings. 48.95% of Team KSD has responded so far; 65.7% feel somewhat uncomfortable or very uncomfortable returning to work in-person for the 2020-21 school year.
The district says it has worked for months to identify ways to ensure the health and safety of students and staff, and still provide a meaningful learning experience in-person.
“I believe beginning the school year in remote learning is the best option for our entire KSD community, given the current challenges presented by COVID-19 to both educate our students and keep everyone safe,” Superintendent Calvin Watts said.
- After reviewing the most recent data from staff and family surveys, guidance from health officials, and the draft plans from our Back to School Task Force, the district made the decision that they will begin the 2020-21 school year on August 27, 2020, with remote learning.
- All KSD families should plan for all students to begin the 2020-21 school year in remote learning.
- Leading with equity means a continued commitment to monitoring our plans and adjusting them to address the needs and safety of students, families, and staff.
- Remote learning in 2020-21 will be of high-quality and consistently provided with more explicit expectations and accountability for instruction and assignments.
- Learning opportunities and supports for families on the districtwide learning management system, supplemental learning applications, and student-teacher communication platform will be provided.
- The district’s final plan will be shared with the Kent School Board and posted to their website on Aug. 3, 2020. At that time, they will accept community feedback via Thoughtexchange, leading up to their Aug. 12, 2020, Regular Board Meeting, where public comment will be accepted via Zoom.
- Please remember guidance from local, state, and federal authorities may change as public health conditions evolve.
- Learn more about the reopening plan, including answers to frequently asked questions. To access the page, visit www.kent.k12.wa.us/BacktoSchool.
“This pandemic has challenged all of us in so many ways,” Dr. Watts added. “We hear and acknowledge the full range of viewpoints regarding the best course of action. We remain committed to reopening our school buildings when it is considered safe for all students and staff by making data-based decisions.”
After reviewing the most recent data from staff & family surveys, guidance from health officials & the draft plans from our Back to School Task Force, we have made the decision that we will begin the 2020-21 school year with remote learning. https://t.co/kpVcyEYEXT #KSDCommunity pic.twitter.com/8qKbF8Zve6
— Kent School District (@KentSchools415) July 20, 2020