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Forks’ schools plan to return to a more normal school year in 2021-22

  • Wed Jun 9th, 2021 9:56am
  • News

The Quillayute Valley School District Board of Directors approved the District’s Student Academic and Well-being Plan for the 2021-22 school year on Tuesday, June 1 at a Special Board meeting to meet the Washington State guidelines for recovery and transition out of the COVID Pandemic.

Mark your calendars! The new school year’s weekly schedule will be back to normal, and all schools will be open for learning Monday – Friday with regular school hours, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. Schools will follow an early release schedule on Wednesdays at 2:15 p.m., as prior to COVID-19.

All students will be required to attend school in 2020-21 as prior to COVID-19 in an “in-person” model. The District will also offer a complete “remote option” through Insight School of Washington for Grades K-12. Families who are opting to have their children in this online program will need to notify their school of this choice prior to August 1st.

One of schools’ goals for the upcoming year is to meet students where they are and provide an individualized learning environment. The District will continue to test student academic needs in both reading and writing through the use of its I-Ready screening test, as well as assess students’ social and emotional needs. For the younger students, Forks Elementary School is using a screening tool called the Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener (SAEBRS) and in grades 6-12, students, using the COVID-19 Screening Tool from the Office of Superintendent of Public School (OSPI). Students will also participate in the Smarter Balanced testing in the Fall of 2021. A student enrolled in grade 4 in the fall of 2021 will take the grade 3 Smarter Balanced assessments. A student enrolled in grade 9 in fall 2021 will take the grade 8 Smarter Balanced assessments and Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS). Smarter Balanced ELA and math will be administered in grades 4–9 and 11 for the grades 3–8 and 10 tests.

Forks Elementary, Middle, and High Schools are currently finalizing their academic schedules and plans for the new year. Students will no longer have to remain in “cohort” as they did this school year. Students at FMS and FHS will have a rotating period schedule, as they did prior to COVID. Each student will be receiving more specific information (student schedules, student placement, information about social and emotional learning, counseling, etc.) this summer.

The District is also expecting to have a normal schedule of extra-curricular activities such as athletics, band, and performing arts (theater), as well as student clubs. The District is unsure of the status of student field trips at this time; however, we will have more information by the start of the new year.

The schools are still under the Washington State Department of Health guidelines. The following guidelines are what is on the table as of now. However, the guidelines will more than likely change over the summer.

1. Students and staff will maintain at least a 3-foot distance from one another when feasible. At school-sponsored extra-curricular events (such as athletics and performing arts, we will be maintaining 6-foot distancing).

2. Students and staff will be required to wear masks.

3. Students and staff will continue to practice handwashing.

4. The District will continue to conduct regular and frequent cleaning standards in the schools and on buses.

Any of these plans may change over the summer, according to new developments at the state and county level.

Last but not least, the current Washington State Department of Health plan states that if a cohort of students were to experience a COVID exposure in the 2021-22 school year, the district will provide “remote” instruction to any students required to quarantine (usually 10 days). Students who are fully vaccinated will not need to quarantine. Each student will continue to have access to a Chromebook. We are uncertain of internet connectivity at this point.

We know how difficult and challenging the last 18 months have been for ALL of us, but especially for our students and families. The District is preparing to transition back to a more normal schedule to better support our students for their academic and social/emotional needs as we move out of COVID!

Diana Reaume

Quillayute Valley School District Superintendent