Federal Way Public Schools

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  • Dr. Campbell Hello Staff, Family and Community,

    Welcome back! I hope you had a great winter break and started off our first week of school feeling refreshed and focused on student learning.
    As I reflect on the shocking events that occurred on January 6 at our United States Capitol, never have I have felt more strongly about the importance of the work we do to continue to inspire the next generation of leaders to contribute to an informed, inclusive, compassionate, and forward thinking democracy. We want to model civility and respect while holding up our Whole Child goal of each scholar developing personal responsibility to be positive, productive members of society.

    As I mentioned before winter break, we’re working on our plan to return to some in-person learning, based on the latest guidance from the Governor and the Department of Health. As we have been since March, we remain committed to safety, health, and equity, and our plans will reflect these values.

    Our team continues to monitor the COVID-19 rates in our service area, review data, and is actively consulting and collaborating with our surrounding districts. As a result, our early thinking about our hybrid model is evolving.

    Rather than bringing scholars back for two full days each week, our planning has shifted towards bringing elementary scholars back four days a week on a ½ day schedule for AM or PM sessions.

    While there are more details to come, as we collaborate with our educators and families to finalize our hybrid model, here are a few things we know now:

    • While we would like all of our scholars back in our buildings, it takes time to transition from remote learning to face-to-face instruction. As a result, our focus will continue to be on starting with our youngest learners as we transition back to in-person instruction as early as late February or the first week of March.
    • We will begin our transition to face-to-face instruction with our preschool, kindergarten, and grade 1 scholars, select scholars in our special education program across all grade levels, and small group instruction for scholars who need additional supports at our middle and high schools.
    • Some families may choose to keep their scholars in a 100% remote learning model as we transition back to hybrid and we will continue to provide remote learning for those scholars. We are surveying elementary school families to gain a sense of their preference for a remote or hybrid option for their elementary student.
    • The AM/PM groups in the hybrid model may not be the same as the current AM/PM groups. This is in order to accommodate social distancing and ensure all safety guidelines are met while we adhere to limiting class size for both AM and PM.

    Safety is at the forefront for our return to in-person instruction. In listening to other districts who have been providing face-to-face instruction, there have been low levels of infection within the school day when strict safety and health protocols are in place to support the health and safety of all staff and scholars. We will have strict safety guidelines that will include: health screening, temperature checks, social distancing, frequent handwashing, required face coverings, and more. We’re also convening a Hybrid Learning Committee, composed of various stakeholder groups including our labor partners, to help inform further details such as the design of the school day, student groups, and more. I know there are questions about our return to buildings that we don’t have answers for today, and as we are all persevering through this pandemic, I ask that you are patient with us as we continue to develop and solidify our plans.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Tammy Campbell, Superintendent

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