We want to provide you with an update on our planning for next steps in the reopening of schools. Through all of what follows, please know that our first priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, and families. We are eager to see students in classrooms engaged in amazing learning opportunities provided by our excellent teachers, but we must do it in a safe and thoughtful way.
The Washougal School District is working closely with Clark County Public Health (CCPH) and other local school districts on a framework that lets us safely return to in-person education. A key indicator in whether it is safe to begin bringing students back to the classroom is the rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over 14 days, in Clark County.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) established a three level system to guide decisions on in-person education as part of their Decision Tree for K-12 Schools. This system establishes three levels: High (greater than 75 cases per 100,000), Moderate (between 25 and 75 cases per 100,000) and Low (fewer than 25 cases per 100,000). The trend in Clark County had put the rate per 100,000 over 14 days in the Moderate range for the past several weeks. On September 21, it went up to High. We all play a part in helping lower the rate and keeping ourselves healthy, which will let us return to school in-person! We need to wear our masks in public, wash our hands frequently, and watch for social distancing of 6’ from others. Together, we can flatten the curve and get our kids back in classrooms.
Clark County Public Health is closely monitoring the rate of positive cases with respect to the Labor Day holiday. If we see the rate lower back down over the next few weeks, and the rate per 100,000 continues to stay in the moderate level, we will begin bringing back small groups of students, starting with our youngest learners and those who need additional support to be successful.
Our first step back would be to bring back students with special needs, who will be receiving in-person educational services starting the week of September 21. Our next step toward in-person services would be to start our hybrid learning program with our students in grades K-5. We will make a determination in late September, in consultation with Clark County Public Health, on the timing of the start of the hybrid model for grades K-5.
For all of our in-person learning activities, students and staff will wear face coverings, practice increased hand hygiene routines, and use social distancing to avoid close contact. Parents/guardians will need to check their child’s temperature each day prior to sending them to school, and will use an attestation form in Skyward to indicate they have done this each day. School staff will do temperature checks for all students, staff, and visitors who come to the building.
In alignment with the Washington Department of Health Framework and Clark County Public Health guidance, we would continue doing distance learning with grades 6-12 for a time, and if cases continue to decline over the following 3 weeks after K-5 begins the hybrid model, we would announce the start of hybrid classes for middle and high school students. Low-risk athletic activities could also begin resuming when secondary students are able to return to classrooms.
Details about our planned hybrid model are available under the impactED information below.
Once the rate of cases drops to the Low activity level and maintains that level for a period of time, the district will work with health department officials on planning for a return to full, in-person educational opportunities for students, beginning again with our K-5 students. If the rate per 100,000 begins to creep up as we implement steps in this reopening plan, we will work with Clark County Public Health to ensure our reopening stays in alignment with their guidance.
The school year started with students engaged in an all-remote/distance learning model that we are calling impactED Washougal.
Students engage with their teacher and peers on a daily basis, actively participate in virtual classes, and submit assigned work for grading. Through the impactED remote learning model, students and families are provided with training, support, daily instruction, and improved communication.
Based on feedback from families, students, teachers and building administrators, our distance learning model includes enhancements in the following areas:
Training & Support – teacher training and time to support families with remote learning issues
Instruction – focus on essential standards, greater accountability, and set schedules
Technology & Communication – Technology help desk @ 360-954-3671, streamlined communication with ParentSquare app
The district will continue planning for a hybrid in-person and distance learning model, and a possible return to full in-person instruction later this school year. We will work with the county health department and continue monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in our community, with a goal of returning to in-person instruction as soon as it can be safely done.
Under a blended or hybrid learning model, WSD students will split their learning time between remote and in-person learning. This may look different depending on what grade level your child is in, as health guidance and space available allows.
The remote learning would feature the improvements listed above in the impactED model, plus:
When it’s safe for us to begin welcoming our students back to school for in-person learning, things will still look a little different. To help ensure the health and safety of all students, staff and family members, additional safety protocols will be followed by all students and staff, including:
WSD will also offer a program this fall called Washougal Learning Academy (WLA). This program will support K–12 students who want to take classes primarily online and prefer to mostly complete their learning independently, with weekly teacher check-ins and development of an individualized student learning plan.
Students enrolled in WLA will be provided with an internet-capable device and materials for activities will be delivered to their home regularly. They will also have consulting and academic support, as well as periodic class meetings and opportunities to engage with their peers. Learning modules for all subject areas will be included.
To learn more about the Washougal Learning Academy, contact your school principal.
Remember, our sincere hope is to get back to in-person learning as quickly as the health situation will allow. We all play a role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. If we work together and mind the three Ws (wear masks, wash our hands, and watch our social distancing) we can get our students back in classrooms.
Consider signing up for our Washougal Learning Academy instead—it offers the best of both worlds! The WLA program features dedicated time from a Washougal teacher to design a program that works for you and your child, and you will be keeping your student on-track with their peers for when we return to in-person learning.
The Washougal Community Education SPACE Child Care program is exploring an expansion of the emergency elementary-aged child care program to support families of essential workers, first responders, and those who have limited options for their child. The program would likely be available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Depending on the level of need for child care, this program may be provided at more than one Washougal school. Scholarships may be available. The SPACE program would be staffed with district employees, safety precautions would be implemented and group sizes would be limited to ensure safety.
Families should check for childcare options from these two resources childcareawarewa.org
No, after examining the feasibility of what we did last fall, the district is not delivering materials and learning packets to families with buses. We will work with families to provide materials by mail or pickup options when feasible.
If you have questions, please call the Washougal School District office at 360-954-3000.
District leadership will continue monitoring health data and consulting with local health officials to make a decision on when we might be able to switch from impactED to our hybrid or in-person models.
As safety allows, students with special needs and those who may need additional academic and/or social/emotional support may have the option to attend limited in-person learning opportunities. More details about this will be available in late August.
Washougal is proud to implement a new approach for school meal service, with scratch-made, delicious, healthy and nutritious food available for school-aged children. We will now be offering freshly cooked meals by bringing a full meal preparation program to our school kitchens. This new “takeout” offering will include several pickup options for students and families, including options that are outside of typical working hours to support working families. If you would like to pre-order meals for pickup, please use this link.
The district is gathering names of students and families who need Internet access to support their impactED online learning. There are two ways the district may be able to provide internet access, including a CARES Act-funded program to subsidize the cost of cable internet, DSL or other providers; and a district-funded option that would be delivered to individual families via a “hotspot,” or mobile Internet connectivity device. If your family wishes to be contacted about these programs, please use the survey to let us know. We will ask for your location and contact information.
Due to demand, we are prioritizing devices for families with students who qualify for free and reduced price meals, students experiencing homelessness and others with a demonstrated need. Use the button above to let us know you could use support. We anticipate having additional devices by September 30.
Your child’s school can provide an opportunity to pick it up with social distancing and safety measures in place. Contact the school office.