Re-Opening Hope School – Potential Learning Models by Kristen Okabayashi, Hope Principal
Welcome to Hope School’s first newsletter of the 2020/2021 school year!
This summer, we have spent many hours researching and analyzing articles, data, recommendations, and legal requirements as we determine our plan to re-open school in the fall. One challenge is that the final goal in this instance is a bit of a moving target, as the spread of the novel coronavirus keeps changing course, and previously learned information is updated. We have been determined to re-open Hope School on September 2, according to safety protocols. With the success and joy in opening Hope Summer Camp over the past month, opening up on a larger scale in the fall has seemed well in reach.
That being said, the situation with the coronavirus has changed in recent days, including cases of the novel coronavirus increasing instead of decreasing in different parts of the country, including King County. As such, we are carefully considering next steps to ensure the safety of both students and staff. These are difficult decisions with potentially enormous consequences for all, and so I really appreciate your prayers and thoughts as we weigh our options.
The Re-Opening Task Force is currently considering three different models for the K-8 program as we prepare for the start of school and head into the first trimester of the year. Under these three models, we realize there is a strong chance we will be switching back and forth between at least two models during the course of next year depending on the state leadership and the decisions by Hope School. In addition, we are considering offering families a choice of the first two options below. Following is a brief description of each model.
Option 1 – In Class Learning
This is the model we have been planning on up until this point. K-8 students would be in class for full-time learning, with safety protocols and social distancing in place. Some spaces that are typically shared spaces such as the Commons and the Fellowship Hall would be utilized for classes with higher numbers of students.
Option 2 – Virtual Learning
This model will share the basic structure which we set forth last spring with full-time online learning, but including daily direct instruction in all core subject areas and weekly or biweekly specialists/electives, and increased accountability for learning. Teachers will utilize in-classroom technology and equipment to facilitate learning more similar to a regular classroom than last spring’s structure.
Option 3 – Hybrid Combination A/B schedule
For this option, we are considering a creative model where students will rotate with half the class in school two days per week, and participate in virtual learning for two days per week; the other half of the class would do the opposite of this. Within this model, we are considering two alternatives. The first alternative would center around a regular length school day with the A/B schedule as described; the fifth day of the week would be at-home learning. The second alternative would center around an extended 7.5-8 hour school day four days per week on the A/B schedule, and no school on the fifth day of the week. Students would also have the full-time virtual learning model available to them.
Please carefully consider these options and think about what would best fit your particular student and family, based on how you feel currently and projecting into the first trimester of the coming school year. Then, take a moment to fill out your preferences in the short survey linked below. You will see three surveys separated by “grade bands”; if you have more than one child, feel free to complete more than one survey. We value our partnership with you and look forward to hearing your opinions.
Kindergarten through grade 2: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KG-Grade2
Grades 3-5: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HopeGrades3-5
Middle School: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HopeMiddleSchool