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    COVID-19 Updates and Resources for Families and Students
    Posted on 04/06/2020
    District logo with text "Covid-19 Updates"

    All Schools Closed Through End of the School Year

    On Monday, April 6, 2020, Governor Inslee made an emergency proclamation extending the closure of all schools through the end of the school year. As a result, Seattle Public Schools will not reopen our school buildings for the 2019-20 school year as we had hoped. Read the news announcement.

     

     

    April 3 Letter to Families

    Dear Families:

    We want to take a moment and recognize how challenging our collective situation is right now. There are no easy answers, there are a lot of unknowns, and every day brings new information. We receive a variety of responses into the Public Affairs inbox from families. Some families want six hours of schoolwork for their children, some want learning to be optional, and some families just want their children to be acknowledged and honored. All of your feelings, your frustrations, and your hopes matter to us. We hear you and SPS staff is committed to helping each family and student navigate this unprecedented time.

    We especially want families whose students receive specialized services to know that we recognize the additional impact school closures have placed on you and your child. We understand that you now wear even more hats than usual: parent, co-educator, caretaker, therapist, playmate, and more. Know that your team of support is still here. You are not alone in this, even though at times it may feel that way.

    Our Special Education and 504 departments are working with school leaders, case managers, and staff to ensure that students with IEPs or 504s are supported through our continuous learning efforts. Your children and their learning have been a top priority since the beginning of the closure. Staff are collaborating with our educators’ union through the Special Education task force to ensure that all teachers are guided and supported through these efforts. Communication goes to Special Education families and staff weekly on Fridays. Translated letters are sent the following Tuesdays for our multilingual families. If you are not getting these communications, please contact spedcommunications@seattleschools.org. Contact information can also be found on the department webpage.

    We are also updating the Special Education FAQ on a weekly basis. Please monitor the FAQ for the most up to date information and supports. Self-care is important for all of us. We will continue to do what we can to provide some relief, so you can care for your families.

    In this communication we will share updates about spring break, new Continuity of Learning videos and documents, updated SPS TV teacher-generated lessons, and tips on how to access SPS technology supports for your student. More information can be found on the COVID-19 resource page and in the FAQ webpage.

    Spring Break, April 13-17

    During the contractual spring break, April 13-17, essential student services including child care and food distribution at the 26 school sites will continue. While it seems as if nothing is normal right now, we will be honoring this calendar break for SEA-represented staff and others with planned breaks. Continuous learning supports including learning packets, new SPSTV lessons, and direct support from your child’s teacher or teachers will begin again on April 20.

    Continuity of Learning Guidance

    On March 30, in response to revised guidance from OSPI, the state education agency, all educators were asked to begin providing ongoing, remote learning for grades PreK-12. In Monday’s message, we outlined what families should expect from their child’s teacher or teachers during school closures. Guidance documents have now been posted for families on the grade band webpages. In addition, you can hear from some of our great school principals on what continuous learning looks like in their school community. Thank you to the following principals for supporting these efforts: Principal Fauntleroy, Northgate Elementary; Principal Conner, McClure Middle School; and Principal Breland, Cleveland STEM High School.

    We invite you to view the Continuity of Learning Guidance documents and principal messages:

    SPS TV Broadcast of Teacher Lessons

    Over 100,000 views of teacher-generated lessons and counting! Thank you to our incredible educators for supporting this effort. As a reminder SPS teacher generated educational programming airs on SPS TV (local channel 26), social media (Facebook: @SeattlePublicSchools, Twitter: @SeaPubSchools), the SPSTV YouTube channel, and on KOMO4 news. You can learn more by visiting the COVID-19 SPS TV webpage.

    From this page, you can watch the live broadcast, view individual on demand videos, and find what’s coming up in the broadcast schedule. During spring break, April 13-17, we will rerun prior content. New content will resume April 20-25.

    All YouTube videos are closed captioned. If you need the captions translated, follow these steps:

    1. Go to the YouTube video of your choice and click the CC button on the bottom of the video to turn on subtitles/closed captioning.
    2. Next, click the Settings icon (the small gear next to the CC button) and then click “Subtitles/CC.”
    3. Then, click “Auto-translate.”
    4. Finally, select the language to translate the captions.
    5. Play the video and the translated captions will appear.

    Technology Supports

    There have been lots of questions about technology from families and some students. Students and families can access The Source for student schedules, assessment scores, library information, and secondary student grades. Schoology is the online tool that educators use to communicate schoolwork and student assignments. Please review instructions to sign up and access both tools.

    Also, a fabulous teacher at Denny International Middle School made this easy to understand tutorial on downloading the Schoology App and gave us permission to share.

    For more information and resources please continue to visit the COVID-19 homepage. We are in the process of redesigning the website structure to improve your experience. Look for a new structure next week! Please continue to stay engaged with us at publicaffairs@seattleschools.org. As a reminder, the next communication will be on April 6.

    Wishing you a healthy and safe weekend.

    Office of Public Affairs

     


     

    King County, Washington State, and National Health Resources

    The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington, or how the virus is spread, please call 1-800-525-0127.

    Phone lines are currently staffed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m, seven days a week. Please note that this call center can not access COVID-19 testing results. For testing inquiries or results, please contact your health care provider.

    Living our Values: Resources to combat racism, bias, and discrimination

    Our community values are tested in times like these. We must continue to be united and support each other as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) becomes more widespread. In schools, we will continue to demonstrate compassion and care as our greater community navigates this global health situation.

    We are aware of reports that some of our Asian students have been targeted and discriminated against in connection to COVID-19. This is unacceptable and contrary to our values of racial equity and social justice. In SPS, we are committed to welcoming, safe, and inclusive schools, and we do not tolerate hate speech or acts of discrimination.

    Help us prevent discrimination or stigmatization by sharing accurate information. COVID-19 infection is not connected to any race, ethnicity, or nationality. Misinformation about coronavirus disease 2019 can create fear and hostility that harms people and makes it harder to keep everyone healthy. Public Health Seattle and King County has provided resources to address and prevent.