Superintendent Update 04.16.21
I hope you enjoyed your spring break and had a successful first week back post-break.
We are excited to have a good number of our 6-12th grade students returning to some in-person learning through our hybrid model on Monday, April 19th. As I shared with the board of directors this past Wednesday, we continue to proceed cautiously with the implementation steps we have been employing throughout this year by applying our health and safety protocols. Thank you to all of those involved with all of the time intensive details and work you have done to get ready for Monday.
Update from Superintendent Vivanco on 03/12/2020 regarding 4th & 5th grade students returning in person from the MVSD website:
A few updates for you this week below.
Governor Inslee Announcement
On Friday, March 12, 2021, Governor Inslee announced his proclamation for districts to provide the option for in-person learning for K-12 students. The details of his announcement align with the current and anticipated planning work the District is involved with for our secondary students. Our elementary model, that will be completely in place once grades 4 and 5 begin in-person learning opportunities later this month, meets the expectations of the proclamation.
Grades 4 & 5 return
On Monday, March 22, we will transition our final group of elementary students back into our buildings for hybrid learning. Approximately 83% of our fourth and fifth graders will transition to the Hybrid Model, while approximately 17% will remain remote. To support the transition from remote instruction to the hybrid model for our fourth and fifth graders, teachers will take three days to finalize preparations for the transition. The three days will be March 16, 18 and 19. Teachers will provide students remote work and asynchronous work on those three days. There will be no live instruction on those days. As with every week, Wednesday, March 17 will operate on a normal Wednesday schedule with a 30 minute, live, online class meeting to begin the day. Parents, as you prepare for your child’s transition, I encourage you to visit our HYBRID FAQ PAGE to learn more about what you can expect. We look forward to welcoming fourth and fifth grade students into our buildings!
Update from Superintendent Vivanco on 03/08/2020 regarding Middle and High School students returning in person from the MVSD website:
March 8, 2021
Dear MVSD Families,
I hope this message finds you well and in good health. As the District was finalizing plans for increasing in-person opportunities for secondary students last week, President Biden directed the Federal Retail Pharmacy Vaccination Program to begin vaccinating school staff and a local provider, SeaMar, began to do just that. In collaboration with Skagit County Public Health on Saturday, March 13th, the district will be hosting a vaccination opportunity for staff to help ensure that the vaccine is accessible for everyone.
These recent announcements regarding the vaccination of school staff enhance our ability to provide in-person learning for our secondary students. The plans the district announced last week will not be enacted and instead replaced by opportunities for more in-person time for secondary students. This will change the timing of our parent survey, which was scheduled to be sent out this week. The Mount Baker Middle School and Mount Vernon High School Return to Campus Webinars scheduled for this week will be rescheduled for a later date.
The Mount Vernon School Board and I are very supportive of these changes. We would like our students to be in person to the extent possible while complying with health department guidance.
As our efforts to increase in-person learning continue, I thank you for your patience and understanding. Planning will continue and more information will be provided as soon as it is available.
Please stay healthy and safe.
Update from Superintendent Vivanco on 03/04/2020 regarding Middle and High School students returning in person from the MVSD website:
Update from Superintendent Vivanco on 02/18/2020 from the MVSD website:
Dear Mount Vernon Community,
As you know, Mount Vernon began hybrid learning for kinder and first grade students on Monday, February 8. We are thrilled to have our first group of elementary students back in our schools and look forward to welcoming second and third grade students on tentative dates of March 1 and fourth and fifth grade students on March 22.
As districts around us begin to share plans for bringing back middle and high school students, we want to assure you that MVSD is also actively having conversations around our secondary return to in-person learning. Specifically, we are finalizing scheduling options that support the physical distancing concept and the other guidance and requirements from the Department of Health. We will survey secondary parents to determine interest in remaining remote or returning to in-person instruction in a Hybrid model that combines at-school learning with remote learning. As for tentative dates, we are looking at the natural breaks of the trimester break and/or the quarter breaks as opportunities to begin hybrid instruction. The third and final trimester for MVHS begins on March 15. The fourth and final quarter for our middle schools begins on April 12. To reiterate, those are tentative dates at this time as schedule options, parents surveys and employee group discussions continue.
We recognize that remote learning is not the preferred educational model and that students, staff, and families alike are struggling with the challenges that this pandemic presents. Many of our middle and high school students are struggling to learn and engage in remote learning. They miss the unique learning opportunities only present in-person through direct interactions with talented teachers who can support their diverse learning needs. Of course they miss their friends and the unique social interactions that school brings. While this is not an ideal learning model, our focus has always been, and remains, on returning students to the classroom as safely for all as possible.
During this time, I have read many emails and talked with families, students, staff, and community members. I have heard about the struggles you are facing as this pandemic continues to disrupt our daily lives. Amid the challenges, I have also seen and heard about great resilience, creativity, and innovation throughout our community as we work collectively to support our students.
I am hopeful that our conversations in the upcoming days will be productive and provide us with more clarity and direction moving forward. Communication will be sent as early as we are able to provide any specific information.
In the meantime, we ask that you continue to follow safety protocols by limiting large gatherings, practicing good hygiene, wearing your masks, and showing compassion to your fellow community members. We will get through this together.
Update from Superintendent Vivanco on 12/29/2020 from the MVSD website:
I hope you all are staying safe during this break. I want to provide you with a brief update. Since our last communication on December 11th, there has been an update on the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DECISION TREE from the governor that remains in alignment with our reopening plan steps.
Our winter edition of Community Link will be out mid-January where you will find additional information on the district's future learning plans. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the rest of the holiday break. Wishing you all a Happy New Year!
Espero que todos estén manteniéndose seguros durante este receso. Quiero proporcionarles una breve actualización. Desde nuestra última comunicación el 11 de diciembre, ha habido una actualización al ÁRBOL DE DECISIONES DEL DEPARTAMENTO DE SALUD por el gobernador que se mantiene en alineación con nuestro plan de pasos de reapertura.
Como se había declarado en comunicaciones previas, nuestra prioridad sigue siendo regresar a los estudiantes más jóvenes próximamente, empezando con los estudiantes de kínder y primer grado. Este será un modelo híbrido que combina aprendizaje en las instalaciones con aprendizaje remoto para poder cumplir con los requisitos de distanciamiento físico. Anticipamos que lo más pronto que empezaremos el Modelo Híbrido K-1 sería en el receso de semestre, que ocurrirá el 25 de enero. Nos comunicaremos con los padres y el personal. Estaremos encuestando a nuestros padres para determinar sus preferencias de servicios en persona de turno de mañana o tarde o si permanecerán en aprendizaje remoto. Entonces necesitaremos formar los cohortes, rutas de autobús y proporcionar a nuestros maestros tiempo para prepararse a cambiar de instrucción remota a hibrida. Continuaremos monitoreando el entorno de salud de nuestro condado y proceder apropiadamente.
Nuestro boletín Community Link, edición de invierno, será publicado a mediados de enero donde encontrará información adicional sobre los planes de aprendizaje del distrito. Mientras tanto, espero que disfruten el resto de sus vacaciones. ¡Les deseo a todos un feliz año nuevo!
Link to this information on the MVSD website: http://mountvernonschools.org/SuperintendentsOffice/blog
Mount Vernon School District's Remote Learning Resources: http://www.mountvernonschools.org/RemoteLearning
Principal's Update from 8/17/20 and class orientation which is 8/24-28: https://www.smore.com/15xpv-principal-s-update
Join the live Q & A ZOOM Session on August 25th. Find more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/616142812433313/
Follow the MVSDtv page for lots of updates by MVSD staff: https://www.facebook.com/mvhstv
Letter from the Superintendent and Board President 7/27/2020:
Dear MVSD Community,
Over the course of the summer, district staff have been working on three different ways to re-open schools this fall. As we think about in-school models or approaches that combine time in-school with remote instruction, we are mindful of the guidance provided by OSPI, the Governor, and the Department of Health. This includes social distancing, face coverings, daily health screenings, and protocols for incidents of COVID exposure that could result in student and/or staff quarantines. We are also mindful of the current public health environment in our community. Unfortunately, it has been worsening during July based on Skagit County Health Department data. Finally, we recognize that remote learning creates hardships for families and leads to inequitable learning opportunities for our students. We know we do our best work and serve our students, families, and community most effectively when we are able to teach children in our schools 100% of the time. Given all of these considerations, we believe the best option to reopen our schools this fall on September 2nd is a model we are referring to as Mount Vernon's Remote Plus Model for a Safe Start.
Mount Vernon's Remote PLUS Model for a Safe Start means opening schools on September 2nd with a remote learning model PLUS a level of "at-school" opportunities for specifically identified students. This would provide targeted students some opportunities for face-to-face instruction with staff. PLUS services would support students with special needs, English language learners, kindergartners, and other students "furthest from educational justice". Mount Vernon would remain in this model up to December 18. The status of public health in our community will be monitored and our plan will be modified as appropriate for the second half of the school year. The rationale for this plan is as follows:
The public health environment in our community is not improving. This leads to restrictive guidance and suggests those restrictions are more likely to increase rather than decrease in the foreseeable future.
With any “at school” model it is very likely that we will quickly have staff and student cohorts quarantined due to exposures. This will create significant disruptions and no predictable teaching/learning model. Students and staff perform most effectively with a stable, consistent instructional plan where expectations for engagement and learning are clear and implemented.
Committing to this approach now allows all district resources and energy to focus on improving our remote model, based upon the successes and lessons learned from our spring experience. Our remote instruction must and will improve.
Committing to this approach now will help district staff focus on opportunities for specifically identified students with unique needs, such as kindergarteners, English language learners, students with special needs, and other students "furthest from educational justice," to have some level of “at-school" or in-person interaction with staff. These will be tightly managed experiences, adhering to all OSPI, Department of Health, and Governor's Office guidance.
We know that this decision will challenge our community in many ways, including impacts to work schedules and needs for childcare. Making this decision now will provide parents time to develop plans. Telephone: (360) 428-6110 Fax: (360) 428-6172
124 E. Lawrence St. Street, Mount Vernon, WA 98273 www.mountvernonschools.org
The Mount Vernon School Board will hear more about this plan at their next meeting on Wednesday, July 29. Ultimately, every school board in all 295 school districts in Washington State are required to adopt a reopening plan. It is likely our board will hear and consider a recommendation from staff to adopt Mount Vernon's reopening plan at their August 5th meeting.
We live in a richly diverse community and this pandemic has challenged all of us in many ways. We recognize any change to our regular school model creates complications. We make this decision with strong belief that it is the safest option for our community as a whole. We want to express our gratitude and appreciation for your patience and understanding. Now, more than ever is the time to show compassion and grace. Please continue to check our website and social media channels for updates.
Please stay safe, healthy and take care,
Dr. Ismael Vivanco, Superintendent
Larry Otes, Board President
Find the full details for current plans for reopening Mount Vernon Schools here: bit.ly/32Z1aUt
Fall Classes for Kids
For over 10 years, Skagit Kid Insider has been a reliable source of information for our community. We will continue to provide updates on the events and activities that are open under government guidelines.
During this time we encourage everyone to be informed and do what they feel is best for their own family. Find more information regarding the Corona Virus in Skagit County here: https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirus.htm
As always (but especially during the pandemic!), please confirm details (including mask, hygiene, and social distancing protocols) with event hosts as typos happen and event details change without notice to Skagit Kid Insider ALL...THE...TIME!