May 1, 2020
GRADING AND ATTENDANCE UPDATE:In this ever evolving time of transitioning from traditional schooling to remote continuous learning, we appreciate your patience with us as we’ve tried to provide accurate and timely information to you during this process. That rate at which information changes has made this challenging, but new grading guidelines from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) are out and we wanted to share how Orting will apply those guidelines along with our process for tracking student engagement and attendance.GradesAll K-12 students will receive an end of the year report card. OSPI’s guidelines require a process that assigns letter grades for students in grades 9-12 while applying the “do no harm” condition for all students K-12. For more information on OSPI guidelines for grading please refer to: https://www.k12.wa.us/sites/default/files/public/communications/OSPI%20Student%20Learning%20and%20Grading%20Guidance_4-21-2020.pdfK-5
- Final reported numerical grade will be the second trimester grade. No numerical grades will be reported for third trimester
- Report cards will include a statewide indicator of the impact of the COVID-19 school closure for third trimester
- Teacher comments will reflect learning prior to the closure as well as interaction between students and their teachers during the period of remote continuous learning
- Final reported letter grade will be the first semester grade. No letter grades will be reported for second semester
- Report cards will include a statewide indicator of the impact of the COVID-19 school closure for second semester
- Teacher comments will reflect learning prior to the closure as well as interaction between students and their teachers during the period of remote continuous learning
Tracking student attendance and engagementIt is important to us that we stay connected to our students and that they continue to access the learning opportunities we are offering. Starting next week (May 4), we will begin taking attendance to track each student’s level of engagement. Attendance for the week will be reported each Friday. Teachers will track student engagement and you will see it reflected in the weekly report as:Present: Your student is fully engaged and is participating through Google Classroom, email and/or classroom meets and turning in assigned workTardy: Your student is making contact through Google Classroom, email and/or classroom meets but not turning in assigned work or the work does not meet the minimum standard set by the teacherAbsent: Your student has had no contact with their teacher(s)If your child is marked absent we are asking for your help in encouraging their engagement with their teacher(s).Please let us know if your student is having any difficulty accessing the course content or other barriers that are interfering with their success - we are in this together!
- Students will earn a letter grade: A, B, C or INC for their final grade
- Students who do not meet standard (C grade or above) will be issued an INC (incomplete) and will not earn credit for the course until it is completed in the fall
- Following state guidelines, Orting High School will not offer D or F grades
- Student transcripts will include a statewide indicator of the impact of the COVID-19 school closure for second semester grades
April 22, 2020
Dear Orting Community,
We hope you are all doing well. As always, we are committed to checking in and keeping you informed as we progress through this very different time. This week, we have updates regarding:
- New guidance from OSPI on grading for students in grades 9-12
- School calendars
- One more opportunity to pick up a Chromebook
- Plans to solicit your valued input on how we can best support remote learning for our students
- A reminder to vote by April 28, 2020
Grading Update for Students in Grades 9-12
Yesterday we learned that OSPI has mandated grades be issued for students in grades 9-12. This is a step beyond previous guidance and so we need to plan and evolve together in order to comply under this new landscape.
Over the next week, we'll be collaborating on a grading plan that we'll share at the Board meeting on April 30th, and then to our families through email, social media and our website.
You can help us and your student by ensuring they are checking in with their teachers and engaging with the learning opportunities they have been working hard to provide.
We have adjusted this year's school calendar to address closures the week of March 17th when instruction was not being provided to our students. The last day of school is now June 19, 2020.
We can also share the 2021 - 2022 school calendar which was developed through surveys with staff and community and approved by the school board at the April 16th board meeting. Calendars are attached and can also be found on our website.
We will offer another opportunity to pick-up a Chromebook for your student in any grade should they need one to access learning. Distribution is scheduled for Monday, April 27th, 4-6PM in the OHS parking lot. Picture ID is required for pick-up. This will be our fifth distribution, and we are hoping it can be our last, so please make every effort to pick one up at this time if you need one.
Survey Coming Soon
We want to understand how we can better support remote learning for our students and families, so we will be sharing a survey the week of May 4th to get your feedback. Between now and then, please talk with your children and take note about what is working for you and how you think we can improve the remote learning experience. We look forward to reading what you have to say!
Please Vote by April 28, 2020
Ballots for the Educational Operations and Programs levy are due April 28, 2020. This is your chance to decide the level of staffing, support and opportunities our students will receive. This levy replaces one that expires at the end of the year, and is vital to the health of our schools and community. If you have any questions about the levy, don't hesitate to contact us. We're here to talk!
April 14, 2020
Dear Orting Families,
We hope that you were able to unplug last week during spring break. We are excited to reconnect with you as we work to navigate a new landscape for our students, staff and community. Below are some important updates and reminders, including information about how to receive a Chromebook for online remote learning if you have missed the three previous opportunities.
Continuous Learning / Chromebook Distribution Information
With Governor Inslee's proclamation that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year, we are pursuing continuous learning for all of our students through as many means as possible. One primary mode will be through online and digital platforms and tools. To access this, our students will need a computing device that has the capability of keyboarding and internet communication via email and video conferencing. Personal smartphones and tablets without keyboards will be insufficient for these purposes. With that, we have one more Chromebook distribution planned for Thursday, April 16th, from 3pm-5pm in the OHS main parking lot. There is no need to reserve one, just show up during this time to check out a Chromebook. You will need to provide picture identification and sign a user agreement at the time of the loan.
We are currently trying to secure internet hotspots for families that do not currently have online access to support these devices but until then, supplying the device is our first order of business.
We will provide alternative access to continuous learning for any families where online computing is impossible or academically inappropriate for the learning needs of the student. We will address these situations individually as we become aware of them.
Please remember that our facilities, including the stadium, ballfields and playgrounds, are closed until further notice in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. Our facilities team will continue to maintain these areas and we look forward to sharing these common outdoor spaces with students, staff and community when it is safe to do so.
Lights On for the Class of 2020
OHS Seniors will be honored this Friday night (April 17) with the lighting of our very own Cardinal Stadium at 8:20PM (20:20 military time) for 2 hours. We want to join the Orting community who have shown so much support for the Class of 2020 with this symbolic measure that many districts in our state are participating in. This is not an invitation to attend an event. The parking lot will be closed to deter any in-person gatherings so we can continue to honor Governor Inslee's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Orting Police are aware and will be visiting the stadium through the duration of Lights On for the Class of 2020.
Thank you for standing with us through these very different times where together we're experiencing so many firsts. Establishing and maintaining connections with our students and families, keeping students engaged in learning, sharing information about the upcoming levy, and supporting our students and families in a safe and healthy way are our highest priorities as a district and community partner. Please remember to turn your ballot in by April 28, 2020!
April 1, 2020
Dear Orting Community,
While we deeply miss the personal connections with our students, staff and community during school closures and the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order, we remain committed to doing our part to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. We have been working hard to balance health and safety with the desire to keep students engaged and our community informed. As we close out another week of this unprecedented time, we have some important updates we want to share with you:
We will be honoring our scheduled Spring Break for Orting SD (April 6-10, 2020) so the majority of staff, families and students can embrace this important time to unplug. Our free meals for kids and free childcare for first responders and healthcare workers will continue during spring break. Our district administrators and school principals will also continue collaborating and developing systems to best serve students under the school closure order.
District Chromebook Notice: Our goal is that every child in our district that needs a device receives one. We have made efforts to contact every family in our district to assess which students require a Chromebook to connect with learning opportunities. If you have not been contacted and/or need a Chromebook for your student, please contact your building principal to ensure your information is up-to-date in Skyward and indicate your need for a Chromebook.
Personal Chromebook Notice: If you have a personal Chromebook at home that your child has signed into with their school Gmail account, you will need to have them sign-out after use to disable the web-filters that our district has in place to keep kids safe. These filters are only enabled on your child's school account - not your personal device.
While kindergarten registration packets remain available on our website, we have made the decision to temporarily cease collecting registration packets from families. This decision allows us to comply with Governor Inslee's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order meant to curb the spread of COVID-19. Once the order is lifted, we will develop and communicate a plan to collect registration packets.
COVID-19 School Closure Quick Guide
In an effort to help you navigate services provided during school closures and the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order, we have created a Quick Guide organized by department (attached). This guide includes answers to some Frequently Asked Questions and who to contact if you need assistance.
Supporting Graduating Seniors
We know this is an important topic for the Class of 2020 and their families. It is also at the forefront of discussions at the state, district and school level. Please know we are still working on a plan in-line with OSPI guidance to ensure seniors remain on track to graduate. We will communicate updates as decisions are made.
Thank you again for your continued patience and support during this difficult time.
April 6, 2020
Dear Orting Families,
Today, Governor Inslee announced that school facilities will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus. During this closure, all schools in the district will remain closed. Without these restrictions, public health authorities have told us the rate of infection will overwhelm the healthcare system.
We acknowledge continued physical separation from school is difficult on students, staff, families and the entire community. This is disappointing news for all of us: students miss their friends and teachers, and we miss our students. The extended closure of facilities also raises numerous questions for students and families. We are working quickly to answer your questions as soon as possible. In the meantime, here is what we know now:
- We are developing our plan for longer term distance learning that will provide students opportunities for continued grade level learning beyond practice and review. We are committed to continuing to partner with families and our community to support our students’ learning while they are at home, with the target that every student completes their grade level expectations for the year.
- If your child needs a Chromebook device to access online learning please email Jody Leonard at email@example.com. Though we currently do not have access to internet hotspots as they are sold out everywhere, please indicate if you need one with your request for a device. Once hotspots become available, we will reach out to families that indicated a need. In the meantime, families who need internet access should check with companies such as Xfinity who are making their local hotspots available to the public.
- High school seniors will receive support from guidance counselors on opportunities to earn and document credits they need for postsecondary transitions. Districts are working with the state’s college system to ensure smooth transitions.
- We will continue to provide free meals for kids, Monday through Friday, at our delivery locations throughout the district and Orting Middle School.
- Child care for children of first responders and health care workers will continue to be available. If your child is already enrolled in child care during school closures, you do not need to take further action to keep your slot. To apply for childcare, please contact Colleen Flanagan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All field trips and events, including sports, socials and dances, will be canceled during the extended closure. We will engage with students to come up with creative alternatives to celebrate milestones. We will keep students and families updated on these decisions so that you can plan in advance to participate.
- As of today, we have not been given any government proclamations that affect a June graduation ceremony. We are continuing to hold our rentals of staging, seating, screen, etc. for June 11th. In the event that the stay-at-home or gathering restrictions are still in effect, we will look at a summer graduation date. If the orders extend beyond July/August, we will look at alternative options for digital or safe graduation ceremonies. Already the community is reaching out with some fun and innovative ideas. As we move later in this shutdown, feel free to send those ideas through to the OHS principal at email@example.com.
- We are awaiting information from the Governor on whether school facilities will be open to provide summer school.
Staying home and limiting person-to-person contact appears to be making a difference in slowing the spread of COVID-19, but those measures need to continue in order to be effective long-term. As much as possible, stay home, limit trips outside for groceries, gas and essentials, and stay 6 feet apart from people outside of your home. Additionally:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
- Stay at home away from others if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
My Best to You,
March 26, 2020
Dear Orting Community,
Yesterday evening, Gov. Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order took effect in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. This proclamation:
- Requires every Washingtonian to stay home unless they need to pursue essential activities
- Bans all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes
- Closes all business except essential businesses
People are still able to go outside and visit grocery stores, doctor’s offices and other essential businesses as long as they practice social distancing.
To support this order, we are requiring staff that can work remotely to do so. This means you can expect to see a reduced physical presence at our Central Office and facilities paired with a continued commitment to delivering essential services. To that end, we have been working to ensure staff have access to the technology needed to continue their important work and connect with students and each other. We are also regularly checking the voicemail of the main numbers listed on our website, so you can expect a response within 24 business hours if you leave a message.
Through the duration of this order, you can also expect us to continue providing free meals for kids M-F in accordance with the school calendar, begin providing free childcare for first responders and healthcare workers, and provide learning resources for students through email and our website.
Next steps in navigating this pandemic include continuously improving learning resources and delivery so that all students can stay engaged, and developing a plan in-line with OSPI guidance that supports our graduating seniors. Schools are reaching out to families to assess technology needs for students in Grades 2-12 so we can provide devices to those that need them. You can expect to see more communication on these important topics in the coming days.
Thank you for your grace and patience as we work to quickly build new systems to meet the needs of our students, staff and community.
March 18, 2020
Dear Orting Community,
We have been working hard to coordinate next steps to care for Orting students and staff while complying with Gov. Inslee's orders in response to COVID-19. We are now able to share:
-Details around access to buildings to pick up essential items
-A survey to assess first responder/healthcare workers' need for childcare
-An update on efforts to provide educational resources for students while schools are closed
BUILDING ACCESS/ESSENTIAL ITEM PICK-UP
Students and families can access buildings to pick-up essential items only (eg. band instruments, athletic gear) tomorrow, March 19 from 10AM - 2PM. This should not be considered an opportunity to clean out desks and lockers. After that time, buildings will be closed until further notice in an effort to keep buildings secure and sanitized.
CHILDCARE FOR FIRST RESPONDERS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS
If you are a first responder or healthcare worker in need of childcare for a K-5 student in our district, please fill out this survey by Sunday, March 22. We will share more details next week once we have assessed the need.
Link to survey: https://forms.gle/SxQdMrpQQGtWsM4W6
We are committed to providing opportunities for our students to stay engaged in learning during school closures. This requires collaboration amongst teaching staff who have the opportunity to enter buildings tomorrow and collect supplies that will enable them to remotely collaborate. This is different than what we expected but we are committed to developing equitable, grade-level appropriate learning opportunities and establishing distribution channels to get resources to kids early next week. These resources are not meant to be a substitute for classroom instruction, but will help students practice their skills and learn independently during the closure.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate this difficult situation together.
March 16, 2020
Dear Orting Families,
We are committed to keeping you up to date with the most recent information as we navigate the school closures together. Today we are able to share details on medication pick-up and how we will provide free meals for students during closure.
MEDICATION PICK UP:
Medication may be picked up at the Central Office on Wednesday, March 18 between 8 AM and 12 PM. If parents cannot make the time then sign out can be arranged on a case-by-case basis by contacting our district nurses:
(360) 893-6500 x4039
(360) 893-6500 x4040
Emergency medication such as Epi Pins will remain in schools unless otherwise specified.
FREE MEALS FOR STUDENTS:
Free meals for students impacted by school closures will begin tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17th. Meals will be grab-and-go and include one lunch and breakfast for the following morning. Meals are provided M-F in accordance with the school calendar (meals not provided during our scheduled spring break April 6-10, 2020). Pick up and delivery options are:
Orting Middle School
M-F in accordance with school calendar
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Hansberry & Mazza St NE 10:10 AM
Hardtke Ave NE & Kendall St NE 10:30 AM
Burr St NE @ Park 10:50 AM
146th St E & 162 E 11:10 AM
Anderson & Nunnally 11:20 AM
Colorossi Circle NW & Spangler 11:40 AM
204th & Buttes Dr E 10:15 AM
193rd Ave E @ Liberty Day Care 10:20 AM
194th Ave E & 205th St E 10:40 AM
207th St & 197th Ave E 11:00 AM
190th Ave E & 205th St E 11:20 AM
230th Ave E & Patterson (sharp Corner)10:20 AM
Bus will go through Chinook Est. 10:40 AM
190th St E & 217th Ave E 11:00 AM
177th & 212th 11:20 AM
Elk Heights 11:40 AM
Balmer & Beckett Bus Shed10:15 AM
Grinnell Ave SW & Kansas 10:25 AM
Coplan St SW & Grinnell 10:35 AM
Belfair Ave SW & Skinner Way SW10:55 AM
Cardinal St SW & Eagle Ave SW 11:15 AM
The Country 10:20 AM
Down Jansky 10:30 AM
135th Ave E & 202nd St E (Deer Run)11:00 AM
162nd Ave E & Albert Bell Rd 11:30 AM
Thank you for your patience as we work hard to best care for our students, staff and community at this difficult time.
March 13, 2020
Thank you for your flexibility as we navigate the uncharted territory of this health crisis together. We have many unanswered questions. The Governor needed to act swiftly to close King, Pierce, and Snohomish County schools yesterday, and state agencies are working to fill in the details later. You may also be aware that today, the President declared a National Emergency and Governor Inslee ordered the closure of all schools in our state.
While we wait for further guidance and develop a more detailed long-term plan, we will put the following short-term plan in place in our district.
Closures and Restrictions
March 17- April 24, 2020
- Schools are closed to students
- There is a ban on gatherings of 250 people or more and social distancing is recommended
March 17-March 18, 2020
- Schools, central office, and the transportation/facility building are closed
- There are no facility rentals
Supports to Students
March 17-April 24, 2020
- Meals will be made available (Details will be shared on Monday, March 16)
March 23-April 24, 2020
- Learning materials and resources will be provided to use at home (Details about how to access materials and resources will be shared on Thursday, March 19)
This can be an unsettling time for our kids – and us! Thank you for your calmness, care, and understanding as we navigate this situation together. We will continue to update you as this situation evolves.
March 12, 2020
As you know, we are facing an unprecedented public health crisis. We have kept our schools open as long as possible, as recommended by state and local public health authorities. At 2PM today, Governor Inslee ordered the closure of all schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties requiring our schools to be closed from Tuesday, March 17 through April 24, 2020.
We know that in addition to education, schools provide vital support to our communities and that closure will have a major impact on our families. Contemplating weeks without that structure and care may seem overwhelming. Please know that we are doing our very best to work through the daily challenges the coronavirus has presented us.
As part of our coronavirus response, we will be sending frequent updates with information and resources via email, our website and social media in the coming days and weeks. We understand that this announcement will create hardship for many families, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation during this difficult time for our community.
March 11, 2020
This morning, Governor Inslee issued an order banning large events to slow the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties until March 31, 2020. This new information will immediately impact our district in the following ways:
- Postpone Future Falcon Night
- Postpone March concerts and performances
- Postpone Annual Cardinal Relay
- Cancel facility use for groups with over 250 participants
This is a rapidly evolving situation that impacts communities, districts and schools in different ways. We will continue to work with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) to identify other areas we may need to expand restrictions in our community (eg. athletics and extracurricular activities, field trips, facility use by community organizations, parent teacher conferences scheduled for early April) and communicate this with you once a plan is in place. We make decisions on cancellations and closures in a partnership with TPCHD. The health and safety of students, staff, community members and high-risk/vulnerable populations is at the forefront of every decision.
While we understand that these new restrictions could create hardship, we must do our part to reduce the spread of and exposure to COVID-19 in alignment with state and health department recommendations. For resources and the most up to date information, please visit www.ortingschools.org/coronavirus. We will also keep you updated through email and social media with the latest guidance and information as we receive it.
March 10, 2020
As of today, March 10, 2020 there are fourteen presume positive cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pierce County and none reported in our district. However, this is an evolving situation so we want to share valuable information so you know what to expect if the virus impacts us.
Will classes or school activities be cancelled?
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD) is not recommending school or activity cancellation in our district at this time. We continue to be in close contact with TPCHD, and any future decisions on school closures or activity cancellations will be made in a partnership with them on a case by case basis.
What if I want to keep my child home from school?
We understand that some families may choose to self-quarantine. If you choose to keep your child home from school, please follow the necessary steps to report your child’s absence and include the reason for the absence. Absences reported with a coronavirus related reason (ie. due to illness, sick family member, lives with someone who has health concerns) will be excused.
What should I do if my child is sick?
If your child has COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath), contact your medical provider to ask if your child needs to be evaluated in person. Please keep them home for 72 hours after the fever is gone and symptoms resolve.
Will our district utilize online learning if closures are required?
In the event classes are cancelled, we do not plan to utilize online learning to continue lessons at this time. Teachers and administrators will work with students and families absent to ensure they have resources needed to continue learning or catch up on missed work when they are able.
Where can I get more information?
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department provides daily updates on the number of cases in our area and information on how to stay healthy. We have also created a website, www.ortingschools.org/coronavirus where our families can get access to the latest impacts to our district (ie. potential school closures or activity cancellations) and resources to help navigate the outbreak.
We will continue to work with our health department partners and keep you updated with new information as we receive it.
March 2, 2020
The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. While there are no cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) reported in our district at this time, we want you to know what we are doing to prepare for and prevent the spread of the virus, and how you can help by implementing some simple prevention measures into your daily routine.
District administrators are in contact with the Pierce County Health Department. Any decisions on school closures will be made in a partnership with them on a case by case basis. We have also ordered additional disinfectants and have called in additional custodial staff to help staff sanitize touch points in our schools. We will continue to share information with our community as the situation develops through email, social media and our website. If a school closure is required, we will also utilize our text messaging alert system, Flash Alert, and local media to keep you informed.
You can help prevent the spread of a cold, influenza and other respiratory viruses by practicing these healthy habits:
- Wash your hands! Do so often. Use soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face. Especially with unwashed hands. Your eyes, nose, and mouth are open doors for germs.
- Avoid people who are sick. Steer clear of illnesses if at all possible.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. Hold a tissue over your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Then throw that tissue away and, again, WASH YOUR HANDS!
- Clean things. Disinfect objects and surfaces often.
- Stay home if you’re sick. This isn't the time to tough it out and leave your home if you're not feeling well.
- Call first. If you or a family member are sick and plan to seek care, call first. Healthcare partners need to prepare for people who are showing symptoms—or direct you to the appropriate resource.
- Stay informed. Through trusted sources like the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department: www.tpchd.org/coronavirus.
Thank you for partnering with us to mitigate risk to our students, staff and community.