Important In-Person Learning Update

Important In-Person Learning Update
Posted on 11/04/2020
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Dear NKSD Parents, staff and community,

This morning we had to make the very difficult decision to pause our return to in-person learning on Monday, November 9. I realize this news creates a mix of emotions for our students, staff, and families. First and foremost, I want to thank you for your patience and support as we strive to serve our students to the best of our ability in the midst of rapidly changing conditions. I also want to thank our incredible staff in NKSD, who have worked tirelessly on preparations to welcome students back.

At this point in time, there are two factors that are preventing us from opening. First, we have not been able to appropriately staff several critical areas of operations, including transportation, food/nutrition services, para-educators, and certificated teachers. We have exhausted all of our available resources, including bringing back employees from furlough and using all substitutes, and yet we are still short by approximately 30 staff who are essential to safely reopen our schools. We are also seeing a steady increase in case-trend activity in our county, especially in the north end of Kitsap County. I know that the decision to remain in distance learning will be very difficult for some of our students and families. If your student needs help academically or emotionally, please contact your school for support.

We will now set our sights on beginning in-person instruction for our youngest learners on January 11, 2021. As we have been discussing, we would begin by welcoming back our Pre-Kindergarten through 2nd grade students at that time. This start date will allow us to continue monitoring staffing levels and the impact of the holidays on case trend data prior to a potential re-opening. In the meantime, we will be working to ensure staffing levels support our re-opening when case trends allow us to welcome back students.

We are still moving forward with our plans to bring in some of our highest need learners for in-person learning in small groups starting next week. KPHD and DOH recommendations support in-person learning for high needs learners. We will be working directly with affected families to determine daily and weekly schedules based on each student’s learning plan.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge how proud I am of the NKSD team for their extraordinary care in operationalizing plans for reopening. From custodial plans, to food service preparations, to maintenance work and technology support, to transportation logistics, to student return logistics and teacher preparations - every single person in our organization has done a phenomenal job. Because of the efforts of our NKSD team, I am confident that when we are able to bring our students back, we will be ready.

Our goal remains to bring back students K-12 for in-person learning as soon as possible. We miss our students so much, and we know how much they miss school. Thank you all for the level of care, compassion and advocacy you have for our students. We will provide updates next week regarding our next steps. Until then, stay safe, healthy and strong. And remember - we will get through this, together.

In partnership,

Dr. Laurynn Evans

Join our Team

We are actively recruiting for a variety of positions throughout our district. We are looking for para-educators, bus drivers, substitutes, and certificated teachers. If you are interested in helping our students starting in January, let us know! Visit our website to view open positions and apply now!