Our Return to Learn Plans
July 20, 2020
Dear Parkway Staff and Families,
I've made a lot of difficult decisions during my 40 years in public education, but none have been as challenging as the ones we have made this year. Nevertheless, we persevere because we know our schools and learning are essential in the lives of our children.
As educators and parents, we all want our children to return to school. More importantly, we are craving a return to normal. At the same time, we face a current reality that requires us to prioritize health and safety.
As a parent of four, grandparent of nine and a life-long educator, I share all of your concerns. I think of my own grandchildren who have unique needs and the services, programs and activities that are important to them at school. I think of our parents who are balancing work schedules and child care. I often think of our teachers who balance commitments to our students while also supporting their own families. I think of the health concerns of many who also want to be in school to work and learn. In Parkway, we must weigh the unique needs of 17,000 students and 3,000 staff members and provide support, options and flexibility to care for everyone.
After several months of study and planning by our excellent team of educators and health professionals, Parkway will offer two options for teaching and learning this school year which are outlined below. I have also shared a video update for you here.
Option 1 contains our In-Person Learning (Plans A and B) with learning at school either five or two days per week, depending on the plan being implemented and, of course, the level of illness in the community. It also contains Plan C that is completely virtual and would be implemented only if it becomes necessary to close our schools. If this plan is implemented, students will receive instruction online at home until the level of community illness improves. At this time, we plan to open school on August 24 using Learning Plan B, which includes a blended schedule of learning both at home and at school. We will continue to closely monitor the health of our region and must acknowledge that this plan may need to change before school starts given the health of our community and any new local or state guidelines. We will keep you updated.
Option 2 is a full-time online experience through our new Parkway Virtual Campus. Students who choose this option will attend school 100 percent online during the first semester.
Later today, families will receive an email asking to choose learning options. Teachers will also receive an email asking you to choose whether you prefer to teach in-person or virtual. Please provide this information no later than Sunday, July 26. We recognize this is a short time to make these decisions. This will allow us to develop staffing and student schedules and share more information with you as soon as possible so you can make plans.
Teachers and staff, we have answered many of your questions related to health, safety and learning here. We have answered parent questions here. We will continue to provide updates and answer your questions. You can also refer to the learning schedules and plans we shared last week. Both options were designed to offer choices for families that maximize learning for students and follow local, state and CDC guidelines.
In the coming weeks, please reach out to us or your principal with questions. Thank you for your ongoing support and patience.
Dr. Keith Marty
Superintendent of Parkway Schools