Displaying items by tag: COVID19

Monday, 16 August 2021 08:52

Parent Letter - August 3, 2021

August 3, 2021

Dear Parents, Students and Families of Weber School District:

We are excited to welcome you back to the 2021-22 school year! Our teachers are so excited to meet your children as we return to school. There’s no doubt that the last school year was a tremendous challenge for every one of us. While last year may have been one of the most difficult school years, we believe that this upcoming year may be one of the most important! We have been preparing all summer for the return of your students. Following are important informational matters as we begin the 2021-22 school year:

Academic Learning Loss

Learning may have been disrupted for some students due to a variety of factors related to the pandemic. Under the direction of our curriculum department (led by Sheri Heiter) we have carefully analyzed student data to determine areas that we may need to focus on as we rebound from the effects of the pandemic. Teachers have gone through professional training in important areas and are even better prepared to address potential areas of academic learning loss. Our school district has strategically distributed Federal Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds directly to schools and they will be developing plans to work carefully with students and families. We encourage you to speak to your principal for local community plans to support student learning.

Face Masks

We understand that as a state and nation we are beginning to experience another spike in COVID-19 case counts. Local and state health officials are beginning to recommend the wearing of face masks when in-doors. While we will invite those who choose to wear a mask in school to do so, we will not require the face coverings. In fact, during the last session, the Utah Legislature passed HB 1007 which prohibits school districts from requiring face coverings in school during this upcoming school year.

Test to Play

Last year, our high school athletes and students participating in extracurricular activities went through “test to play” protocols every two weeks. We will not begin the school year requiring these students to test regularly in order to participate; however, should case counts begin to rise at a local level, we may strategically institute the “test to play” protocol in order to keep our students playing.

Contact Tracing and Quarantining

We will still be required by the health department to contact trace, notify and inform students and employees who have been exposed to COVID-19. Any student or employee who has:

  1. Been fully vaccinated;
  2. Had COVID-19 within the last 180 days; 
  3. You and the person who tested positive were both wearing masks at the time of the exposure;
  4. You were wearing an N95 or KN95 mask, even if the person who tested positive was not wearing a mask.

will be exempt from the recommendation to quarantine. Education leaders across the state have worked with health department officials and legislative leaders to also exempt from the quarantine recommendation those students or employees who agree to wear a mask for the 10-day quarantine period so that they can remain in school.

Test to Stay

Our goal this year is to keep students in school! Test to Stay is one more tool that the legislature has provided to help us achieve that goal. Last year, the health department and governor’s office implemented a 1% threshold that required schools with 1% of their overall school population testing positive for COVID-19 (or 15 for schools with enrollment less than 1500) to move into a two-week school closure. This year, SB 107 doubled that threshold to 2% (or 30 for schools with less than 1500 students). Fortunately, SB 107 now provides a way to keep students in school. This is how SB 107 outlines the “Test to Stay’ option: should a school hit that threshold in positive COVID-19 case counts a “Test to Stay” strategy would be implemented. Those students who test negative (trained personnel would administer the test) or who are fully vaccinated could continue attending school in-person. Those who test positive (or refuse to test) would simply move to online learning for a ten-day period. It should be noted that with the 2% threshold, Weber School District would never have had to close one of our schools last year.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Weber School District will not require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, we will partner with the Weber Morgan Health Department to sponsor an after-school clinic for those families who choose to vaccinate their children ages 12-18. Those clinics will be held at select secondary schools during the week of August 30th. A follow-up clinic will be held exactly four weeks after that date at the same location. Of course, participation in one of these vaccine clinics is completely voluntary. Additional information will be sent to you from your child’s school.

This information represents the latest guidance from the Utah State Legislature and the Governor’s Office. We recognize that things could change and new laws would then dictate our policies and practices. As a school board and superintendent, we wish to express to each of you how much we appreciate your remarkable support. We believe we have the finest parents, students and families anywhere! As we work together on behalf of children, we are confident that we can continue to navigate any complexity encountered. Thank you for all you do and we look forward to a highly successful school year!

With Great Respect and Appreciation,

Board of Education Members

Jon Ritchie – Board President Dean Oborn – Board Vice-President

Doug Hurst – Board Member Paul Widdison – Board Member

Janis Christensen – Board Member Bruce Jardine – Board Member

Jan Burrell – Board Member

Superintendent Assistant Superintendents

Dr. Jeff Stephens Lori Rasmussen Art Hansen

Published in Covid-19
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Friday, 18 December 2020 13:28

Covid News Update

Modifications to current health guidelines were announced this morning by the governor and the Utah Department of Health. These guidelines go into effect on January 4, 2021, when we return from winter break. In summary:

  • The current public health orders will be extended through January, 21, 2021. This includes the mask mandate.

  • In-school exposures. If an individual is exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the school environment, and both individuals are wearing masks during the period of exposure, the person exposed is no longer required to quarantine. Contract tracing will still be conducted. Parents will need to monitor their students for symptoms for the 14 days following an exposure, and keep them home if they are sick. If it can't be verified that both individuals were wearing masks, then the person exposed will need to follow current quarantine procedures.

  • Teachers are able to get tested on a weekly basis upon request, or they can elect to be tested as part of "Test to Play." 

  • The governor indicated that vaccinations for teachers should be available by mid-January. There is a tentative schedule on the state's website.

  • The case threshold for closing has been modified for schools with over 1500 students. The new threshold is now 1% of the student population, instead of 15 cases. For example, the threshold for Fremont will move to 20 cases, Roy 18 cases and Weber 20 cases. All other schools will remain at 15 cases.

  • The "rule of three" (Three individuals testing positive in the same classroom within a two-week period) will only apply to elementary schools. Classes in secondary will no longer be quarantined when there are three or more cases in one classroom.

  • "Test to Stay." When the case threshold is met, a school has the option of moving online for 10 days, or testing all of its students. Students who test negative will be allowed to continue with in-person instruction. Students who test positive or don't test, will move to virtual learning for 10 days. Positive cases identified in this testing will not count toward the threshold to close.

  • Targeted testing in certain communities will be available after the holidays.

  • "Test to Play" will remain in effect. About 12,000 tests have been administered throughout the state with a positivity rate of 1.6%

For more information, please visit:

https://www.pbsutah.org/live-daily-updates-covid-19-utah

https://coronavirus.utah.gov/

https://coronavirus.utah.gov/education/school-manual/

Published in Covid News
Tagged under
Friday, 11 September 2020 15:30

WSD Covid-19 Case Count

Published in Covid-19
Tagged under
Friday, 10 July 2020 08:42

Return to School

July 10, 2020

Dear Parents, Students, Teachers and Staff Members,

Members of the Weber Board of Education and I recognize that there are questions and concerns regarding the opening of school this fall. District and school leaders are spending the summer preparing for the return of students in August. Throughout the entire school year, Weber School District will follow guidance from state and local health department officials regarding school opening or possible closures. This year's return to school will come with some new protocols and procedures in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. Here is a link to our Safe Weber—A Responsive Framework to COVID-19. We encourage everyone to get familiar with the document, along with its accompanying protocols. While it will alter certain aspects of the school day, our goal is to maintain a normalized environment where students can learn and teachers can teach.  

Each of us continues to hope for a vaccine and effective therapeutics to treat the spread of the coronavirus. Optimistic medical advances are certainly bringing that day closer. Until then, our individual behavior will become the most effective defense against the virus. Up to this point, our best countermeasures against the virus have been limiting large scale social interactions and imposing restrictions on group gatherings (e.g., soft closure of schools, closures of non-essential businesses, stay-at-home recommendations, etc.). We have moved into a period where these types of restrictions are less sustainable. We are now beginning to rely more on individual behaviors. Frankly, our goal is to keep schools open, sporting events available, extracurricular activities accessible, as well as field trips, dances and graduation. The best way to accomplish that is for each of us to demonstrate individual responsibility by protecting ourselves and others.

As we open schools for in-person instruction, it is important that everyone recognizes the role they play in protecting themselves and others. It is absolutely imperative that if anyone experiences flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, chills, nausea, etc.) they stay home. The board of education has suspended high school attendance credit requirements for the 2020-21 school year so that no student feels compelled to attend school. Likewise, elementary and junior high administrators have discontinued any type of perfect attendance awards. Each school will place a heightened emphasis on facility sanitation, including the regular cleaning of touch points, horizontal surface areas and the use of electrostatic sprayers to maintain a clean and healthy school environment. Hand hygiene is vital! We will have hand sanitation stations placed throughout our schools and students will be encouraged to regularly wash their hands as a way to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others.  

The school district will provide face coverings for students and teachers. These face coverings are durable, washable and reusable. They will come in school colors and include the school logo. We also have a face shield for every teacher and staff member. Face shields permit the students to see and hear their teacher. These simple things like consistent hand-washing, staying home when sick, facial coverings, standing at a distance and limiting close interactions will become our best defense against the virus and keep everyone safe. Now that we know much more about how the virus is spread, we must govern ourselves in ways that will limit the spread.  

Finally, we know that there will be some families who choose to have their students learn from home. We want to accommodate that choice. We have had teams of teachers working all summer to build courses on a learning management system called CANVAS (and in some instances Google Classroom). This will enable your student to stay connected to his/her teacher and classmates while learning from home in a flexible model.  

The overall success of this school year will require each of us working closely together, listening to one another's concerns and doing our part to contribute to a positive, healthy and safe school experience.  

Professionally,  

Dr. Jeff M. Stephens

Superintendent; Weber School District

 

Safe Weber- A Responsive Framework to COVID-19 >>

Published in Covid-19
Tagged under

We are excited to have our schools open and we welcome our students, teachers and staff back! Weber School District takes the health and wellness of all students and staff seriously. We have developed a strategic, deliberate plan for reopening our schools. Our goal is to open school under the Moderate Precautions listed in our Safe Weber Framework.

SAFE WEBER

A Responsive Framework to COVID-19

 

Moderate Precautions

Enhanced Precautions

Intense Precautions

Facility Sanitation

Moderate

Enhanced

Intense

Personal Protection & Hygiene

Moderate

Enhanced

Intense

Distancing & Social Gatherings

Moderate

Enhanced

Intense

Recognizing & Completing Unfinished Learning

Moderate

Enhanced

Intense

Digital Design & Delivery

Moderate

Enhanced

Intense

 *Weber School District will always follow the guidance of the Health Department and will make the necessary adaptations to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Published in Covid-19
Tagged under

Note: Unfinished learning refers to any prerequisite knowledge or skills that students need for future work that they don’t yet have.

Core Instruction

Recognizing and Completing Unfinished Learning

Understand:

  • Study the Essential Learning Targets for upcoming instruction.
  • Identify critical, prerequisite skills and understandings students need to access grade-level content

Diagnose:

  • Determine student understanding of prerequisites based on diagnostic or formative data
  • Consider if gaps exist for the entire class or a small group.

Take Action:

  • Entire class: plan to build needed scaffolds into upcoming lessons; make necessary adjustments to pacing to allow for additional lessons
  • Small group: plan differentiated instruction or coordinate to address gaps within intervention periods

It is more important to help students catch up on thinking skills than facts.

Feedback to Students

  • Continuous, personalized, learning-centered feedback throughout the learning cycle that moves the learning forward
  • Based on submitted assignments, assessments, discussions, etc.
  • Assignments are likely fewer in number than with face-to-face instruction and feedback must increase
  • Tools: written, auditory, recorded, Google Meets, shared docs, using the “chat” feature as an exit ticket

Instructional and/or Practice Time

  • Elementary: 2 hours per day (instruction plus assignments total); 20 minutes of home reading is still highly recommended
  • Junior High: 30 min/class/day (instruction plus assignments total)
  • High School: 45 min/class/day (instruction plus assignments total)
  • For students receiving special education services, service minutes will be determined by the student’s IEP team.

Digital Content

Essential Learning Targets are on an LMS (instruction, assignments, assessments)

  • Teachers have Essential Learning Targets on a common LMS per school following the district-created style guide (instruction, assignments, assessments)
  • Ensure there are increased options for supporting students and parents who choose to participate in home-based learning.
    • Teachers may choose to use instructional tools such as: Google Meet, the conference option in Canvas, or streamed and/or recorded instructional videos.
    • Consistent time should be scheduled during which students and parents can ask for help via direct communication and support.

Assessment

  • Assessment FOR instructional feedback and design; frequent, actionable and tied to specific curriculum
  • Diagnostic assessments provided within the first two weeks of school to identify unfinished learning
  • Formative and classroom assessments (with timely results) follow frequently to provide data that will inform instruction and intervention practices
  • Use items and tasks that support deeper thinking
  • Tools: Canvas, state platforms, observations, performances, Edulastic, Forms, paper-and-pencil, Reading Inventory, DRP, CBMs, ALEKS, Preschool DOT

Student and Family Communication

  • Occurs several times per week (encourage documentation)
  • Tools: Email, phone, MyStudent, LMS, surveys and Google Forms

Grading

Based on clear demonstration of proficiency by students with multiple data points

  • Modified grading scales may be in effect as students complete online learning
  • Consider using online engagement as part of grade determinations as appropriate
  • Elementary may not issue report cards

Collaboration

  • Student-student
    • Google Meets and/or discussion threads
  • Teacher-teacher
    • Consider cross or integrated curriculum to make it possible to deliver additional content that may be necessary to address unfinished learning
    • Use team approaches and shared resources
    • Continue PLCs (using modified format)

Suggested Reading:

Note: Unfinished learning refers to any prerequisite knowledge or skills that students need for future work that they don’t yet have.

Core Instruction

  • Focus on Essential Standards from grade-level Core and scaffold as needed
  • Include Important and Supporting Standards from grade-level Core when possible
  • Include tiered extensions and remediation

Recognizing and Completing Unfinished Learning

Understand:

  • Study the Essential Learning Targets for upcoming instruction.
  • Identify critical, prerequisite skills and understandings students need to access grade-level content

Diagnose:

  • Determine student understanding of prerequisites based on diagnostic or formative data
  • Consider if gaps exist for the entire class or a small group.

Take Action:

  • Entire class: plan to build needed scaffolds into upcoming lessons; make necessary adjustments to pacing to allow for additional lessons
  • Small group: plan differentiated instruction or coordinate to address gaps within intervention periods

It is more important to help students catch up on thinking skills than facts.

Feedback to Students

  • Continuous, personalized, learning-centered feedback throughout the learning cycle that moves the learning forward
  • Based on observed and/or submitted assignments, assessments, class discussions, performances, etc.
  • Tools: written, auditory, recorded, in person, Google Meets

Instructional and/or Practice Time

  • Elementary: ELA (2 hours), Math (100 minutes), Science (30 minutes); 20 minutes of home reading is still highly recommended
  • Junior High: class period plus 15-30 min/class/day
  • High School: class period plus 40-60 min/class/day
  • For students receiving special education services, service minutes will be determined by the student’s IEP team.

Digital Content

  • Teachers have Essential Learning Targets on a common LMS per school following the district-created style guide (instruction, assignments, assessments)
  • Ensure there are increased options for supporting students and parents who choose to participate in home-based learning.
    • Teachers may choose to use instructional tools such as: Google Meet, the conference option in Canvas, or streamed and/or recorded instructional videos.
    • Consistent time should be scheduled during which students and parents can ask for help via direct communication and support.

Assessment

  • Assessment FOR instructional feedback and design; frequent, actionable and tied to specific curriculum
  • Diagnostic assessments provided within the first two weeks of school to identify unfinished learning
  • Formative and classroom assessments (with timely results) follow frequently to provide data that will inform instruction and intervention practices
  • Use items and tasks that support deeper thinking
  • Tools: Canvas, state platforms, observations, performances, Edulastic, Forms, paper-and-pencil, Reading Inventory, DRP, CBMs, ALEKS, Preschool DOT

Student and Family Communication

  • Occurs at least weekly
  • Tools: Email, phone, MyStudent, LMS

Grading

Based on clear demonstration of proficiency by students with multiple data points

  • Modified grading scales may be in effect as students complete online learning
  • Consider using online engagement as part of grade determinations as appropriate

Collaboration

  • Student-student
    • Class discussion, silent discussion, turn-and-talk (perhaps with white boards), online discussions, etc.
  • Teacher-teacher
    • Consider cross or integrated curriculum to make it possible to deliver additional content that may be necessary to address unfinished learning
    • Use team approaches and shared resources
    • Continue PLCs (may need modified format)

Suggested Reading:

Note: Unfinished learning refers to any prerequisite knowledge or skills that students need for future work that they don’t yet have.

Core Instruction

  • Focus on Essential Standards from grade-level Core and scaffold as needed
  • Include Important and Supporting Standards from grade-level Core as appropriate
  • Include tiered extensions and remediation

Recognizing and Completing Unfinished Learning

Understand:

  • Study the Essential Learning Targets for upcoming instruction.
  • Identify critical, prerequisite skills and understandings students need to access grade-level content

Diagnose:

  • Determine student understanding of prerequisites based on diagnostic or formative data
  • Consider if gaps exist for the entire class or a small group.

Take Action:

  • Entire class: plan to build needed scaffolds into upcoming lessons; make necessary adjustments to pacing to allow for additional lessons
  • Small group: plan differentiated instruction or coordinate to address gaps within intervention periods

It is more important to help students catch up on thinking skills than facts.

Feedback to Students

  • Continuous, personalized, learning-centered feedback throughout the learning cycle that moves the learning forward
  • Based on observed and/or submitted assignments, assessments, class discussions, performances, etc.
  • Feedback is not limited only to assignments
  • Tools: written, auditory, recorded, in person

Instructional and/or Practice Time

  • Elementary: ELA (2 hours), Math (100 minutes), Science (30 minutes); 20 minutes of home reading is still highly recommended
  • Junior High: class period plus 15-30 min/class/day
  • High School: class period plus 40-60 min/class/day
  • For students receiving special education services, service minutes will be determined by the student’s IEP team.

Digital Content

  • Teachers have Essential Learning Targets on a common LMS per school following the district-created style guide (instruction, assignments, assessments)
  • Ensure there are increased options for supporting students and parents who choose to participate in home-based learning.
    • Teachers may choose to use instructional tools such as: Google Meet, the conference option in Canvas, or streamed and/or recorded instructional videos.
    • Consistent time should be scheduled during which students and parents can ask for help via direct communication and support.

Assessment

  • Assessment FOR instructional feedback and design; frequent, actionable and tied to specific curriculum
  • Diagnostic assessments provided within the first two weeks of school to identify unfinished learning
  • Formative and classroom assessments (with timely results) follow frequently to provide data that will inform instruction and intervention practices
  • Use items and tasks that support deeper thinking
  • Tools: Canvas, state platforms, observations, performances, Edulastic, Forms, paper-and-pencil, Reading Inventory, DRP, CBMs, ALEKS, Preschool DOT

Student and Family Communication

  • Occurs frequently
  • Tools: Parent-Teacher conferences, family nights, back-to-school night, email, phone, MyStudent

Grading

Based on clear demonstration of proficiency by students with multiple data points

  • Grading occurs as in pre-COVID-19 settings

Collaboration

  • Student-student
    • Silent discussion, turn-and-talk (perhaps with white boards), online discussions, etc.
  • Teacher-teacher
    • Consider cross or integrated curriculum to make it possible to deliver additional content that may be necessary to address unfinished learning
    • Use team approaches and shared resources
    • Continue PLCs (may need modified format)

Suggested Reading:

Instructional Delivery

  • All teachers are on a common LMS per school, providing a consistent experience for parents and students
    • Each school follows a style guide (district-created guide, personalized at the school)
  • Ensure there are increased options for supporting students and parents who choose to participate in home-based learning.
    • Teachers may choose to use instructional tools such as: Google Meet, the conference option in Canvas, or streamed and/or recorded instructional videos.
    • Consistent time should be scheduled during which students and parents can ask for help via direct communication and support.

Instructional Support

  • Live EdTech support will be provided via Google Meet on a bi-weekly basis at a scheduled time (sessions recorded and will be available for all WSD teachers)
  • Additional support/training will be available by request

Network/Filters

  • BARK responses go to home as well as school during the school day
  • Increase iBoss nodes for additional Elementary devices at home
  • Wireless Access Points placed outside will provide WiFi access to students in areas such as parking lots or near the building if needed.

Student Devices

Secondary

  • All secondary students have access to a mobile device they can take home

Elementary

  • Ascend schools identify what students need a device at home and set up a school-specific way to issue those devices (devices will be sent home base on need)
  • Non-Ascend schools will evaluate which students/families need a device; unassigned devices from Ascend schools will be distributed to non-Ascend school students/families
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