Phone: 360-893-6500 Ext. 4023
Degrees and Certifications:
Dr. Tony Apostle
We are making progress on plans for reopening Orting Schools in September. Last night, the Orting Schools Reopening Task Force approved a plan that allows families a choice between a rotating A/B schedule and online (Continuous Learning 2.0). High school students will also have an alternative site choice.
Our goal is to maximize face-to-face learning time while adhering to state guidelines for returning to school that include social distancing, face coverings, symptom checks, and cleaning protocols. We must also be prepared to pivot back to a fully online model should building closure be required at the direction of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department or Governor Inslee. To do this, we need your help.
Next week, you will receive a survey link via email requesting you to commit to the learning model that best fits your child(ren). A survey will need to be completed for each child. Your information will help us determine the percentage of students returning in the fall, which we will balance against staffing levels, building capacity, and social distancing requirements. With those key pieces of information, we will be able to determine how many days per week students can attend in-person in the rotating model at each grade level.
To help you make your decision, here are a few items for your consideration:
- The rotating A/B schedule will include both in-person and online instruction on the days students do not attend school
- The online model will utilize a platform called Edgenuity. You can view a short video on what your secondary student’s online experience would be at: https://youtu.be/nb-0ZCY1SI8. We will provide more information on the elementary model, which is similar, in the near future.
- Every effort will be made to ensure siblings/children in the same household are on the same rotating A/B schedule, should that be the option the family chooses
- Once you make a selection, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to switch until the conditions change for returning to school under normal conditions due to the requirement to maintain social distancing in classrooms
- Face-to-face instruction for students receiving special education services will be determined based on the student’s individual programming needs
We are doing our best to react to the rapidly changing circumstances before us during this challenging time. While many questions remain unanswered, the input you provide us next week will be vital to our planning process. We will continue to consider the health and safety of our students and staff first, think creatively, and keep you updated as we get more information and progress on this journey together.
July 7, 2020
Dear Orting Community, Families and Staff,
The 4th of July holiday has come and gone and I hope a good time was had by all. Withthe precious and glorious sunny, rainless and warmer days ahead, I hope you find the time to enjoy family and friends and experience the much needed outdoor journeys and relaxation that summer provides.
For many of you in public education leadership positions, summertime is typically devoted to preparing for schools to open in early September. However, this summer planning is continuing to be very unlike any previous June, July and August months in previous years. At this time, a Reopening of Orting Schools Task Force consisting of 35 community and staff members is studying the best available options for opening schools within the health and safety guidelines developed by the Tacoma–Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD), in conjunction with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Center for Communicable Diseases (CDC) and Governor Inslee’s office.
While we would all agree that we would much prefer to open all Orting schools in the traditional method for all students, in all grade levels and operate five days a week, we must comply with the six feet safe distance distancing, sanitation and mask requirements during this highly infectious pandemic.
Orting is among the other 294 school districts statewide that are planning and anxiously coping with the very likely possibility that we will not open schools, as in the past, for all K-12 students, on a full daily schedule, five days a week. At the time of this writing, there is a possibility that online/distance learning and instruction may become a blended model for some students and staff that includes at school, face-to-face attendance, two or three days a week. It is also possible that online/distance learning and instruction may be a continuing full- or part-time option for some students and some staff in September.
Several models are currently being studied and under consideration and no final recommendations have been made; subject to the final decision that will be made by the Orting School Board. Additionally, prior to the final recommendation to the Board, we will reach out to the Orting Education Association and Professional School Employees leadership who are highly respected and considered to be very important and instrumental in partnering with the District staff to work collaboratively and problem solve mutually beneficial opportunities for staff, students and their families.
While it appears there are more questions than answers at this time due to the almost weekly changes in the numbers of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations within the county, state and nation, you can be assured that the entire OSD staff is eagerly preparing to provide the highest quality of educational opportunities for the community’s students and their families during the 2020-2021 school year.
Dr. Tony Apostle, Superintendent
June 18, 2020
Dear Orting Staff, Families and CommunityI would like to take a moment of your time to share my appreciation for our valued and dedicated Orting staff for enduring an unprecedented interruption of the school year and the closure this week for summer vacation.The staff and students have experienced a global pandemic event that will be remembered for generations well beyond the borders of the Orting School District. Collectively, we heartily agree that our traditional routine of high school graduation, academic instruction, athletics, performing arts events, interaction with friends and school staff was sorely missed and will remain as fond memories that will be cherished forever. Further, I wish the Class of 2020 great health, career success, and everlasting happiness. Now go out and compete for the best the world has to offer.
Recently, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, in cooperation with the Washington State Health Department and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, released pertinent information related to the safe opening of schools in September. Our District has convened a Reopening of Orting Schools Task Force consisting of approximately 35 OSD staff, students, parents, community members and experts. Together, they will consider this guidance and community feedback to make informed recommendations to the OSD school board in late July on how to reopen schools. We will provide opportunities throughout the summer for you to provide your opinions and preferences on issues related to reopening of our schools through surveys, so please keep an eye on your email inbox and on our Facebook page for links to participate.
I wish everyone a fun, sunny, warm and adventure filled summer vacation.My best to you,Tony