Normally I would communicate with families once or twice during the summer, but this year you will be hearing from me a bit more in these vacation months. I want to be sure you are informed and able to be prepared for what is ahead as much as possible. The following is based on the guidelines issued last week be the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) I apologize in advance for the length!
**Please especially note the dress protocol change listed below for fall.
Before we jump into the changes I would like to be sure you know how to access the report cards that were published last week.
To see your student's report card, please follow these steps:
1. Log onto your family Gradelink account. If you need your log-in info, please contact me by replying to this email or at email@example.com.
2. Click on the "Grades" tab on the left side of the screen.
3. At the top of the page, you will see a PDF icon that says "download report card".
4. If you have multiple students, at the top center of your screen, you will see "Now viewing.." that will indicate which of your student's grade page you are on. If you click on it, the drop down gives options for your other students.
The BIG question: What does the fall look like?
FAQs: Here are some questions people are asking me more frequently the last few days. It may be helpful for you to know the answers for yourself, but also to be able to let others in our community know who may be considering ICA. Please note these are my current answers, but subject to change if the guidelines are modified throughout the summer.
Are you enrolling for next year?
Yes, we do have availability in some classes. Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade all have waiting lists and our 3/4 split class has two spots left. If we build a significant waiting list, we have the ability to divide the 3rd/4th class. Our class sizes are limited more than usual because of the six foot desk spacing required by the state guidelines. Our preschool and preK classes also have available spots.
If you are a family who has not yet completed enrollment for the fall, it may be good to move on that sooner than later if you plan to attend as our class sizes are limited more than usual because of the new guidelines.
Will you be meeting in person in the fall?
We are planning to have all students back in person five days a week next year. We are working on plans to use the space creatively in our facility to comply with the six feet distancing guidelines issued by the state last week. By doing this, we should be able to have all students on campus at the same time.
Will your students be required to wear masks?
The guidelines say yes at this time. I think OSPI is already receiving significant pressure to revise the masking guideline, so it may change. If it is not revised, however, we will comply with it as there are significant liabilities that come with not following the guidelines. I believe we would encourage shields rather than masks, though.
What you can do if you disagree: The Washington Federation of Independent Schools (WFIS) is the agency that represents private schools to OSPI (Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction). I attended a virtual meeting sponsored by WFIS Friday where they encouraged feedback from schools and parents in regard to the new guidelines. Here is an excerpt from an update they sent out Friday afternoon:
"If you, your teachers or your parents have concerns or comments, please share them with WFIS. We will collect feedback and use it to influence the guidelines and requirements. Send parents this address for comments: wfis.org/contact/ "
Would you go back to on-line learning if the governor closes schools?
If the governor closes in-person schools at some point, we would move to our distance learning format. I feel that we had an effective distance learning program this spring (we made the transition with just three days of training/preparation), which we are working throughout the summer to further improve in case we are required to return to it for a time. Three of our staff will be attending, each at a different grade level, a virtual multi-class training in July hosted by Baylor University called Virtual Learning Academy for Classroom Redesign . They will share what they learn across our staff to help improve our distance learning model.
Other changes we are anticipating:
I guess those are the big changes I can think of that will effect you and your students directly. As you can see, the details are not all worked out yet, but we have met as a staff earlier this month and worked through and brainstormed some of these possibilities. We will be meeting again in early August for further discussion and training in the new processes.
I'll try to keep you updated as we move through the summer. Thank you for walking through these changes with us. I am glad for ideas you may have as we move forward!
Island Christian ACademy
Decidedly Academic - Distinctively Christian.
A few of our wax museum participants
Electives week with Detective Farr from Island County
Service Project, Langley
High School students visit the capital building in Olympia
Spelling bee winners
Sno-Isle Skill Center graduate and ICA senior
Secondary Leadership Retreat
Community service project at the Island County Fairgrounds
Northwest Institute of the Literary Arts winners