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Auburn School District Updates Distance Learning Schedule

Auburn School District Superintendent Dr. Alan Spicciati sent a letter to district families late Friday afternoon. The latest distance learning update is the result of input from approximately 2,000 parents, 1,700 students, and 800 teachers.

“I just want to meet my teachers and friends in person.”

Last month the district made the decision to maintain distance learning through the end of the year due to the continued rise in COVID-19 cases. With this decision, the district is adjusting the learning schedule. This adjustment is an effort to better support staff, while still providing students with quality instruction.

On November 16 secondary students (grades 6-12) will adjust their Monday schedule. Two weeks later elementary students (K-5) will adjust their schedules. No changes will be made to the elementary evening or preschool schedules.

Families with a student(s) on an IEP will receive information regarding any updates to their child’s schedule.

ASD Superintendent Spicciati’s Letter
Including the new Monday Schedules

Dear ASD Families:

Since September, we have strived to provide a high-quality education for all of our students. With the decision to remain in Distance Learning until at least January, we asked our stakeholders for input about the current Distance Learning program and schedule via a recent survey. Close to 2,000 parents, 1,700 students, and 800 teachers provided their input.

We have learned a lot during the first two months of school. Based on our experiences and the survey results, we are making some changes to the Distance Learning schedule on Mondays. The goal is to continue to provide the same level of quality instruction to our students while better supporting our staff. To best serve students and families, we recognize teachers need additional time.

Starting November 16, the secondary (grades 6-12) schedule on Mondays will be:

Period 1 9:40-10:05 (25 min) 
Period 2 10:10-10:35 (25 min)
Period 3 10:40-11:05 (25 min)
Independent Learning 11:05-11:25 am (20 min)
Student Lunch 11:25 am-12:25 pm
Independent Learning/Flexible Class Supports 12:25 – 2:25 (120 min)
***Students may be asked by teachers to attend additional instruction or office hours
Independent Learning 2:25 – 3:10 pm (45 min)

Starting November 30, the elementary (grades K-5) schedule on Mondays will be:

Whole-Class Meeting 9:40-10:25 (45 min)
Individual & Small Group support, SPED Instruction, 10:25-11:25 (60 min)
***Students may be asked by teachers to attend a live class meeting.
Student Lunch 11:25 am-12:25 pm (60 min)
Independent Learning 12:25 – 3:10 (165 min)
***Students may be asked by teachers to attend a live class meeting or other supports.

“Can we please go back to school in-person?”

There are no changes to the Elementary PM Program or the preschool schedule. The schedule on Tuesday-Friday remains the same for all grade levels. West Auburn will have similar changes to the secondary schedule.

Adjusting the Monday afternoon schedule will provide flexibility for student learning and academic support, while maintaining the strong distance learning program already in place.

Some of the highlights are:

. Provide staff additional time to support students in small groups, 1:1 assistance, planning.
. Potentially reduces screen time for students.
. Is responsive to the student, parent and teacher surveys.
. Support teachers in planning for quality distance learning each week.

Note for Students Receiving Special Education Services:

If your student has an IEP, services may look different on Mondays. For example, instruction may be provided by a classroom para or through activities/learning tasks that are designed by the teacher and implemented at home. Any changes to the current schedule will be communicated by your student’s teacher or therapist and where needed IEP teams will work with families to develop a plan that works for individual students.

“Distance learning is ok. I learn better when we are at the school and I miss school a lot.”

We continue to monitor the health data as we plan our return to in-person instruction. We are updating the ASD web page each Thursday with current COVID information from King County, Pierce County, and Auburn. Unfortunately, the data is not trending favorably for us to return to school. Auburn School District is working diligently to bring students back as soon as it is advisable.

I value hearing from students, parents, and staff and I am making my way through 1600 survey comments. We are working every day to provide a supportive, engaging, and challenging Distance Learning experience. Below are a few quotes from students. I believe they capture what a lot of families, students, and staff are feeling.

Gildo Rey 5th grader: “Distance learning is ok. I learn better when we are at the school and I miss school a lot.”

Rainier 7th grader: “Can we please go back to school in-person?”

Auburn Mountainview 12th grader: “I just want to meet my teachers and friends in person.”

I assure you we are doing everything we can to be prepared to return when the health department advises. Until then, we continue to work together to create the best Distance Learning experience we can. Thank you for your support.
Dr. Alan Spicciati
Auburn School District Superintendent

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