District Communication







November 23, 2020
Dear Sequim School District Families, Staff, and Community,

So much has transpired locally in the last week around the uptick in COVID-19 cases. After thoughtful deliberation, coupled with rising increases in COVID-19 cases in Clallam County, and Governor Inslee’s Travel Advisory issued, the Sequim school District will transition to 100% remote learning beginning Wednesday, November 25th, 2020. We, the Board of Directors, the Leadership Team, and I, did not make this decision lightly and understand the hardships it places on our families.
The factors that we evaluated in making this complex and difficult decision included:
• The safety and security of our students and staff, first and foremost.
• We are currently experiencing a shortage of substitutes for all positions such as teachers, paraeducators, transportation, food service, and custodial/maintenance.
• We believe transitioning to remote learning will allow us the time needed to return our students and staff to quality in-person learning safely. We anticipate Kindergarten-5th grade students returning to in-person learning at the start of second semester, and at a future date, bringing back secondary students.

To be clear, we are not making this decision based on positive cases within our schools, or because Dr. Unthank has said we must. It is an individual school district decision based on what is best for our students and staff safety and health.

Finally, as we are planning for this holiday which is often filled with large gatherings of family and friends remember to Give Thanks, Not COVID. (brought to you by the Snohomish Health District)
Wishing you and yours all the best this coming holiday week,
Dr. Jane Pryne
Acting Superintendent

FREE Breakfast and Lunch Food Service for Students 2-18 Years of Age
Monday & Wednesday Location pick-up: 11:00am-12:30pm-GreyWolf Elementary & Sequim Middle School
• Receive 2 days of meals Monday
• Receive 3 days of meals Wednesday
Wednesday Curbside pick-up: 4:30pm-6:00pm-Drive thru at the Sequim Central Kitchen Monday & Wednesday Bus Route pick-up: To select which bus route best fits your family, visit our website at: www.sequimschools.org 
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There has been some significant changes coming through the pipeline the last couple of days that affect HS athletics.  Here are the major changes:

Sport Seasons have been moved back

The WIAA has decided to push the start of sports back to Feb. 1st.  There was a lot of discussion about swapping the order of some sports or even condensing down to 2 sport seasons, but it was ultimately decided to leave the 3 remaining sports seasons as is with the start date pushed back.  Here is the new schedule:

  • Winter Sports:  Begin Feb. 1stand end March 21st

     

  • Fall Sports:  Begin March 15h and end May 2nd.

     

  • Spring Sports:  Begin April 26thand end June 13th.

Each season allows for 1 week of practices (football/gymnastics require 2 weeks and will start 1 week early) followed by 5 weeks for league competition and a 1 week “postseason” (format TBD).   You can find the link to the full schedule here:  https://wiaa.com/News.aspx?ID=1743&Mon=11&Yr=2020.  The Olympic League AD’s will start reworking schedules to fit into these timelines right away with the understanding that we may not be able to squeeze in a full league schedule as you are accustomed to.

It is worth noting that by the time Feb. 1st rolls around we will likely still be battling Covid numbers, but the WIAA is allowing flexibility for local leagues to have the option to offer seasons that may be cancelled in other areas of the state.  If other areas are still high in Covid numbers and need to re-schedule winter sports once again, it is possible that our area may be cleared to resume play amongst our local schools with the understanding that there will be no big playoff event to look forward to at the end.  More to come on this later.

Off-Season Workouts

Under the Governor’s new proclamation, all indoor sports and activities are cancelled through Dec. 14th.  Outdoor activities are still allowed through the WIAA with a 100% mask requirement, but with Clallam County just moving up to the “High Risk” category we have decided to finish up our outdoor practices this week and then shut down outdoor activities through the holidays.  The “Out-of-Season Coaching Period” has been extended through Jan. 23rd, so if we can get our numbers under control, we may be able to resume indoor practices after the new year for a few weeks. 

I’m very appreciative of our coaches who ran practices these past several weeks and your strict adherence to the guidelines in an effort to keep our athletes safe.  While we may not have been able to continue practicing and start our seasons on time, we were able to provide some crucial time for our kids to be active, healthy, and back practicing with their friends and teammates.  This was not the case in most areas of the state.

 

Thanks for all you do and hope you and have a wonderful and safe holiday season. I will send updates as I get them.

 

Dave Ditlefsen
SHS Teacher/Athletic Director

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Happy Tuesday to All of You!

Here is the latest update on COVID-19 information from Dr. Unthank and Department of Health.  As we are all aware, this is a very fluid, flexible time in our school community.  If there are any new updates we will be notifying all of you expeditiously.

 News from the Department of Health -November 17, 2020

There has been a dramatic rise in POSITIVE COVID-19 cases, faster than before.
Locations of rise in cases that we have been notified of are:

  • Long-term care facility
  • Two health care facilities
  • Church in Sequim
    • With an approximate of 70 contacts per person
  • Nearly all the primary contacts are traced to traveling outside the area

Department of Health’s Position at this time is:

  • Pause on further reopening of grade-levels currently
  • No indoor athletics
  • Maintain current in-person learning at this time
  • Individuals that have traveled to another state and are coming back to WA need to Quarantine for 14 days

Communication from Department of Health Officer Dr. Allison Unthank:

  • There is NO call to schools for quarantine
  • “If I tell your staff and students it’s safe to attend school, I want them to know it’s the truth.” – Dr. Allison Unthank
  • There have been NO reports of in-school transmission of staff or students in Clallam County. The transmission risk is very low when we follow the protocols that we currently have in place.

Why is the tolerance higher now than in August, per cases?
Dr. Unthank shared the following answers:

  • “We know more now, and it’s not as likely to spread in schools.”
  • “Students and staff are as safe in school as anywhere else within our community, including our own home if parties and family gatherings exist without measures.

When will schools need to be closed?

  • “When we can no longer contact trace known cases in the school or community.”

Stay Safe and Healthy as we enter this Holiday Season,
Jane S. Pryne, Ed.D.
Acting Superintendent

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Happy Monday to Everyone!
Due to the Governor’s Restrictions specified on November 15, 2020 regarding inside and outside sports activities, we will allow practice to occur today, then restrictions take place on Monday at midnight Nov. 16, 2020.
The groups effected are:
  • All indoor sports
  • Cheer Clinic
  • Girls’ soccer
  • Football is going through Friday (outdoors) and then they will shut down
Stay Safe and Healthy!
Dr. Jane Pryne
Acting Superintendent

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Good Sunday to All of You!

Governor Inslee held a Press Conference this morning, and although there are a number of restrictions reinstated for several businesses, school districts were not included as one of them.  COVID-19 guidelines the Sequim School District has in place to ensure safety for students and staff are still required.  Additionally, we will be welcoming our 4th and 5th graders back Monday, November 16, 2020, along with some of our CTE students.  If at any point in the future there are new restrictions reinstated for school districts, we will update our message.

Thank you,

Dr. Jane Pryne
Acting Superintendent

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Sequim School District Families,

Today we received information from the Port Angeles and Sequim Police Departments, and out of an overabundance of caution, we locked down all Sequim School District campuses and buildings. When we were notified that the emergency was no longer a lockdown, the lockdown protocol was lifted on our campuses. We take lockdown emergencies very seriously. Each one of our district school buildings has lockdown protocols put into place to keep students and staff safe. Those lockdown protocols were exercised today, and your Sequim School District staff were ready and handled this situation with efficiency.    

 

Broadband Access and Speed Survey

We all understand how important high-speed access to the internet is for our homes, businesses, and schools – especially when we don’t have the access we need. The availability of healthcare, and education should not be limited by our zip code.  That’s why we are partnering with Clallam County, the City of Sequim, and other partners conducting the Clallam County Broadband Feasibility Study to determine ways to enhance and expand access throughout our district.

 

We are asking for your participation to help us assess our area’s need.  From your homes please take the State Broadband Access and Speed Survey hosted by the Washington Department of Commerce at the following link: https://broadband.wa.gov.  Whether your internet speeds are fast, slow, or even unavailable, the more people throughout the county who take the test, the more accurate the results.

 

You can participate further in the study by completing the Community Broadband Survey hosted by the North Olympic Development Council at https://www.noprcd.org/clallam-broadband-team.  This information is incredibly helpful in addressing why some of our residents selected their current provider and hopefully prioritize obstacles for providers to overcome in the future (subscription price, availability, reliability, etc.).You can help shape the future of broadband internet on the Olympic Peninsula by participating TODAY!

 

Reminder: No School November 11th-Veteran’s Day (observed)

 

Thank you,
Dr. Jane Pryne
Acting Superintendent

 

 

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