July 14, 2020

Dear Blacksmith Family:
 
Our Instructional Leadership Team has been hard at work developing plans for the coming school year, taking into consideration federal, state and local guidelines. As every day seems to bring new challenges and shifts in the news, we realize that we must plan even though there are still many unanswered questions. With this in mind, we need your help! As we continue to hone our plans, we would like your feedback on two possible options for instructional delivery. This survey will provide a metric to determine the numbers for each instructional option. Receiving your feedback early will help us plan for student schedules, staffing and preventative health and safety measures. Please respond by Sunday, July 19 at 5pm.
 
See below for a brief overview of the two options:

Option 1 - In-person instruction

  • In-person instruction is traditional at-school learning, with regular class sizes, following the regular school schedule.
  • Secondary students who attend face-to-face instruction will be scheduled into the courses they selected last spring during course selection. Primary students will be placed into grade level classrooms.
  • Additional safety protocols and, where possible, social distancing, will be implemented based on guidelines given by government entities. 
  • All staff and students will receive training on safety and health protocols consistent with these guidelines. 

Option 2 - Remote learning
Remote learning offered by Westlake Academy will consist of both synchronous and asynchronous learning activities, aligned with the Planning Guidance provided by TEA.

  • There will be asynchronous instruction for students in grades K-2. This means self-paced, online intermittent teacher instruction using pre-recorded videos. Teachers would provide guided support.
  • For grades 3 to 12, remote learning will consist of both synchronous and asynchronous learning, the balance of which will be determined by the needs of the programme. Students will be assigned a virtual class schedule and must be in attendance and engaged, when required, for live, synchronous instruction.
  • Parents will support their students to ensure they have access to a device, a place to work and are engaged in virtual learning activities.
  • Teachers will use the same curriculum as students who attend in-person instruction and will design strategies for learning in the remote environment.   
  • Grading will be consistent with the guidelines and practices used in all in-person instruction. 

Thank you for taking the time to consider these two options. Please complete the survey by Sunday, July 19 at 5pm.

One thing that we know for sure is that we will begin school on Monday, August 24, 2020. This is a change from the previously published Academic Calendar. We have made this change to give our teachers three additional days of professional learning in order to prepare them to balance the responsibilities of face-to-face and remote instruction. As mandated by TEA Commissioner, Mike Morath, you will be receiving a commitment pledge on Monday, August 3 which will be due back to us by Sunday, August 10. At that time, you will be confirming your instructional delivery choice.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this unique planning season. We are anxious to return to school as normal but want to balance that with the safety of all our stakeholders. At Westlake Academy, we value our students, staff and families and appreciate the trust you have placed in us.

Sincerely,
Dr. Mechelle Bryson
Executive Director
Westlake Academy
W estlake Academy
2600 J T Ottinger Road
(817) 490-5757