Hope School Re-Opening Update – Begin the Transition
Thank you to the many of you who filled out the survey from last week’s newsletter on the three learning models we are contemplating as we look to begin school, which starts six weeks from tomorrow! We appreciate hearing your opinions and thoughts. We are still planning and researching the three options and in the end, the deciding factor will be the status of coronavirus spread in our area and how that affects student and staff safety. We will share more specific information about the three models in early August, and we plan to make a final decision on which model(s) we will open school with in mid-August. Based on the needs of our students and safety protocols, we may end up opening with one model in one age group, and a different model in another age group.
With the exception of our summer campers, students will not have experienced school at Hope with safety protocols in place. As we all prepare for school to start, it will help if you can begin prepping your student ahead of time.
On May 11, 2020, OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) mandated that all students age 5 and older are required to wear a face covering; we plan for preschool students age 3-4 to wear face coverings as well since the rest of the school is required to do so. At this time, there are options for face coverings including cloth masks or face shields. We encourage you to have your child practice wearing a face covering now, and practice for longer and longer periods of time so they find a covering that is comfortable and they are accustomed to wearing. Some parents are also purchasing the lanyards that keep the mask on the student’s body if they temporarily remove it for eating or another reason. You can find some good recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics here:
https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Cloth-Face-Coverings-for-Children-During-COVID-19.aspx. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easily our students have adjusted to wearing face coverings all day during summer camp.
As a staff, we will need to encourage and remind students to practice six-foot social distancing. You can help practice this ahead of time by showing your child what six feet looks like, and having them practice keeping this distance from others. A fun idea is to practice “Eagle Arms” by stretching them all the way out. Students are used to clustering around each other during class and particularly at recess, so please help set them up for success by having conversations about how this will be different.
This spring and summer, we have consistently asked our children to be flexible, and I know it’s wearing on all of us. And yet, we continue to ask this of them. This next year is going to be ever-changing for all of us, and I encourage you to model this for your child at home. Please take care of your own mental health and your child’s mental health.
As we prepare to send out more detailed information on the different learning models in two weeks, know that we do plan to offer a high-quality virtual learning option. Some of you may not feel comfortable sending your child to school for a variety of reasons. Please carefully consider if this might be the option you choose for trimester 1; we do not need to have this decision now but will ask more specifically in early August.