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Opening Letter

July 29, 2020

Dear Kingdom East Families,

Thank you to everyone who has reached out with comments and questions about our learning for the upcoming school year. This is an update as we plan for reopening schools on September 8th. 

All of our faculty and staff are so excited to see our young people in a month!  We recognize that many of us have uneasy feelings so we have several options for student learning.  Please find in this letter a link to the options, the details for each possibility and answers to frequently asked questions.  

Our options include

  • In person learning
  • Kingdom East Virtual Academy
  • Or parents can chose to homeschool

Please look over the options closely. Below is a chart that shows the differences between the options.  Attached also please find more detailed descriptions.   Please read these over; reach out if you have questions. 

Comparison of instructional models

In-schoolStudents attend school in-person following health and safety guidelines Students complete learning in all core learning areas, including Essential Arts and PE.Assessment is managed as it has been done in the past (pre-emergency learning).Students have access to extracurricular opportunities through their local public school as allowable under health guidance.Full access to Special Ed services Virtual LearningStudents participate in learning remotely for all subjects with Kingdom East educators providing the instruction.Students complete learning in all core learning areas in digital and online formats, including Essential Arts and PE.Assessment is managed as it has been done in the past (pre-emergency learning), only with feedback done virtually.Students have access to extracurricular opportunities through their local public school as allowable under health guidance. Full access to Special Ed servicesHome SchoolingParents register their students for homeschooling through the Vermont Agency of Education Homeschool Division.Students must complete core content through the AOE, the AOE receives and is notified of curriculum parents choose.  The school is NOT the source for learning materials or assessment.Students have access to Essential Arts and extracurricular opportunities through their local public school per KESD  Home Study procedures.No Special Ed Services

In-Person Schooling – complete details

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lEFDPQln-HDfRFZCk0NPHKw1tv2WDUguaQsLI4knKnM/edit?usp=sharing

We are opening in person schooling because the medical professionals have said that it is safe to do so, following precautions.  We take the physical health and well-being of students and our community very seriously. Given the pandemic as we open in-person schooling there are a few new rules around the school environment. we have to follow rules from the Department of Health & Agency of Education that are beyond our control including:

  • All students and staff will be required to wear cloth face coverings at school.
  • K-8 students will stay with their classes all day, even during meal times.
  • We will utilize the outdoors as much as practicable. 
  • Outdoor physical distancing will allow a break from wearing cloth facial coverings.
  • Students and staff must maintain safe physical distancing.
  • Anybody entering school will have temperature taken and be asked screening questions on first contact. If sick, students and adults must be sent home.
  • Sick children and adults are required to stay home.

During the first two weeks of school, September 8th -18th, schools will be dismissed approximately one hour early to allow staff to fine tune procedures and help students adjust to all the changes.

Our in-person school and our Kingdom East Virtual Academy we will begin the school year with three learning priorities

:

  • Social/Emotional Well Being for Students and Staff: School culture and relationships will be a top priority. Academics will be embedded as we take the initial weeks to establish a supportive and positive culture and well being; academics will not be the primary focus during initial weeks. We all need to learn routines such as wearing masks, hand washing, and physical distancing. We need to do all of this in a way that encourages the normal social and emotional growth of children.
  • Preparing to Switch to Remote Learning: It’s possible that schools will need to close again. We will have sample schedules for this eventuality (This next year, we should plan on “emergency” or “snow” days during the upcoming school year to be remote learning days.  The more planning the better prepared we will be. All teachers will have a Google Classroom and/or see-saw account ready for us to switch to remote learning. Remote learning will not look the same as emergency remote learning did this past March-June.
  • Teaching and Learning: We will focus on what is most important for our children to learn during the pandemic. Our learners will need to complete classwork to make progress. This means that learning will be different than in a non-COVID year.

Requirements and Expectations for Kingdom East Virtual Academy (KEVA)

Overview: Kingdom East is exploring full remote learning options for those students and families in grades K-8 who would like to continue their education online as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. K-8 students will be enrolled in a full remote options with other students and a virtual teacher from Kingdom East schools. Students and parents must understand that by choosing this virtual option they will be enrolled as a full time remote learning student and return to a physical classroom will not be an option unless extenuating circumstances arise. Please see below the requirements and expectations for remote learning.

Requirements:

  • Students and a parent or guardian who choose to do remote learning must fill out the online contract.
  • The off-campus location must have adequate, reliable access to the Internet (at least 3.2 Mbps as determined using this tool). A school device will be provided with a home use contract needing to be signed.
  • Students must complete coursework in all core subjects: humanities, math, science, health and physical education, art, and music
  • Families must connect with support staff as needed for additional services (ie. guidance counselor, special educator)
  • School meals will be provided if requested, but the school does not have the capacity to deliver them. Guardians will need to make arrangements for pickup.
  • Students will have the same opportunities as their classmates to participate in school-sponsored clubs, sports, and activities with the understanding that some can only be done in-person. Schools must maintain AOE and VPA guidelines for all sports and other activities.

Expectations for students (who access the K-8 KEVA):

  • Maintain contact with the online teacher(s) daily attendance through a combination of check-ins and work completion. This will also be used for daily attendance.
  • Participate in both synchronous (between 8-3pm) and asynchronous (on your own schedule) learning. 
  • Attend an orientation on the how-tos of remote learning
  • Complete all learning activities and assignments by the required date
  • Respond and act upon feedback from teacher(s); this includes connecting with fellow students as necessary
  • Ask questions! If you don’t know the answer or need help, communicate directly with your teacher(s). If you are having technical difficulties, let your teacher know.

Expectations for parents or guardians supporting their student at home:

  • View detailed grade information and teacher feedback – see what your student sees!
  • Support your student with assignment due dates
  • Read Announcements as needed
  • Support discussions your students are involved in when appropriate
  • Review the course syllabus – course description, expectations, grading policies and assignment due dates all in one place
  • Communicate directly with the online teacher(s) over any questions or concerns. Likewise, share success stories or suggestions around your student. Family input, feedback, and communication is critical to instructing our students whether they are remote or on-campus. Parents and guardians are invaluable partners in our schools.
  • Attend an orientation on the how-tos of remote learning

Virtual Schooling- complete details – https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RVqWk_vEdVD9BBii73vFoK9rMah2NveXfHH0iOmXv-A/edit?usp=sharing

For both planning and staffing we need parents to inform us which school option they will choose by Wednesday August 5th 2020.   Here is the survey link that you must fill out for every child in your household!

 SURVEY!!!!

K-8 families can also choose to pursue homeschooling through the Vermont Agency of Education. 

Information for pre-K families will come separately.

Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding. We are looking forward to having all of our students back in the building again!

Sincerely,

Kingdom East Leadership Team