We reported to our families early last week that our School Board would make its final decision for reopening schools on August 7th and to expect an announcement to be made on our social media, website and through our automated family messaging system. Last week, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department notified school districts that due to the rise COVID-19 outbreaks, it is not safe to open schools in-person this fall. After seeking guidance from the Puyallup Tribal Health Authority (PTHA), we know that our plans to reopen Chief Leschi Schools – plans that were guided by the parents that participated in our reopening schools survey last month, would have to change.
Our School Board and staff acknowledge that this decision is not ideal for our students or our families. Based on the current status of coronavirus outbreaks, guidance from PTHA and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, we must concentrate on the health and safety of our students and staff.
Our goal was, and will always be, to have in-person classroom instruction. Based on our 2020-21 school year survey results from this past June, 86 percent of our families wanted our schools to reopen and have in-person instruction as well. Over the past month, as we reviewed options for reopening schools, our first option was to have on-site and in-person attendance four days a week, Tuesday through Friday for all students, with Monday serving as a support day for students who need additional support.
Our second option was a hybrid model with elementary students attending on-site instruction four days a week, Tuesday through Friday. Secondary students would attend in-person instruction on a split schedule, with half of our students 6th-12th grade attending on Tuesday and Thursday and the other half attending Wednesday and Friday. When not attending on-site/in-person instruction, students would attend classes online.
Unfortunately, due to the rise of COVID-19 cases, we will be reopening with our third option: resume online/ distance learning instruction version 2.0. This will include full instructional day, four days a week, Tuesday through Friday. Monday afternoon will be designated as online support time for students in need of additional learning support, as identified in an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP); current student assessment data; or graduation credit retrieval plan. We recognize that distance learning cannot fully meet the needs of some students, and we are evaluating the extent to which we can safely provide therapeutic services to students who need them. We are unable to predict how long we will remain in full-time online learning system. We will continue to rely on the guidance from PTHA and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health officials.
Our food service program will begin again starting the first day of school, Wednesday, September 2nd for families needing the service. We will be utilizing the list we last used in June for food service in September. If you would like to be added to the list to receive free breakfast and lunch meal service for students that attend CLS, or would like to cancel, please call our front office at (253)445-6000, ext. 3015 or email email@example.com by Friday, August 28th to begin receiving meals the first day of school. If you find that you will need meals after this date, please email or call before noon the day before you would want to start receiving meals.
We will be communicating more detailed information about the online instruction as we get closer to the start of the school year.
As an update to our message earlier this week, and the announcement made by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department last night, we are in communication with the School Board, Tribal Council, Puyallup Tribal Health Authority and Tacoma-Pierce County Department as to next steps for the upcoming school year. Please expect an announcement made on Monday, July 27th with additional details.
As we have monitored the raise in COVID-19 outbreaks, the School Board will make it's final decision on reopening school on August 7th. Announcement will be made on August 7th.
The Bureau of Indian Education released a draft plan for reopening for the upcoming school year:
This morning, the Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction gave guidelines on reopening schools for 2020-21 school year. We have a lot to consider as we evaluate the gudielines and will provide our plan for reopening next year. This update will be made available on our website at www.leschischools.org, our official social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and our families will be additionally notified on our automated messaging system Blackboard Connect.