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Important Update - March 11, 2020

Dear ASB Families,
 
We continue to follow the COVID-19 situation closely.  As we have said all along, we will continue to follow the health professionals’ recommendations and focus on the facts of the COVID-19 virus. As of today, there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in our immediate community.
 
That said, Seattle Public Schools made the decision to close today as there have been confirmed cases in their buildings.  The Office of Catholic Schools has made the decision to close all Catholic schools in Seattle beginning Monday, March 16th through Monday, March 30th.
 
We will have school tomorrow, Thursday, March 12th.  Teachers will explicitly practice online platforms and go over plans should the professional recommendation be to close.  If your child is healthy, please have them here so they can participate in this preparation.
 
On Friday, all faculty and staff have a professional development day.  The focus will be finalizing digital learning plans and ensuring all systems are in place for our digital start on Monday. Extended Care will be closed on Friday so that all staff can work solely on implementation. We apologize for the last-minute inconvenience.
 
The closure on Monday will be campus wide, including CYO, Extended Care, and any other school-related activities.
 
On Friday, families will receive instructions on how each classroom will provide instruction and materials, attendance expectations, academic honesty and integrity expectations, and staff availability.
 
IMPORTANT: This is not a vacation or snow day.  In order to meet the state mandated instructional hour requirement, students must be operating as they would on a normal school day.  We will still be taking attendance and expecting student participation in their learning.
 
Parents, in order to be best prepared for digital learning, please complete the checklist below:

  • Assess your home technology capacity and needs. Students will be expected to be online, receive and upload materials, and have bandwidth to do so.  This includes items such as watching videos on a variety of platforms, interactive websites and webinars hosted by teachers.  Should your family be in the position in which you do not have the device capability for this, please contact me as soon as possible.
 
  • Assess your home materials.  Students will need paper, pencils, pens, coloring materials, etc.
 
  • Prepare to be outside. Students will have exercise/movement activities.
 
  • Prepare to play games. Be sure you have dice, paper clips to create spinners, etc.
 
  • Look at your family’s daily schedule.  Digital learning days are full school days as mandated by our state’s instructional hour requirement. In order to meet these requirements, students will be expected to do subject-area work each day.  For our younger students in particular, this will mean hands-on support from an adult.  For all students, it means regular check-ins with an adult to ensure they understand and complete all assigned work.
 
  • Prepare to support the social-emotional well-being of your child.  Children (and all of us) are social by nature and a closure will impact them.  We will provide resources in our next update.
 
  • Check in with your child tomorrow when they get home from school.  We will be sending all materials needed home with each student.  Staff will be here Friday and forgotten materials can be picked up between 9 and 3.  Beginning Monday, no students or families will be allowed on campus until we reopen.

 
As a staff, we are highly focused on our response being calm, centered on what is best for students, and modeling for the children in front of us. Here is what I sent to staff today:

“I know this is a stressful time. The best thing we can do for our students and each other is stay calm, stay focused on the learning, model flexibility, patience, and care for each other, and be as consistent as possible.  We tell our students to stretch their flexibility, practice perseverance, show grit, be open to failure and what we learn from it, and have a growth mindset.  This situation forces all of us as adults to do all of those things and how we do it is critical.  Please be especially cognizant of your conversations in front of students.”
 
I believe this is important advice for all adults.  This is something none of us have experienced and are struggling to understand. For our children, they are nowhere near having the capacity to understand this.  Our response as adults is critical. 
 
I also ask that you be patient with our staff.  Even with the best laid plans, there are bound to be hiccups as we work to implement them. This is new for all of us.  In order to maintain a positive, partnering, and productive school culture, we all need to be ready to give each other all the support we can.
 
Stay healthy,
Kathleen

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