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    March 30, 2020

    Dear MISD Families, 

    I’m writing to update you on our still-evolving plan to move student learning forward during this mandated closure. 

    As reported in our communications last week, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) recently provided school districts with updated guidance regarding teaching and learning supports and meeting class of 2020 graduation requirements. These new expectations call for districts to plan for continuous learning on a weekly basis, deliver flexible instruction, assess for student learning, and make instructional adjustments.

    Our District’s Learning Services teams, principals, teachers and coaches have been working together to plan for how we will continue student learning during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Keeping students as the priority, our teachers have and will continue to consider the social and emotional needs of our students and families. 

    This means teachers will be trying to help students make connections with each other and will not be creating a system where students spend hours a day in front of their computers. Our teachers will be looking at how learning in this environment can be equitably achieved.  We ask for patience and grace as we work to support all students through distance learning. 

    The District and the Mercer Island Education Association have partnered to create the below plans for continuous learning through the extended school closure.

    March 30, 2020 - April 3, 2020 

    Elementary:

    • The elementary schools will provide optional comprehensive learning schedules for each grade level (please see the K-5 Weekly Learning Plans page). Daily options will span:
    • Language Arts • Math • Science
    • Spanish • P.E. • Social Studies
    • Social/Emotional • Music • Art

    These daily schedules will involve online and offline activities. The District remains committed to the whole child and wants to emphasize the importance of managing screen time.

    • Resource Packets- Families who would prefer to access the weekly learning plans as paper packets instead of online please follow this process:
      • Week of March 30 to April 3
      • Week of April 13 to April 17
      • Pick up Process
        • Please pick up packets from the Central Administrative Office (4160 86th Ave SE)
        • Place a piece of paper with the grade and quantity you are requesting on the passenger side dashboard for our team to see and deliver without you needing to get out of your car. For example, a family needing two first grade packets and one fifth grade packet would write: 
          • 1st Grade- 2
          • 5th Grade- 1
        • Please enter the parking lot on 86th Ave SE (Boys and Girls Club entrance) and NOT off of SE 42nd St. This will allow traffic to form in our parking lot and not on the road  
    • Staff will continue with family check-ins
    • Teachers will create “Dedicated Online Direct Connection/Support Time” (times of real-time online connection between students and their teachers) schedules and communicating those with students/families.
    • Teachers will collaborate in teams with grade-level colleagues, specialists and coaches to create and prepare lessons, videos, and/or materials that revisit material taught before school closure and to prime students for new learning after Spring Break. These materials may be posted online for students to access during Spring Break when teachers are not working.
    • Teams will, among other things, be planning the first two-three weeks of new content that will move students along the learning continuum. This new content will be rolled out beginning April 13. 

    Islander Middle School:

    • IMS will create student updates and assigned learning tasks for the week. Please see the IMS Learning Plan page
    • Posts to Schoology will be made by each teacher based on department collaboration and discussion about essential learning. The teams will meet based on the following schedule, so students should get into the habit checking Schoology on a daily basis. 
      • Monday Special Education
      • Tuesday Language Arts, Social Studies, Math
      • Wednesday Check-in Day
      • Thursday Science
      • Friday Electives 
    • Teacher teams will meet to create and prepare lessons, videos, and/or materials that revisit material taught before school closure and to prime students for new learning after Spring Break. These materials may be posted online for students to access during spring break when teachers are not working.
    • Teachers will create  “Dedicated Online Direct Connection/Support Time” (e.g. open office hours) schedules and communicate it with students/families.
    • Teams will plan the first two-three weeks of new content that will move students along the learning continuum. This content will be rolled out beginning April 13.
    • The staff is in discussion about how grading and assessment will be handled in the 3rd trimester.  


    Mercer Island High School:

    • Teachers will be updating Schoology posts for courses with review and preview materials.
    • Students should review material previously taught and will see Schoology posts with specific details.
    • Staff will provide pre-learning activities and assignments to prepare students for future learning.
    • Teachers will create and prepare lessons, videos, and/or materials that revisit/review material taught before school closure and to prime students for new learning. This may be posted online for students to complete between March 30 and April 10. This will span the week before as well as the week of spring break.
    • Teachers will create online office hour schedules and communicate it with students/families.
    • Teachers/departments will be creating a plan for the first 2-3 weeks of new learning that will move students along the learning continuum. This new content will be rolled out beginning April 13.
    • The staff and district are in discussion about grading and assessments in the 4th quarter (second semester).  

    Spring Break: April 6 - April 10

    Mercer Island School District will follow our planned/calendared spring break. Students may continue to access resources posted on the following pages:

    • Elementary Learning Page
    • IMS Learning Plan page
    • Course Schoology sites

    April 13 and beyond

    • Teachers at all levels will begin moving all students along the learning continuum by providing students with new content/material and building skills. 
    • Teachers will maintain scheduled dedicated direct connection/support time (e.g. office hours), adjusting them as appropriate
    • Teachers will continue communicating with students/families.

    We are committed to communicate regularly with our families and community during this extended closure. Please continue to visit our website for updated COVID -19 information and resources.

    Sincerely,

    Donna Colosky
    Superintendent