Greetings, Red Hawks.
Within the next week you will receive communication from our schools regarding online enrollment of your students. It will describe the process and provide helpful links. This is the first year USD 415 has attempted this process online. We recognize some parents may have questions or need assistance and we will provide help to guide you in this unfamiliar process.
Preparing for school this year has also been an unfamiliar process. Last week, I shared some information regarding the planning and considerations as we enter the 2020-21 school year. I described the guidance from the state that was designed to assist us. For the most part, the nearly 1,100-page document speaks to considerations as opposed to strict guidelines. The considerations provide flexibility and enable districts to respond based on their district’s needs and their local current health conditions.
At last week’s regular board meeting, I shared more details regarding the planning and the considerations as they apply to USD 415 Hiawatha. I detailed the three instructional models in response to COVID-19. Those models vary depending on the level of community spread and are:
On-Site: Students physically attend school daily. Preventative practices and mitigation strategies are in place. Those may involve social distancing when possible, temperature checking, masks, adjusted scheduling to avoid over-crowding in a particular area of school, and other measures. This is considered the base instructional model in USD 415. We believe our students learn best in front of our teachers. It is always the plan to start school in this mode.
Hybrid: Alternating schedules for physical attendance to better ensure social distancing. Students would learn at school and at home on alternating days.
Distance/Remote Learning: All or most learning would occur at home. Curriculum would be developed and instruction would be delivered by our teachers. This would be significantly different in expectations and rigor than what we worked with last spring.
Again, the instructional model is adjusted as the level of community spread (COVID-19) requires and as recommended by our county health department. The table below provides a brief description:
Phase Level of Community Spread Instructional Model
1 Low/No Spread On-Site
2 Minimal to Moderate On-Site or Hybrid
3 Substantial Spread Distance/Remote Learning
As I shared last week, we understand the degree of comfort regarding sending students to schools amid the pandemic varies among families. Therefore, we will offer a remote learning option to families who feel it better fits their needs. Families will be able to indicate an interest in that option during the online enrollment process.
In summary, I want to stress a few things: 1. Be watching for information regarding online enrollment. 2.There are three instructional models and they impact physical attendance, but on-site learning is the preferred standard. 3. Ultimately, local health conditions will determine the model for instruction and how school operates.
I hope this letter answers some of your questions, but I know it won’t answer them all. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you for your continued support of USD 415.
Lonnie D. Moser, Superintendent