Restart Letter to Parents:
July 2, 2020
Dear Mt. Pleasant Students, Parents and Community Members:
I am very pleased to be writing to all of you on my first official day of work as your new Superintendent/Principal. I have enjoyed getting to know the Mt. Pleasant Staff and learn about the history, the uniqueness of the school, and the positive feelings about the school. I am very happy to have finally arrived and am enjoying getting started.
On Tuesday we began the process of planning for the restart of school. We had full participation from our teachers, teaching assistants, and had representation from parents, school board members, and a few students. This initial planning meeting was divided into 2 main tasks:
- To start working on the detailed policies, rules and procedures to keep everyone who comes into the building safe and protected to the best of our ability.
- To work on planning the school day and a school week for the first few weeks of school, with the goal being to provide as much “in-person” school-time as possible for students, while also meeting guidance, legal mandates, and protocols from the state.
Here are a few, basic decisions that I can announce now, so that all of our staff and families can begin planning for the start of school:
- The first day of school will be Wednesday, August 26th.
- Bus service will be provided but with limitations, primarily to in-district students.
- We are required to have a structured planning day and staff time for the assessment of our “starting” program, along with required safety reviews, and a thorough cleaning of the building once a week.
- Staff will be present at school every day with minimal scheduled variations.
- Most Special Education services will take place in-person, at the school.
- Middle school students in grades 6-8 will continue to have some “distance learning” time in addition to considerable in-person learning at school.
- In grades K-5 students will be coming to school on a regular basis starting August 26th. We will NOT start with a full day, 5 days a week schedule, but we will work toward that “regular” schedule as quickly as possible. Specific hours, days, and details will be forthcoming.
- K-1 will likely have half days (noon dismissal) 4-5 days a week for the first couple weeks.
The “school restart” committee will meet again on July 9th and as a result, we hope to come to a decision about specific hours and days for student “in-person” attendance. We will announce the starting plans (schedule) shortly after this meeting. When the details of this plan are finalized, we will be closely monitoring successes and failures, as well as considering input from all involved parties. Each week we may need to adjust the in-school attendance depending on safety issues. Of course, we must comply with Washington State guidance, and then we will focus our efforts on providing more of what is working and adjust or eliminate what is not working.
Given our size, the cooperation of the Mt. Pleasant staff, and the positive attitude expressed by our parents, Mt. Pleasant has the opportunity to be very thoughtful about having school during a pandemic, and quick to adjust, which I will remind you, is an asset most districts and larger schools cannot boast about. Despite the historic difficulties in the world today, we recognize the significant role that going back to school, and being in school, will play in the lives of our students and for our families. While the start of school will be different, we will do all that we can to create the best “back to school” experience possible.
I look forward to meeting all of you very soon. Please feel comfortable writing to me at Ray.Griffin@mtpleasantschool.org or calling at 360-835-3371.
Mt. Pleasant School