Good Evening OLG School Parents,

I know many are eager for dates of our re-opening of classes to in-person learning. Our staff has been working diligently these past few weeks to absorb the information from our neighboring schools, the Arhchdiocese, DOH, and Gvnr Inslee, plus reviewing our own action plans. Many updates in school COVID safety, changes in the Decision Tree, and of course our nations rollout of vaccines and responses to holidays, travel, and all have affected these decisions. As we have stated many times in the past few months, any re-opening requires notice and preparation. Here are the key dates for K-5 classes:
  • 1st Grade will return two weeks from now, on Tuesday, February 2nd.
  • 2nd Grade will return on Wednesday, February 3rd.
  • 3rd Grade will also return on Wednesday, February 3rd.
  • 4th and 5th grades will return on Monday, February 8th
There is a lot of excitement in rolling this out during Catholic Schools' week. We've been aiming for this to take place earlier, but due to several issues our timing came to this. For teachers and building facilities to reset classrooms from completely remote formats to hybrid settings, we are additionally moving to completely a-synch classes in Grades 1 thru 5 on Thursday, Jan 28th and Friday, Jan 29th.

While we would love to be able to fully reopen all classes on the same day for in-person learning, the varied degrees of difficulty in operating hybrid classrooms, new schedules, training students (and staff) on safe operating procedures, and the assistance required in screening and adjusting to COVID requires this staggered rollout. We have learned a ton from other schools and our own experiences that allows us to accelerate our rollout into this new quick approach. Yet with Middle School operating in many different ways than our K-5 classes, 6th thru 8th grades will continue on its current course of weekly events and in-person activities for the time being, with an anticipated returns happening after Presidents' Day. More details specific to Middle School will be released in coming weeks.

Here is a greatly more detailed information of our re-opening plans:

Q1 - Is there a remote/hybrid option?
YES! For families electing to stay remote, teachers are preparing packets and online opportunities for the remote students to still be connected with their classmates. Let us know if you are choosing to stay remote!! Students who elect the remote option will see changes from the current all-remote classroom, but many of the teacher's current schedules have been built with this flexibility in mind. Several of our teacher aides trained in remote support will continue to provide support for classes with high numbers of remote students. Friday's will be remote/a-synch for ALL K-5 students.
Note: We recognize choosing the optional distance learning format is not an easy choice. The impact of switching between formats is not an easy one and must be considered carefully. Switching back and forth casually is not allowed as it seriously interrupts the learning of both the child and the rest of the class in disruptions, reteaching procedures, and loss of learning time.

Q2 - Why are all Friday's for K-5 remaining "a-synch"/ at-home learning days? Why can't my student come on Friday as well to in-person classes?
Homeroom Teachers are working from 8am-3pm Mon-Thurs with very limited breaks with our in-person students and the students who are staying remote. There are two main factors in teachers needing Fridays to be a full day of preparation and communication time each week. First, teachers need planning time; due to COVID protocols, including upholding strict cohorts and the need to support hybrid teaching, teachers don't have the regular breaks for planning, communicating, and coordination like they normally would. Teaching is an intense calling during the school day, and adding the remote learning / hybrid component to the day adds an immense amount of stress. Secondly, in the hybrid environment families who do need to stay remote require an accessible time for teachers to set appointments. Friday's in K-5 classes will continue to hold a morning zoom, and much of the specialist teachers will continue to support learning on Friday's as the schedule currently stands. Teachers will be coordinating with teacher aides, tutors, and families through appointments in all the ways they haven't had time for Monday thru Thursday. Note: Current DAY CAMP options will continue to operate on Fridays.

Q3 - What can I do to help?
Our teachers are working hard in transitioning into hybrid class mode. This week's school newsletter will hold more opportunities for assistance on January 28th and 29th in preparation, but we know this is a quick time frame for all families. Be patient, stay COVID safe, and read all you can to help prepare. As we return to in-person learning there is plenty of preparation to take place in your home as well, and we understand this. Check those uniforms, check your school paperwork like immunization records, and keep safe.

Finally, as we enter tomorrow into a time of transition in our nation's leadership, I pray that we can all smoothly transition here locally as well in these strange times.

Yours in Christ,

Anton Kramer, Principal
Our Lady of Guadalupe School fosters Gospel values, inspires academic excellence,
and develops service and leadership. We face this as a sacramental
´╗┐community united and empowered by the Holy Spirit.