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    2020-21 Fall Start
    Posted on 07/23/2020
    Whittier Elementary WildCat LogoHello Whittier Families, 

    I hope your family is finding some time to relax and have some fun this summer.   I know there has been much angst as we wait for the decision on what school will look like this fall.  I also know, that this decision was extremely difficult. 

    On September 2nd, schools will open remotely in response to the increased spread of the COVID-19 in our community. Science continues to ground the district’s response to COVID-19.

    I know starting school remotely may present a hardship for many families and a disappointment for many of our students.  The Whittier staff is currently recharging and is looking forward to connecting with your children and are committed to making this year successful.  At the end of the year, we learned that the fabulous Ms. Newton and Ms. Smart have decided to retire.  With that said,  we have hired three new teachers, Christina Larson - will teach either Kindergarten or First grade based on our numbers and our plan on how we re-enter. Christina has experience teaching both grades at Adams Elementary school.   We also are welcoming Jessica Broadstone who is going to teach first grade.  She has excellent experience in teaching first grade literacy and STEM education.  In addition, we are adding Katy Sowers to our special education team.  I hope you help me welcome these new teachers to our Whittier community.  For now, school will continue to be remote until the COVID-19 transmission rates decrease enough that we can open in-person.  

    Whittier educators and educators across the district will continue to be provided with training to ensure live, high-quality remote instruction with a predictable and consistent schedule on common platforms, as well as racial equity training. We will also ensure that our students receiving special education services are provided instruction in alignment with students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans. We recognize that remote learning cannot fully meet the needs of some students with unique needs, and we are evaluating the ways in which we can provide support for those students while continuing to follow public health guidance. Families have shared that students’ mental health and wellness is a top concern, and these supports will be prioritized as we reopen school online.

    We heard that our families need a consistent and predictable schedule with live instruction from their teachers.  We also heard that our families want  more live lessons. I hope to roll out a comprehensive plan that will look different than last year's plan soon. Currently, we are waiting for district guidance on these decisions.  

     As the environment and information around COVID-19 continues to shift and change, we will adapt and respond as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please check the SPS website for the most up-to-date information, including a FAQ that will be published this Friday, July 24. www.seattleschools.org

    I really hope to have all of our families continue at Whittier.  Next, week I will send out a suggested school supply lists for learning at home and learning at school.  On August 6th, we are distributing Kindergarten home learning kits in preparation for Jump Start.  If your family is moving or making plans to not attend Whittier please let us know as soon as possible.   If your family needs school supplies, a device to participate in remote learning or if you have other needs - please send me an email so we can begin working on these issues. 

    Also - if you have any ideas, concerns, or questions - send them my way. 

    I know we can make this a great year if we work together.     Please do your best in sharing this disappointing news to your kids in a positive manner.  They will follow you lead in making this a great school year. 

    Principal Clark