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    April 6 SPS Family Update: Return to In-Person FAQ
    Posted on 04/07/2021
    This is the image for the news article titled April 6 SPS Family Update: Return to In-Person FAQ

    Dear 6-12th grade Families:

    Your student will have the option to return to in-person learning for two half-days each week or stay 100% remote starting April 19.

    On Friday, you were sent a survey to choose between hybrid in-person learning or 100% remote. Please complete this survey by April 6 at 11:59 p.m.

    We know this an important, personal decision and recognize that this is a quick turnaround. Yesterday, we held a Virtual Town Hall to share updates and answer questions from families, which you can view below.
    SPS Update - Coronavirus 04/06/20

    To help families make an informed decision, we are sharing answers to the most frequently asked questions below.

    We also have many resources and answers on our website, including health and safety protocols, our Top Ten Things 6-12 Grade Families Should Know infographic, and our health screening video.

    If you have a question not addressed here, we are here to help.

    1. What will in-person learning look like for 6-12 students?
      • Live, in-person instruction is not a study hall: Educators are providing small group and individual support. This support will come from students’ content teachers for each class. For example, in the morning students will receive live, remote math instruction. In the afternoon, they will receive additional in-person support in math from their morning teacher.   
      • Students move from class to class for instruction from each content teacher: Most in-person students will receive support from their content teacher for each class and will move classrooms each period.
      • Four full days of instruction for all students: All students in grades 6-12 will receive remote, live instruction in the morning from 9-11:10 a.m. (For 6-8 students at K-8 schools, this may be in the afternoon and on the elementary bell schedule). All 6-12 students will receive direct support and instruction from their content teacher through small group and individual instruction in the afternoon, either in-person or remote depending on their chosen model. In-person students will receive, two half days of instruction either M/T or Th/F.  View these sample schedules to learn more.
    2. What is the afternoon expectation for students who select the 100% remote model? Is it “independent” learning?
    • The afternoons for 100% remote students are considered part of the instructional day. Students enrolled in the 100% remote model will get four, full days of instruction. The mornings will be spent in live, remote learning with their in-person class peers and with their content teachers.
    • In the afternoon, 100% remote students will receive small group and individual supports from their content teachers, just like the in-person students.
    • Attendance is required
    1. Does this plan meet the governor’s order to increase in-person instruction?

    Yes. On February 29, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee issued an emergency proclamation for schools to provide an in-person option by April 5 for PreK-5 students and by April 19 for 6-12 students. Schools will be expected to provide an in-person learning option that equates to at least 30% of instructional time, plus at least two days (full or half day) per week of on-campus, in-person instruction. Our current plan for 6-12 students meets the requirements set forth by the governor. The final week of instruction will expand opportunities for in-person learning to help meet this requirement as well. More details about the final week of instruction will be communicated soon.

    1. What is the attendance policy? 
      1. Attendance will be taken: For remote learning, the same attendance guidance that has been used throughout the 2020-21 school year will apply. For in-person learning, the previous in-person attendance policy used before the pandemic will resume. Tardiness, excused absences, and unexcused absences will apply if students do not arrive at school in-person and/or on-time. However, we know that this is not school “as normal” and are working to support families.
      2. Afternoon sessions are NOT optional: We’ve heard from families that there is some confusion around if afternoon sessions are optional for both in-person or remote learning. Attendance is required for the afternoon sessions for all students.
    1. Can students switch between remote and in-person learning when needed, for example, after travel? 

    There is an appeals process for families to change their instructional model if there is a change in family circumstance. However, students can't move instructional models due to non-essential travel.  For secondary, there are two afternoons a week they won't have access to in-person instruction. All other content including live, remote learning can be accessed via remote as part of the regular schedule.

    1. What is the appeals process for the Intent to Return Survey?

    From April 7-16 families can call their student’s school to request a change to their Intent to Return survey selection. After April 19, parents or guardians of 6-12 students will need to formally request a change through the appeals process. During the review process, parents or guardians must maintain their current learning model pending final decision. View the appeals process on our website.

    1. What is the policy for travel during Spring Break?  

    With the Governor’s order to reopen all schools for in-person learning by April 19 – right after our spring break – we urge our families and staff to keep our school communities in mind when making vacation travel plans. We are strongly encouraging everyone to avoid non-essential travel during spring break to keep our school communities safe and healthy. The district is not in position to mandate students or staff quarantine following travel. View more Spring Break Guidance on our website.

    1. Can secondary students complete the health screening themselves?

    Yes, beginning April 19 parents and guardians of students in grades 6-12 will see a question in the daily screening link with an option to allow their student to complete the health screening on their own going forward. Watch the Health Screening video to learn more. For in-person students enrolled in the morning block, the health screening needs to be completed by 7 a.m. For students in the afternoon block, it needs to be completed by 10 a.m.

    1. What transportation supports are being provided for families? 

    Yellow bus transportation will be prioritized first for students that have transportation written into their IEP. Orca cards will be provided to other 6-12th grade students once they return to buildings. District staff is working with Metro to increase routes in support of the afternoon model. Currently routes are limited because of lower ridership during the pandemic. Transportation can’t be guaranteed but the district is working to increase access in the most equitable way possible.

    There is a transportation appeals process. All appeals must be in writing and submitted through For students with IEPs or 504s please make sure to indicate on the form that your student has those services in addition to other circumstances.

    The transportation department will be contacting families that have requested transportation through the Intent to Return Survey. Learn more about transportation services on our website.

    1. How will meals be provided?

    Meals will be provided at our 40 meal sites from 10:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Grab-and-go lunches will also be provided to in-person students at school sites. Meals will not be eaten in school buildings except for in unique circumstances.  Learn more about meals and find meal site locations on our website.

    1. Will specialist classes like band and choir be offered?

    Yes. Specific health and safety protocols have been communicated to staff and schools and PPE has been ordered to safely offer specialist classes, including music, dance, theater, and visual arts. For more information about your student’s classes, please contact your student’s teacher.  



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