News details

Continuous Learning Plan – Community Update from Superintendent Thiele

Posted by L Michelle on March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

Dear ISD Community,

Since the closure of our schools just two weeks ago on March 13, 2020, our commitment to our students and their learning has remained a top priority – as well as the health and safety of our entire community. Although school campuses are temporarily closed, we all know that “school” must continue and we are eager to move forward. We have been busy planning student engagement strategies and collaborating with our teachers association around identifying and teaching essential new learning. This is in order to move students through the curriculum for the duration of the school year.

I have been meeting with my superintendent colleagues and officials from Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the State Board of Education almost daily for the past few weeks. I can assure you that all districts have been challenged by circumstances requiring us to shut down schools in the middle of the year. I am proud of the ISD for quickly providing essential community resources, such as childcare, meal services, access to technology, and emergency learning resources. This phase of our work is nearly complete and we have been working on the next phase, which includes our Phase II Continuous Learning Plan.

We are planning and looking for ways to streamline and condense curriculum to ensure we deliver essential learning whether schools reopen on April 27, as currently planned, or if our closure must be extended beyond that date. There is often little time to understand and act on the guidance we receive from the State, OSPI, and other government officials before it changes again. Therefore, we have to be prepared and plan carefully for multiple possibilities in the coming weeks.

Phase II – Continuous Learning Plan

While the details of our Continuous Learning Plan will be made available next week, I can share that we are concentrating on learning experiences that:

  • Offer authentic opportunities for students to focus on key concepts, knowledge, and skills.
  • Support ALL populations of students.
  • Involve a balance of on-screen and off-screen tasks that help connect to previous learning and the current curriculum.
  • May use a blend of non-technology, face-to-face, and virtual platforms.
  • Establish a consistent and agreed upon framework of expectations, communication models, and practices that teachers, students, and families share.

While online or remote learning cannot replicate the richness of a classroom experience, we are training our teachers to support their ability to use technology to deliver essential instruction to students. As our delivery model evolves, as a public school system, we must ensure that we provide similar experiences across the District to support equitable learning opportunities. Access to technology is important for this to occur. The ISD has received more than 1,000 requests for laptops and we have delivered close to 600 of those. We expect to have the remainder delivered to families by the end of next week.

Our entire organization is dedicated to the task at hand. In the coming days, we’ll have more information to share about what families can expect each week at the different levels as well as information for our high school seniors. We are confident in our educator’s ability to do this and do this well. While we anticipate many successes, we know that there will also be challenges and we are prepared to continually reassess what elements of our plans are working and which ones need improvement. We look forward to the day when we can welcome our students and families back into our classrooms and schools.

Sincerely,

Ron Thiele,
Superintendent