Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Last Updated: Thursday, March 4, 2021
From the desk of Principal James Johnston:
I hope that you are off to a great start and looking forward to a great year in 2021. I want to share with you our preliminary planning should we be able to announce a hybrid return to live school. We still do not have an official return date due to Covid numbers, and will communicate that as soon as we know. The purpose of this letter is to inform you about the instructional model that we will be using when we return. This model is based on Washington State guidelines, County health recommendations, and OSPI expectations. Unfortunately, due to these guidelines, we cannot fit all students everyday into classrooms with the “expected” social distancing.
While I would prefer to have students at school every day, we will initially be returning with a “Hybrid model” of live classes with the hope of switching to full time attendance for all students everyday as soon as possible. Our Hybrid model means that students will attend school remotely on Mondays and live on Tuesday through Friday with an A/B schedule:
- All students will attend their classes remotely online on Mondays.
- Students with the last names A-L will attend school on campus on Tuesdays
- Students with the last names M-Z will attend school on campus on Thursdays
Additionally, we have been working behind the scenes to prepare to pivot to school full time and be able to pivot back to full remote learning if things worsen and we are forced out of school again due to the virus. Hopefully, that will not occur but we are glad that every student at WMS has a Chromebook assigned, making it easier should we have to go remote again.
I apologize in advance for any frustration or stress this hybrid model may add to your family. Understanding that this is not what is the best scenario for learning, we hope to make the most of it. Please know that it is our desire to help your child through this difficult time and continue to provide quality educational opportunities. Should a concern or issue arise, please work to resolve it with the teacher or other staff member as necessary.
Thank you for your understanding.
Principal - Woodland Middle School
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Last Updated: Thursday, March 4, 2021 (new questions at bottom)
Will my student be able to visit and tour the school before they begin?
- Fifth grade students will be given tours of WMS on a rotation basis with their homeroom
teachers during their days in live sessions at the school.
- New students will be given tours in small groups by our counselors during the first few
weeks of school. Leadership students may assist with these socially distanced tours.
- All students will report to their homeroom class on their assigned first day of school which is still to be determined. At that time, they will get a hard copy of their schedule.
What can I expect each week?
A hybrid model means that students will alternate between in-person, remote, and asynchronous
(independent) learning. Students attend school on A/B days based on the alpha of their last name:
- All students will attend class remotely online on Mondays.
- Students with the last names A-L will attend live school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
- Students with the last names M-Z will attend live school on Thursdays and Fridays.
- The chart below is an example of what it looks like:
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Virtual/Remote
- Classroom teachers will provide planned and scheduled “Extension Learning” (lessons/assignments/independent practice) in their instructional area for students to work on during their asynchronous days not at the school.
- Teachers will continue posting assignments on Google Classroom.
- Families that want their students to continue fully remote may choose to apply for attendance at LRA (Lewis River Academy). In rare occasions, families may opt to do all assignments asynchronously (without videos) for a short period of time.
- If a student is at home quarantining, they will work on lessons asynchronously and then work with the teacher to make up missed “live” assignments/lessons (like when school is normally in session.)
- During the days that students do not attend live, families will be sent an email (like the medical attestation) to verify that their student is working asynchronously (independently). This is due to state reporting requirements. We apologize for the inconvenience.
What about technology?
- All middle school students have been issued a Chromebook for the year. This will be utilized in the school during live sessions and for remote learning at home. It is important that students have it with them for both in person and at home learning.
- Students will receive guidance from their teacher regarding usage of technology.
- Our primary communication tools are phone calls and emails.
- Teachers will also use Google Classroom to communicate directly with families.
- Skyward will be used to communicate building-wide messages.
Grading and Assignments
- We will be posting grades regularly on Skyward and it is the expectation that students complete all assignments.
- Students may turn in assignments during their days at school or via Google Classroom. Each teacher will clarify the best methods and expectations for their classes.
- Students will receive letter grades (A-F).
Most of our electives will continue as normal with half the students and social distancing. However, here are a few notes regarding specific programs.
- Since we are not permitted to sing per state health guidelines, we will be working on music appreciation studying operas, classical choral music, a cappella, and modern/pop music. Warm-ups will be done rhythmically with clapping and body percussion (stomp, pat, clap, snap, etc.). Additionally, students may be asked to submit recordings done at home with a pre-recorded track so that we can build a "virtual choir". We may also explore video/audio projects introducing students to electronic editing of music.
- Band classes will be spread out in the band room and on the stage for social distancing as necessary.
- Students on campus will play various percussion instruments and items (buckets, body percussion, pitched and unpitched percussion including boom whackers) while their online counterparts play their wind instruments from the safety of their own home.
- Students will continue their playing check-ins from their technique book and recordings for Virtual Band Projects, supplemented by the addition of the percussion instruments. Students will also work on the fundamentals of music and music literacy, which involve body percussion and choreography, note/ rhythm identification, musical terms, and attentive listening. Each student will receive his/her own set of drumsticks to serve them for their class materials.
- Students have an art kit for class and are expected to bring it with them to minimize sharing of supplies.
- Technology classes will use computers with protective keyboard covers and mice that can be sanitized between classes.
- Students will not use PE lockers. However, they will be permitted to change (if they want) with social distancing in the locker room. It will not be required that students “dress down.” However, they are expected to participate. If they are not dressing down, they will report directly to their socially distanced squad line numbers. It is advised that students wear shoes to school that afford them comfort while participating in PE.
- Indoor PE activities will attempt to provide distancing with activities such as badminton, volleyball, basketball fundamentals, etc. Students are expected to wear masks both inside and outside.
- PE will play outside when possible with activities that provide more distancing such as track, soccer, tennis, frisbee golf.
- Students will report to their homeroom/first period class upon arrival at the school. If they get breakfast at WMS, they are permitted to eat in the commons (socially distanced) and then report to their first period.
- The school doors will open at 8:25 am in the morning.
- Students that are dropped off or walking to school should not arrive before 8:25am.
- No loitering in the halls before school to maintain social distancing.
- All students must leave campus after school and no congregating is allowed.
- Students are not permitted to be on campus during the days they are not attending live.
- We will have normal bus routes with students alternating seats as much as possible. You can verify your child’s route with KWRL.
- No food or drink may be consumed on the bus.
- Students need to wear masks on the bus.
- Windows will be down as much as possible.
- No sharing electronic devices and passing them between students.
- Buses will be cleaned and disinfected between routes and at the end of the day.
- Buses will drop off students between 8:25 and 8:30am.
Breakfasts and Lunches
- Breakfasts will be available in the morning for students to eat with social distancing. Students will then report directly to their first period when they are done.
- The lunch room will be open with social distancing and grade level flipping. For example, the 5th graders will eat for the first 15 minutes and then have choice time for the last 15 minutes while the 6th graders will have choice time first and then eat the last 15 minutes.
- Breakfast and Lunch will be free to all students for the remainder of this school year. Any student wanting a meal will go through the breakfast/lunch line, but will not need to enter their lunch pin number.
- Students will not be permitted to consume snacks in the classrooms.
- All parents/guardians are expected to complete a daily health attestation electronically.
- Temperature checks will occur at school during homeroom/1st period each day.
- Students with temperatures must be picked up from the school in a timely manner.
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington State Department of Health has imposed restrictions on school attendance for students who have symptoms that could indicate possible COVID-19 infection, or if they have close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Symptoms consistent with Covid 19 are: Fever (subjective or greater than or equal to 100.4 ̊F), Chills, Cough, Loss of sense of taste and/or smell, Shortness of breath, Fatigue, Headache, Muscle or body aches, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea (at least 2 loose stools in 24 hours).
- Face masks will be required for students, staff, and visitors per CDC/Health Dept. guidelines.
- Social distancing will be practiced with as much caution as possible also understanding the need for social interaction in the classroom. Some classes may convene outside or in other larger areas to create more distancing.
- Social distancing signs and floor markings will be displayed prominently to guide staff and students.
- There will be hand sanitizing/hand washing stations in high traffic areas.
- Common areas and frequently touched areas will be disinfected multiple times each day.
- Hand sanitizer, soap, and paper towels will be readily available in all restrooms
- Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be available throughout classrooms and office areas for use throughout the day.
- Students are not permitted to linger on campus before or after school unless involved in an approved activity.
- Mask breaks are permitted outside as long as students are 10 feet apart.
- Students will be provided a disposable wipe to disinfect their desk at the end of each period following safety procedures.
- Students will not receive lockers due to social distancing and “stacked” lockers.
- Students will be permitted to bring backpacks to their classrooms
- Teachers will identify a location to store backpacks in their classroom. (i.e. at desks or socially distanced)
What if we have to go fully remote again due to Covid 19?
- We will revert back to the same remote schedule we have used for the first two quarters.
- Assignments will be posted and turned in via Google Classroom with a prioritization of essential learning standards. Work for the week will be posted in Google Classroom.
- Staff will maintain office hours two times per week where they will be available for two-way communication.
- Grades will be posted on Skyward.
- Staff will work to respond to correspondence within 2 work days.
Sports/Activities/Clubs (TBD Pending Recommendations)
- All practices and/or training will be in alignment with guidance issued by the governor’s office, state department of health and the WIAA within the moderate risk range of allowable sport specific activities.
- Additional clubs and groups may be offered with social distancing guidelines met.
- This upheaval is tough on students so make sure to celebrate progress.
- Feed the positive and remember that perfection is not necessary.
- Build time for fun each day. Check in with your child to monitor their well-being.
Why isn’t the middle school using the same model as the high school with both live and virtual simultaneously?
- The high school model will require some students to be in front of the screen upwards of 6 hours a day on the days they are not live in class. As a middle school staff, we determined that this would not be the best model to serve our students since:
- Developmentally, 10-14year-old students are not typically able to sustain their attention for this extended period of time.
- We have significant (and what we consider justifiable) concerns about the amount of screen time and technology use for younger students.
- We want to wholly focus on students that are live in the classroom providing them individual attention, rather than having our teachers trapped in a small area trying to remain on screen for those attending class remotely. This also helps create a sense of normalcy.
- We believe we need to focus on social and emotional support in addition to academics. Focusing on a smaller group here at school helps afford that opportunity.
- Our staff will still be providing asynchronous opportunities including videos, skills practice, activities, and/or assignments on the days that students are not attending live in-person classes.
Why do we have to do daily health attestations and asynchronous (remote learning) attestations for our students?
- The health attestations are required by the state daily for students that attend live school. Additionally, it allows our district nurses to follow up with individual families to be proactive in our approach to Covid.
- The state requires us to track attendance even when students are home and learning independently. Our system was created to be the least cumbersome possible, while still meeting state expectations. Some districts are requiring that students check in to every class individually for attendance, even when they are not attending school. We wanted a more convenient process for families, allowing flexibility in their days.
What if my child has to miss live instruction due to quarantine, sickness, appointments, etc.?
- One of the reasons that we still have remote Mondays for all students is to provide an overview of the weekly lesson plans and give a framework for assignments. Even if a student cannot be at school live, they can still join these remote classes and follow the assignments/lessons on Google Classroom.
- Teachers are still available on Monday afternoons if you child needs individual help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to them with questions.
- We have paras assigned to check in daily with students when they are on quarantine. This is done via phone, email, and Google Meets. This also gives the opportunity for a liaison to make sure the student gets the help and materials needed to stay up with class. They are available for tutoring and academic support also.
- During quarantine, our counselors will check in with students weekly to monitor social-emotional health, provide a listening ear, answer questions, and serve as additional support.
- Students who would like to remain in remote learning may also have the option of LRA in Woodland Public Schools.
Who can I contact for help:
- Academic Concerns:
- Hardships (food or housing): Please click here to contact FCRC coordinator - Gabby Meador
- Technology: If you are in need of assistance, please reach out to the WMS office team listed below. If they are unable to help, they will put in a help desk ticket for you.
- Social/Emotional Concerns: If you are in need of support for social or emotional issues, please reach out to one of our counselors listed below.