SCHOOL CLOSURE: March 16 - June 19

  • UPDATED 5.22.20 12:00pm:

    Families of Yelm Community Schools

    As we head into the Memorial Day weekend, we want to share some highlights and achievements.  We all acknowledge the impact of the school closure, but we have to celebrate the partnership between schools and families in response to this challenge.  We have asked our students to approach their learning in new ways and have also asked more from our parents in support of the Continuation of Learning model.  I have to start by saying a huge Thank You to the students and families for partnering with us.  I also want to recognize our teachers and staff who have worked really hard to provide growth opportunities for our learners.  Our data shows that after six weeks of Continuation of Learning 89.9% of our students are connecting weekly to their learning either online, through email or through printed packets. 

    We can’t rest on our successes, however.   With diligence and hard work, student achievement can still grow during the last month of school. It is critical that students stay diligent and access their Google Classrooms daily, participate in assignments, watch videos and join Zoom class meetings.  Teachers are doing some amazing activities like school assemblies, lunch chats and Zoom into Careers with local professionals.  Soon schools will begin promoting our end of year celebrations.  Check out some of the videos on our district YouTube Channel.

    We are also in the initial stages of planning for next year.  Our “Return to School” committee is reviewing guidance from the state, OSPI, Department of Health and CDC to guide our work.  While we are planning for many options, we believe it is important for students to have access to the technology they need to learn at school and at home.  Next year we will be implementing a 1-to-1 device program.  Each student in grades 3-12 will receive a device to maintain and transport to and from school.

    Our first step in this plan is to collect devices from preschool, 8th and 12th grade students and any families that are leaving our district.  All other students will keep their device over the summer.  Schools will be communicating with families on when to return devices so that learning can continue through the end of the year.  In August, we will communicate the plan to check out a district device to all other students.

    Lastly, thank you to the 430 seniors and parents who provided feedback on Graduation Ceremony Options.  The School Board evaluated the results and adopted the recommendation of a live broadcast of a Drive Thru Ceremony combined with pre-recorded speeches and acknowledgments to be held on June 14.  A link to the broadcast will be provided on our district website and social media.

    We hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.  Stay home and stay healthy!

    Brian Wharton, Superintendent

District & Community Services