2020-21 Safe Learning Plan
Westonka Plans to Begin Year with In-Person Primary; Hybrid Middle and High School
On Aug. 10, the Westonka School Board approved Westonka Public Schools' Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 school year. Based on current health data, Westonka plans to begin the year with early learning through grade 4 in the In-Person Learning Model and grades 5-12 in the Hybrid Learning Model.
The board has reviewed Westonka's plans for all three educational models outlined by the state—in-person, distance and hybrid learning. These plans will continue to evolve as the school year approaches. Regardless of how we begin the year, we know that any of these learning scenarios could apply at different times during the school year. Westonka will work in consultation with a Regional Support Team to make real-time, data-based decisions. We highly recommend that families make contingency plans for all three scenarios outlined in this plan.
The base learning plan presented Aug. 10 is subject to change prior to the start of school. Every 14 days, school districts will be given updated data on the COVID-19 impact in their counties. If the data changes, or if we learn of clusters of positive cases directly impacting our schools, we may need to pivot toward a different learning model. Data released Aug. 20 by the state will determine how we will start the year on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
All families must indicate whether or not their student(s) will be using bus transportation for the 2020-21 school year in Skyward Family Access no later than Aug. 17.
Distance Only Registration
Families choosing 100% distance learning through Westonka Public Schools will be asked to commit to this model for the first quarter of 2020-21. Families must opt in for the Distance Only Option in Skyward Family Access by Aug. 17.
Working Together to Limit the Spread
In All Three Models, Families Can Expect
- MDH and MDE Guidelines: Westonka Schools will follow all requirements from the Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Department of Education.
- Responsive Instruction: In each subject area, teachers will focus on the most essential material for students to learn, creating a core foundation of instruction to allow for more nimble transitions between models.
- Special Ed. and EL Services: Special education and English Learner (EL) services will be provided to all identified students. The delivery may look different, depending on the model. Careful attention will be paid to special education students in general education classes.
- Mental Health Support: All staff will be mindful of students’ social-emotional learning needs and will work to rebuild relationships between and among students and staff.
- 1:1 Technology: All K-12 students will have access to a district-issued device (iPad or Chromebook) to support their in-person or distance learning. Technology support will continue; internet access will be provided to families in need.
- Distance Only Option: A 100% distance learning option is available to students/families.
- NEW Distance Learning Coordinators: The position’s responsibilities will be determined by each building’s needs and will include some or all of the following job duties:
- Serve as a distance learning teacher for students in a distance learning model.
- Work with students that are disengaged or struggling with their learning in the distance learning or hybrid model.
- Provide teacher support with the execution of effective distance learning lessons.
- Serve as a contact for parents and guardians who have children learning in the distance learning or hybrid learning model.
- Serve as contact to building principals on the status of instruction and student learning in the distance learning or hybrid learning model.
Attendance will be taken every day in each learning model. For students in grades K-12, enter your child’s absence in Skyward Family Access if he or she is not able to participate in in-person or distance learning on each day.
How to Report an Absence in Skyward Family Access
- Log in to Skyward Family Access
- Click "Attendance" in the left hand column
- Click "Absence Request" (top middle section of screen)
- Click "Add Request" next to student name
- Fill out relevant information, including dates, reason for absence and comments
- Click "Save"
You may also send a message to your school’s attendance email or call the school’s attendance line if your child is not able to participate in in-person or distance learning on each day. Please include the child’s name, grade, and a brief reason for absence. Families will be asked to indicate any COVID-19 symptoms, positive COVID-19 test results or COVID-19 close contacts. Please include length of absence if known.