Chelan school district reopening on October 19

by Richard Uhlhorn

This coming Monday, October 19, the Lake Chelan School District will be welcoming Pre/K and Kindergarten students into the school building. This will give the staff time to acquaint these students with the building, which they have never been in. After that is accomplished, the District will welcome First and Second graders back into a school setting.

This is the current time line for allowing grade levels back into a live school setting.

Superintendent Barry DePaoli stated that it will be safety first. “We will be following the Health District’s guidelines closely,” he said. Students will have temperature tests upon arrival and will be required to be masked. “If everything goes smoothly, the third through sixth graders will return.”

They will be returning on November 9 in a hybrid model and pending approval of the Health District. If that goes well, the seventh through 12th grade students will return on November 30.

From October 26 to 30 and November 2 to 6, the Staff will undergo Hybrid Model Planning.

DePaoli stated that parents who don’t want their kids back in school will be worked with closely.

This graph shows the results of a parent survey regarding sending students back into a school setting. Those (7%) can register their children in the on-line CalvertAcademy.

MOE Principal Erin Morin reported that the half day schedule between morning and afternoon sessions will include a 90 minute break for the staff to have lunch and time to clean. “The teachers will be cleaning their classrooms,” said Morin. The maintenance crew will handle all the other cleaning within the building.

On Wednesday’s all students will be working on-line from home. She stated that the hybrid model is difficult mostly because of busing issues.

DePaoli stated that if the numbers go above 75/100,000 the District will have to confer and follow Dr. Butler’s guidelines. “Moses Lake (which has been open) had two cases of COVID positives, but the transmission was outside of their school system. It is something we are going to have to monitor closely,” said DePaoli. “None of these decisions are easy.”

Eric Peterson, director of the CSI school, said that enrollment has been really good. He has 33 students enrolled with 12 on-line students. “Attendance has been a definite success. We are trying out a lot of new ideas.”

Peterson reported that he has been talking with advisors nationwide and is getting a lot of help on project ideas for his students. The school is also working on anti-racism and social justice issues with the students. “They need to be able to process the world around them,” Peterson said.

KC Knudson, director of teaching and learning, said that most families want to come back for in-person learning. For those who don’t want to come back to the school, Knudson reported that the District is creating a mixed grade level cohort(s) of students with a district certificated teacher using the Calvert Learning Program.

The Calvert Learning Program is a researched-based instructional program that has been supporting home-based education for over 100 years. The reason for using this system is that the District doesn’t have the staff to create a remote learning cohort at any one grade level. Calvert is a program that will allow a single teacher to oversee and support multiple grade levels.

The School Board will meet again in session on October 27 beginning at 6 p.m.

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