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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Jr. Sr. High School resuming in-person school Monday, October 12

 

September 29, 2020

Community Update

Para español, haga clic aquí.

South Bend School District received guidance from the Pacific County Health Department, Dr. Steven Krager, that Pacific County Schools can begin a phased reopening for face-to-face instruction.  

South Bend Jr. Sr. High School will reopen under a hybrid model for students grades 7-12 on Monday, October 12, 2020.

Parents please click here to let us know if your students need school bus transportation.

Mike Morris Elementary School reopened to grades K-6 on Monday, September 28.  South Bend Early Learning will be opening Monday, October 5.

School staff are now putting final details together for the safe return of 7-12 students.  We will be operating under a hybrid model, where Group A students will attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Group B students will attend school on Thursdays and Fridays.  Wednesday will be a remote learning day.  The school day (Mon/Tues/Thu/Fri) will be from 8:30 am to 2:20 pm, with doors opening at 8:00 am.  Families with siblings in both elementary and jr. sr. high school will be grouped together, as will siblings in preschool.

Parents and students should remember that face coverings will be required for all students and staff members.  Students will be distanced according to health department guidelines and all other safety measures will be adhered to.  In addition, parents will be required to submit a daily health attestation for students attending in-person school.  This will be done via text message and/or email each morning.  Please contact the school office for more information. 

Parents with questions should contact the school office at 360-875-6041.  School principal Jason Nelson can also be reached at: jnelson@southbendschools.org.

All of us at South Bend Schools are excited for the return of our students!  We will be releasing more information as we continue to plan.  Thank you for your patience and please let us know if you have questions or concerns.

Go Indians!

Jon Tienhaara
Superintendent





Friday, September 18, 2020

Mike Morris Elementary resuming in-person school Monday, September 28

 

Community Update

Para español, haga clic aquí.

South Bend School District received guidance from the Pacific County Health Department, Dr. Steven Krager, that Pacific County Schools can begin a phased reopening for face-to-face instruction.  

South Bend will reopen under a hybrid model for students grades K-6 on Monday, September 28, 2020.

Parents please click here to let us know if your students need school bus transportation.

School staff are now putting final details together for the safe return of K-6 students.  We will be operating under a hybrid model, where Group A students will attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Group B students will attend school on Thursdays and Fridays.  Wednesday will be a remote learning day.  The school day (Mon/Tues/Thu/Fri) will be from 8:30 am to 2:20 pm, with doors opening at 8:00 am.

Parents and students should remember that face coverings will be required for all students and staff members.  Students will be distanced according to health department guidelines and all other safety measures will be adhered to.  In addition, parents will be required to submit a daily health attestation for students attending in-person school.  This will be done via text message and/or email each morning.  More information to come.

Preschool is scheduled to begin in-person on October 5, 2020.  More information will follow.  We are hoping Jr. Sr. High students can return early to mid-October, and we await the health department recommendation for secondary in-person learning.  

Parents with questions should contact the school office at 360-875-6041.  School principal Kresta Byington can also be reached at: kbyington@southbendschools.org.

All of us at South Bend Schools are excited for the return of our students!  We will be releasing more information next week as we continue to plan.  Thank you for your patience and please let us know if you have questions or concerns.

Go Indians!

Jon Tienhaara
Superintendent

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Update: School starting on September 2

 

Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year!

South Bend School District


To All Parent, Students, Families, & Community Members-

The 2020-21 school year is now upon us and will begin next Wednesday, September 2, 2020.  I am writing this post as one final update as we get ready to start the year.  I don't have to tell you this school year is different, challenging, or unprecedented.  In fact, I think all of us are getting tired of hearing these descriptors for everything that is going on in our society.  That being said, I am thankful that we are somewhat sheltered from many of the realities being experienced by others across our state and nation.  

With that, below are several updates for us here in South Bend.

Starting school

Teachers and staff are geared up and ready to begin school remotely.  Our first three days (Sept 2, 3, 4) will be used for on-campus student/family conferences with teachers, which are now being scheduled.  If you do not have a conference appointment, please call your school office at 875-6041.  At the conference, students will receive a computer, training in logging in and accessing their virtual classroom, and will receive other materials and resources.  Finally, any remaining paperwork and/or registration can be done at this time.

Also, preschool registration is happening now.  If you need to register for preschool, contact the Early Learning Center at 875-6041.

Food service will continue and be available to all families.  We will be delivering meals to homes in September with the eventual transitioning to regional pickup locations until school resumes in-person.  More information will be coming on meal delivery soon.

Who to contact

Please feel free to contact the following people if you have any questions with regards to your student and/or their school:

Early Learning: 

Mackenzie Trotter, mtrotter@southbendschools.org; 

Amy Nelson, anelson@southbendschools.org

Mike Morris Elementary: 

Tammy McDougall, tmcdougall@southbendschools.org

Kresta Byington, kbyington@southbendschools.org

Jr. Sr. High School:

Susie Williams, swilliams@southbendschools.org

Theresa Mee, tmee@southbendschools.org

Jason Nelson, jnelson@southbendschools.org

Jon Schray, jschray@southbendschools.org

When will students be back on campus?

We are maintaining regular contact with the Pacific County Health Department in monitoring COVID-19 cases in our county.  We are hoping the new case count will continue to drop and will allow us to resume an in-person hybrid model in October.  This is our intent and we are making plans now for the safe return of students.  You can expect regular updates as we learn more in the coming weeks.

Medical care available to all South Bend students

In an attempt to help families access medical care for their students, South Bend School District has partnered with Hazel Health to provide telemedicine accessible from your home.  This is accessible to all South Bend students, regardless of income.  Details can be found here.  Through this program, most all urgent care needs, prescriptions, and other follow-up type medical services can be provided virtually from your home.  Hazel bills both private insurance and Medicaid, with zero copays.  Financial assistance is available to any student not covered by health insurance.  Please contact your school office for questions.

Mike Morris Elementary School

Our new elementary school is basically complete.  Teachers are moving in to their classrooms and our offices are up and running.  Phase 2 is just about to begin, which will include a new parking lot and play field.  We will be planning an open house soon.  Below are just a few pictures.




Parking

As you can imagine, parking is still a challenge due to our construction.  When you need to park, please park on First Street, or in one of our parking lots.  There is no parking available behind the high school.  Access to the elementary school can be found just east of the school library.  Please follow the sidewalk back to the new school.  


In conclusion, we all look forward to serving our students and we will do everything possible to ensure student education is the best it can be.  If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas, please feel free to contact me at 875-6041 or jtienhaa@southbendschools.org.   

Go Indians!





Jon Tienhaara

Superintendent

Monday, August 3, 2020

Planning for Fall: Update #4


Community Update
August 3, 2020

To all South Bend Parents, Students, and Community Members-


This last week Pacific County superintendents received an advisement from Dr. Krager of the Pacific County Health Department.  In this letter he states:  

"We all want our children to go back to school, as the benefits for students and families are obvious. However, with the current disease burden in Pacific County we recommend that school districts in the county start the school year with distance learning and then re-evaluate the conditions monthly."  

Over the last two weeks many school districts across the state announced they will begin the school year remotely due to COVID-19, and more districts continue to announce these intentions.  Due to Dr. Krager's recommendation, we believe our safest option at this point is to start September with remote learning, which will be considered by our Board next week.  

Our principals continue to work with teachers and staff in planning for remote learning, and we will have detailed plans to release to parents toward the end of this week or early next.  Much of our planning stems from lessons learned this past Spring, and include:

1. Structured daily and weekly schedules with students having the opportunity to see their teachers each day; 

2.  A standardized Google Classroom for each grade;

3.  Live teacher instruction that will be recorded and also available for students and parents outside of normal school hours;  

4.  Live help sessions for extra student support.

5.  Provision of special education services.   

In addition, daily student attendance will be taken and typical class expectations will be followed. The elementary grades will focus on reading, writing, and math with other subjects integrated appropriately.  We are looking at a model where the junior/senior high will be focusing on just three subjects per day, rather than six, allowing for a more focused learning approach and faster earning of credits.

Another component we are looking at is a student/teacher conference (in person) the first one to two weeks of school, where students and parents will have the opportunity to meet their teachers, receive technology and materials, and get a feel for what will be expected.  

Our goal and intent is to seamlessly transition from the remote model to our onsite face-to-face model when we are able.  As such, we are also planning our on campus model so that we can return as soon as we can safely do so.  More information on returning face-to-face is forthcoming.

I want to thank our parents, students, staff and community for continued patience.  We are working as hard as we can and continue to adapt to very fluid circumstances.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 875.6041 or email at jtienhaa@southbendschools.org.

Sincerely,

Jon Tienhaara
Superintendent



Monday, July 6, 2020

Planning for Fall: Update #2


Community Update
July 6, 2020

To all South Bend Parents, Students, and Community Members-

I want to update you on our planning progress for reopening school this Fall.  Since my last update in mid-June, we have been working to better understand the school requirements as put out by the Governor's Office, OSPI, and the Health Department.  School administrators and staff have been working with these requirements in mind, as well as the parent feedback data that continues to come in through our June 23 survey.  We are also collaborating with the Pacific County Health Department and other Pacific County school districts through a weekly "reopening schools" workgroup.

Though no plans have been finalized, I want to share some of the things we know as of today.  Again, I share these with the intention of being transparent and open about our planning.

What we know

At this point, we know the Governor and State Health Department is requiring all students and staff members be socially distanced while in our school buildings, and they must also wear a facial covering.  These two requirements alone will result in our face-to-face school looking different, primarily because we do not have the physical space or staff to distance all our students at the same time.  As a result, schools across the region and state are considering different face-to-face options.  In South Bend, one of the options being considered is an am/pm (two student "shifts") face-to-face instructional model four days per week, where the fifth day would be a staff planning/student-focus day. Another option would be an A/B every other day, face-to-face instructional model for four days a week, with the fifth day being a staff planning/student-focus day.  

The input we received through our survey includes parents not wanting their students to have to be in masks for long periods of time, as well as a desire for more consistent face-to-face instruction from our teachers.  This input is directing our consideration toward the four-day, am/pm instructional model.  Essentially, students in this model would attend school onsite for a 3.5 hour shift (either morning or afternoon), four days per week.  The other half of the day where students are not onsite at school would be for structured learning at home.  The fifth day of the week would be structured learning at home, and/or needed student focus time at school for specialized services.  With the am/pm model, students would not have to be in a mask for full days at a time, and they would get to see their teachers four days per week, as opposed to two days per week.  Finally, students coming to school four days per week, even if just for half a day, will help us better provide special education services, mental health services, and more effective instruction and learning for all.  Again, this model has not been finalized, but we are vetting the model as a strong possibility.  It is still possible we will have to use a different model, especially if health conditions change in our area.

Other planning underway

We realize that some parents may not be ready to send their children back to school in the Fall.  If parents choose not to send their children to our face-to-face school program, we are planning to offer a fully remote school model as well as assistance for parents intending to homeschool.  Whichever decision parents make for their children, we desire to offer supports as much as possible.  Please feel free to reach out to us if you have questions.

Finally, thank you for your continued patience.  Schools have never had to conduct planning like this, and we have never been impacted by these current circumstances facing a new school year.  Our staff are all working hard to develop a school model that meets the needs of our students, protects the health and safety of everyone in our buildings, and continues to deliver quality learning.  

In my next update, I will share on our continued planning with regards to above, as well as planning for school bus transportation, food service, and planned preventative measures for face-to-face interactions in our school buildings.

Please feel free to contact me directly for any questions, ideas, or concerns, at jtienhaa@southbendschools.org, or 875-6041.


Jon Tienhaara
Superintendent