March 20, 2020
Dear staff, students, families and community,
It is hard to believe we are approaching the end of March. So much has changed in our community over this month. We are working hard as a district to meet the needs of students, staff and the community as a whole in the form of meals and planning for childcare. We are also working through what enrichment learning opportunities would look like in the ever-changing environment as we prepare for the scheduled return to the traditional school setting on April 27. Once we have addressed the nutrition and child care needs, identified by the Governor as top priorities, we will be able to turn more of our attention to learning.
Free meals for children
It is with great pride that I can tell you our first three days of providing meals to our community has been a huge success. I would like to thank the staff in our district office, food service department, and transportation department who worked to get meal pick-up and delivery started this Wednesday. This is a tremendous opportunity to ensure the children of our community continue to receive nutrition during this challenging time. Meals can be picked up on weekdays between 11:00 am and 12:00 noon in the parking lot between the high school and the new high school grandstands. In addition to meal pick up, we are delivering meals along bus routes for children as well. Please visit our nutrition plan website for information on times and locations.
Once we were able to get food service started for the children of our community we turned our attention to the Governor’s directive to provide childcare in a narrow scope of healthcare workers, first responders and other essential personnel. This task has proven to have several requirements we are navigating carefully with the guidance of the state. As we work through this, please remember this will be a very limited service, and a small group setting is the best place for everyone at this time. Thank you to those who completed our survey. We will have a small staff at Blaine Primary School on Monday March 23, 2020 from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon to allow individuals in qualifying categories to complete required paperwork. This will further allow us to evaluate our capacity to provide this service on campus or through a community partnership.
As we entered this closure at the end of last week we asked staff to treat this week similar to a weather closure. We know at this time we will have to make up days through June 19, 2020. Our administrators have spent this week developing plans and procedures for the extended closure. Early next week families and students should expect to hear from more from principals and teachers through the phone numbers and emails that are on file in Skyward. If you need to update information please contact the district office (360-332-5881) and we will direct you to the appropriate department. One of the items we will be gathering data on in these initial contacts will include identifying family needs around wifi and computer or smart phone availability. We know online learning is not a replacement for the wonderful things that occur in the classroom environment with teachers and students, and we are not trying to replicate that typical experience.
At this time we are considering providing students with optional enrichment learning opportunities aimed at refreshing, reviewing and retaining information. Please extend grace to one another (and yourselves) when it comes to these efforts. While we navigate the evolving health crisis, we need to approach at-home learning with patience and know that when we work together great things will continue to happen for our students.
Please, continue to take good care of yourselves and of each other.
Dr. Christopher Granger