By Steve Williams, Executive Director One of the things I’ve always loved about being a…
The WSD Board of Directors and Administration have been hard at work ensuring that WSD is ready to start school in Fall 2020 with safety protocols in place and flexibility that meets the needs and circumstances of all students. The plans created for the reopening of school this fall comply with all health and safety requirements recently provided by the Utah State Board of Education and Governor Herbert. The school closures of spring, business shutdowns, and the continuing presence of COVID-19 have affected families differently. We want to reassure parents that WSD has implemented appropriate safety protocols as the school reopens.
WSD’s Status for Fall 2020
Like all other public schools in Utah, WSD is planning to open its doors this fall for in-person learning. Our Board of Directors and Administration are working with local and state health officials to continuously review and update the school’s plans and protocols accordingly. Several school policies have been created or updated to address the reduction of risks in opening school at the building, including School Reopening Policy and Guidelines for Reducing the Risk of Infectious Disease at School.
WSD is also prepared to provide options for students who, due to individual and/or family health-related circumstances, are not able to attend school in person this fall. The new, Board-approved Distance Education Policy recognizes the need for options in the delivery of education for certain families during the 2020-21 school year. Students who cannot attend school in person this fall have the option of 1) Distance learning, where students join classes virtually and synchronously, or 2) Blended learning, where students share time between physical and online classrooms.
WSD’s distance and blended programs will be mostly synchronous, but teachers will also offer asynchronous resources provided through learning management systems, platforms, portals, and applications – in the same way that these tools are provided to students receiving education at the school building. To support the school’s flexibility in the delivery of education, as well as to ensure maximum safety, each student at the school will have an individually assigned electronic device available for either distance learning or learning at the school. WSD’s youngest students in Kindergarten and First Grade will have developmentally-supportive devices that the school is purchasing in preparation for the coming school year. WSD will work to ensure that all students have access to the Internet and to other supports they need, whether they are learning at the school, from home, or a combination of both.
We look forward to the coming school year with optimism, confident that, in whatever setting education will occur, WSD will meet the educational needs of all students.