Superintendent's Message

A Note From the Superintendent

  • Dr. Campbell

    Hello Federal Way Public Schools Parents and Guardians,

    We know this is a challenging time for our scholars and families. Parents and guardians are navigating an unprecedented situation, with more hands-on involvement in the day-to-day of their child’s education than ever before. We are committed to supporting our scholars and families however we can, while providing the highest quality remote learning experience possible.

    In this letter, you’ll find important remote learning updates related to meals, grading practices, engaging scholars, and how you can provide feedback.

    Meals program time extended at all pickup sites

    Based on the increased demand of our meal program, we are extending meal pickup times at all sitesThis change starts Monday, May 4, 2020. Locations remain the same.

    As a reminder, meal pickup occurs on Mondays only and includes 5 days’ worth of meals (breakfast and lunch). One exception: Since Monday, May 25 is a holiday (Memorial Day), distribution will occur on Tuesday, May 26.

    Find more information including the new schedule on our website: www.fwps.org/meals.

    Grading in FWPS for Second Semester

    After receiving guidance from the State Superintendent, Chris Reykdal, we are pleased to say that our standards-based approach to grading was both affirmed and aligned in the grading guidance by OSPI. 

    Remember, the grading we are outlining applies to learning that occurred up to the school building closure date of March 13, 2020. Learning occurring after this date through the end of the school year is NOT graded. 

    When students submit additional work for grading after the closure, that work will be graded only if it was focused on learning that took place up to March 13, 2020.  

    Aligning with OSPI, FWPS’ grading guidelines are as follows:

    Elementary and Middle School Grades

    Using current school board approved grading scales, all elementary and middle school students will receive grades on their report card that accurately reflect scholar progress. Students will receive the grade they had as of March 13, 2020 or they can improve their grade by working with their teacher toward proficiency of learning.

    High School and Middle School Credit Bearing Courses

    All high school students, as well as middle school students earning high school credit, will receive letter grades (A, B, C or Incomplete). 

    Please note that if a student receives an Incomplete (I) for a middle or high school credit bearing course, no credit will be awarded for the course. The student will be given an opportunity to earn the credit later.

    No grades of F will be assigned for high school and middle school credit bearing courses. Students will receive the grade they had as of March 13, 2020, or they can improve their grade by working with their teacher toward proficiency of learning. A student who had F grades as of March 13, 2020 and does not engage with the learning opportunities provided by their teacher by the end of the semester will receive an Incomplete and will be given an opportunity to earn the credit later. Our goal is for all students to earn credit, and teachers will support students to improve F grades and earn credit.

    Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

    In alignment with College Board, students can use the AP exam as evidence of proficiency in the corresponding course and score an overall grade using the following scale:

    • 3 demonstrates a C level of proficiency
    • 4 demonstrates a B level of proficiency
    • 5 demonstrates an A level of proficiency

    This grade correlation will only be used to improve a scholar’s overall score. Performance on the AP exam will not be used to decrease a scholar’s overall course grade.

    You may have heard of a few districts giving letter grades of either and “A” or an “I”. In FWPS, we believe the grade must be an accurate measure at a moment in time of what a student knows and is able to do. Giving an A to almost all students presents several challenges. It is not accurate, and it will leave teachers who receive scholars’ grades next year with no clear sense of their mastery of standards, and in some cases, an inflated sense of student learning. Additionally, we want students to be fully engaged in improving their learning and administering “A” grades across the board could minimize student motivation to fully engage.

    Engaging our Scholars During Remote Learning

    We want to reach and teach each of our 23,000+ scholars during this time of remote learning. One of the most important supports for scholar engagement is your partnership. Thank you for encouraging your scholar to engage in remote learning by participating in Zoom classroom meetings and lessons, logging into Canvas and communicating with their teacher by phone, text or email.

    Starting May 4, 2020, your child teacher(s) will be recording engagement for each student on a weekly basis. This will allow us to assess our remote learning plan, determine its effectiveness, and followup with students who aren’t currently engaging in remote learning.

    Students are considered “engaged in remote learning” if they participate in one of the following ways:

    • Student participates in a classroom meeting and/or lesson (via Zoom or Canvas)
    • Student logs into Canvas
    • Student speaks with teacher by phone or text (texting applies for students ages 13 and over)
    • Student emails teacher

    Your child’s level of engagement is not graded. The purpose is to ensure all of our scholars are participating in important learning that will help prepare them to be successful in the next school year, and so we can reach out to support those not able to engage. If none of the ways to participate listed above work for you, please reach out to your child’s teacher to work out another plan or option.

    Your Feedback Matters

    We will be sending you a parent survey next week, and we hope to hear from you!  This survey will ask you questions about how remote learning is going for you and your child. We will use this feedback to inform next steps in our continuous learning plan. 

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Tammy Campbell, Superintendent