Cheney School District

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Communications and Updates

February 5, 2021

Parents and Guardians,

While the first half of this school year has been very different, this week we celebrated the successful completion of the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year. As we transition to the start of the second semester and begin to phase our secondary students back for in-person instruction, there is a significant amount of information to share.

Health and Safety Protocols: While we are slowly phasing in secondary students for in person learning, it is important to stress that we are doing so while continuing to follow health and safety protocols and guidelines. These guidelines include properly wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing, completing daily health tickets, and increased hand hygiene. These same protocols will be extended to high school athletics and extra-curricular activities as well. Although the adherence to health and safety protocols will not eliminate the risk of COVID-19, these measures have proven to mitigate risk and support the safe reopening of schools. As evidence, although some students and staff have had positive COVID-19 cases since we began reopening our schools to in-person learning, and there have been contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine situations, to date there has not been a single positive COVID-19 case with an epidemiological link to our schools (transmission from student to student, staff to student, student to staff).

Transportation: Beginning Monday, February 8th our elementary pick-up times for students who ride the bus will be forty minutes earlier than the current pick-up times. This change allows buses to complete a second morning route to support the transportation needs of our secondary students. While morning pick-up times are changing for elementary students, their afternoon drop off times will remain the same. If you have specific questions related to bussing, please contact our transportation department at 509-559-4523.

Grades 6 – 12 Phase-In: On Monday, February 8th we will begin a slow phase in of in person instruction for students at Cheney Middle School, Westwood Middle School, and Cheney High School. Following several weeks of a slow phase in students will begin their regular hybrid schedules on Thursday, February 25th. As secondary students transition to in person instruction they will be asked to take technology/devices back and forth between school and home. As a district we are able to provide Chromebooks to each student for use at school and to take home. Students may also choose to use their personal devices but this is not required.

As a reminder, Three Springs High School will begin implementation of an in-person hybrid learning model beginning Tuesday, February 16th. If you have specific questions about upcoming changes occurring at Three Springs High School, please call 509-559-4591.

High School Athletics: Monday, February 8th is the first day of “season 1” of the revised high school athletic schedule and both volleyball and girls swim will begin. Football will start on February 15th and will be followed by girls soccer and boys and girls cross country on February 22nd. At this time, we are finalizing activity bus routes in support of our high school athletic programs. Specific information related to activity routes will be provided by Cheney High School and Athletic Director Jeff Chandler.

In closing, we are excited to have our elementary students back on campus for in-person learning and truly look forward to seeing our secondary students next week as they begin a phase in of the hybrid schedule.

Thank you for your grace and patience as we continue to work through the many changes associated with the reopening of our schools.

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!
Rob Roettger, Superintendent

February 1, 2021

 

Parents and Guardians,

 

This message is an update for families who utilize district transportation (bussing).  On Monday, February 8th many of our secondary students will begin phasing back to Cheney Middle School, Westwood Middle School, and Cheney High School.  As this occurs, our elementary pick-up times for students who ride the bus to school will be adjusted.  The adjusted times will be approximately 40 minutes earlier than the current pick-up time.  The afternoon drop-off times will not change for elementary students. 

 

Currently, our transportation department is working hard to finalize routes/schedules for secondary students who will ride the bus to school.  Specific pick-up and drop-off times will be shared with the parents of secondary students in a phone call later this week. 

 

If you have specific questions related to the elementary start time adjustment (40 minutes earlier than current pick-up times) please contact our transportation department at 509-559-4523.  Again, phone calls will be made to families as we finalize secondary routes and pick-up and drop-off times.  Therefore, please wait to contact the transportation department with middle school and high school specific questions until the end of this week. 

 

Thank you for your patience and grace as we make adjustments to the elementary morning bussing times and prepare to transport secondary students.  Please know we will do our best to work through this latest transition and will communicate any additional changes as soon as possible. 

 

Take care, stay well, and have a great week!

Rob Roettger, Superintendent 

January 29, 2021

 

Parents and Guardians,

 

I want to thank each of you for your patience and grace as we have made adjustments to our district calendar and school schedules. These adjustments were made in order to expand in-person learning opportunities for additional grade levels of students.  I truly understand the importance of routines and schedules and apologize for any disruption recent changes may have caused. 

 

As we continued to move forward with our reopening plans it was exciting to welcome our 3rd grade students back fully and our 4th and 5th grade students back in a hybrid model this past week (families who chose in-person learning).  While we are excited to welcome students back for in-person learning in grades 3-5, we are also extremely pleased to be able to continue to support students and families who chose to remain in a distance learning model. 

 

Following the phase in of 4th and 5th grade we are now working toward a slow hybrid phase in of grades 6 – 12 which will begin on Monday, February 8th for Cheney Middle School, Westwood Middle School, and Cheney High School.  Initially, the slow phase in will split both A and B student cohorts in half through February 24th.  After this date we plan to move forward with the regular A/B 6-12 full hybrid schedule which provides students the opportunity to attend in-person instruction two days per week.  In addition to the timelines shared above, Three Springs High School will begin a hybrid in-person learning schedule on Tuesday, February 16th

 

In recent weeks there has been a lot of information shared by our schools and district as we communicate the various changes associated with our reopening plans.  We appreciate your willingness to read each communication in hopes that they provide clarity to next steps.  If you have specific questions related to the district calendar, school schedule, or any other aspect of our system, please reach out to your child’s school or our district office at 509-559-4502.

 

Take care, stay well, and have a restful and enjoyable weekend!

Rob Roettger, Superintendent

January 22, 2021

 

Parents and Guardians,

 

I hope everyone had a great week and that each of you are doing well.  Today’s message is an update to families as we continue to phase additional grade levels of students back on campuses for in-person learning. 

 

This past week 3rd grade students (families who chose in person instruction) phased back to school in two cohorts and will begin a full return to classes on Monday, January 25th.  It was awesome to visit several classrooms and witness the excitement of students and staff as 3rd grade returned to elementary schools across the district.  On Monday, January 25th, 4th and 5th grade students will begin to return to our schools in a slow phase in hybrid model as well.  In preparation for the 4th and 5th grade hybrid model families should have received specific information related bus pick up and drop off times as well as to the days your child will attend school.  If you have not received this information, please contact your child’s school.  We are very excited to welcome 4th and 5th grade students back on campus and look forward to their return next week!

 

Following the return of grades 3 – 5 to in-person learning we will initiate a slow phase in of grades 6 – 12 beginning on Monday, February 8th.  At this time our secondary schools are working to finalize schedules for both in-person learning and for those students who will continue in a distance learning model.  Additional information related to the secondary phase in, including transportation times and specific hybrid cohort groupings, will be shared in the coming days and come directly from your child’s school. 

 

As we prepare for the 6-12 grade hybrid model there have been several questions related to athletics, music/band and PE courses, and extra-curricular activities.  Members of our middle and high school administrative teams will join me on Wednesday, January 27th to meet with the Spokane Regional Health District to discuss health and safety recommendations and guidance in these areas. With regard to athletics, our current focus is on the high school athletic programs/seasons which are scheduled to begin in February in what is being called “season 1”.  While we understand the importance of middle school athletics, we are pausing athletic seasons for grades 6 - 8 at this time.  Additional information related to music/band and PE courses, extra-curricular activities, and athletics will be provided by our middle schools and Cheney High School. 

 

As a reminder, due to the implementation of a 4-12 grade hybrid learning model, the weekly late start will shift from Friday to Wednesday morning beginning on Wednesday, January 27th.  Each school will share details about the change in schedule and start times for both Wednesday and Friday mornings. 

 

Lastly, as we phase additional students back to our campuses for in-person instruction, there are several adjustments to our nutrition services program and schedule.  For details, please visit our website at www.cheneysd.org and view our nutrition services tab, call your child’s school, or contact our nutrition services department at 509-559-4594/4595.

 

In closing, please know we are committed to a consistent stream of communication as we support our students and families throughout the reopening of our schools to in-person instruction.  While this is the case, I know keeping track of the many changes occurring across our system can be difficult.  Thus, if you have questions please reach out to your child’s school or our district office (509-559-4502). 

 

Take care, stay well, and have a great weekend!

Rob Roettger, Superintendent

January 15, 2021

 

Parents and Guardians,

 

I know it has been an eventful week for everyone due to the windstorm, power outages, and school closures.  I hope you are all safe and well and that your power has been restored.  Within today’s update I will provide timelines for the phase in of additional grade levels within our schools and information about changes to the 2020-2021 school calendar, but I’d like to begin with a reflection on the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

 

Martin Luther King Jr. holiday

I urge each of us to slow down and take time during the upcoming three-day holiday weekend to reflect on the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King worked tirelessly in support of non-violent activism and the civil rights movement.  While Dr. King’s leadership and advocacy helped our country make great strides in the areas of civil rights and equality, there is much work yet to be done.  Let’s honor Dr. King’s life and legacy through behavior and actions that promote equality and civil rights within our community, region, state, and nation.

 

The current phase-in timeline for grades 3 – 12 is as follows: 

 

3rd grade – Phase-in begins Tuesday, January 19th.  Specific information and details about what days students will attend have been provided to 3rd grade families by their elementary school.

 

4th and 5th grade – A slow hybrid phase-in will begin on Monday, January 25th.  Each elementary school shared information with parents earlier this week through a series of webinars.  Contact your school if you were unable to attend the webinar and would like to watch a recording.

 

6th – 8th grade – A slow hybrid phase-in is scheduled to begin on Monday, February 8th.  Cheney Middle School and Westwood Middle School shared hybrid information with parents and families through recorded webinars earlier this week.  Contact your school if you did not receive the recording and would like the link.

 

9th – 12th grade– A slow hybrid phase-in is scheduled to begin on Monday, February 8th.  Cheney High School shared information with parents and families on Wednesday, January 6th.  The webinar is recorded and available on the CHS website.  Specific plans for Three Springs High School will be shared in the coming weeks.

 

*If you have questions about the phase-in process for the various grade levels, please contact your child’s school directly or call our district office at 509-559-4502. 

 

Adjustment to the weekly late start schedule

As we prepare for a hybrid phase-in of grades 4 – 12 we will shift our weekly late start from Friday to Wednesday mornings.  This shift will begin on Wednesday, January 27th.  Thus, Friday, January 22nd will be the last Friday late start prior to the change to Wednesday mornings.  The purpose of the late start change is to provide the A and B cohorts with consistent instructional time throughout the hybrid schedule.  The adjustment to the Wednesday late start schedule is for the remainder of the current school year. 

 

2020-2021 School Calendar Changes

In preparation for the beginning of our secondary hybrid model, we have made several school calendar adjustments (attached is a revised 2020-2021 school year calendar).  Changes to the 2020-2021 school calendar are designed to support our secondary staff and students as we transition to a hybrid learning model beginning on Monday, February 8th.  The calendar adjustments are as follows.

  • The end of the 1st semester will be Tuesday, February 2nd
  • Wednesday, February 3rd will follow a regular school schedule for grades K-5 but will be an asynchronous distance learning day for grades 6-12. 
  • Thursday, February 4th will be a teacher professional development day (non-school day for students).  (Moved from February 12th which is now a school day)
  • Friday, February 5th is the semester break day (non-school day for students). 

 

Elementary School Day

As secondary students phase back into our schools for in-person learning and we begin running staggered elementary and secondary bus routes, schedules for most elementary students that ride the bus will be adjusted to an 8:20 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. daily schedule.  While this is the case, our elementary schools will be communicating a staggered start and end time with parents of students who walk or are driven to school.  A staggered elementary drop off and pick up will assist our schools in managing increased student numbers and daily health and safety screening protocols as grades 3 - 5 return to in-person learning.  Detailed information about start and end times for elementary students will be shared directly from your child’s school. 

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have made adjustments to school schedules and the district calendar in preparation for the return of additional students to our campuses for in-person instruction.

 

Take care, stay well, and have a great weekend!

Rob Roettger, Superintendent

Parents and Guardians,

 

I hope that each and every family had a restful and enjoyable break and that your new year is off to a great start.  Today’s Cheney Public Schools update contains information about plans and timelines for reopening remaining grade levels in our schools for in-person instruction. 

 

Throughout the summer and fall we have worked very closely with the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) to analyze the COVID-19 situation and prepare for ways to safely reopen our schools.  These meetings continued over winter break with no cease in communication.  In addition, I participated in a regional meeting with the health district this Wednesday and our COVID team met with the SRHD educational team on several occasions throughout the week. 

 

Based on updated information the health district provided on December 30, our school district has the necessary elements in place to bring students back at all grade levels.  A key component as school districts prepare to reopen schools is a strong COVID support team which can manage contact tracing, data collection and analysis, and provide information to the health district; our district has worked hard to assemble a very capable COVID support team.  Additionally, the health district emphasized that adherence to health and safety protocols has demonstrated schools across our region can safely reopen with minimal COVID-19 transmission, and to date, there have been zero cases of transmission within Cheney schools.  While this is the case, we know we cannot eliminate the risk of COVID-19 in schools, but we can do our best to mitigate the risk of infection. 

 

As our district continues to prepare to bring the remaining grade bands back into our schools, we will share the following reopening plans and calendar considerations with our Board of Directors on Wednesday, January 13 for consideration.  These plans include phasing in 3rd grade students beginning on January 19, 4th and 5th grade students on January 25 (slow hybrid phase in), and grades 6-12 on February 8 (also a slow hybrid phase in).  Specific information related to the phase in process will be shared by each of our schools through informational webinars and other communications from your principals.  Following each hybrid information webinar, families will be asked to confirm their plans to either return for in-person instruction or stay in the distance learning model for the remainder of the school year.  All middle and high school families will receive a survey and grades 4 and 5 families with students enrolled in classes scheduled to return will receive phone calls.  If your 4th or 5th grade student is currently enrolled in a class that is scheduled for distance learning for the remainder of the school year and you would like to switch to in-person learning, please call your school’s office no later than January 14.    

 

As we prepare for hybrid instruction in grades 4 – 12 we are proposing a shift of our late start Friday schedule to Wednesday mornings (same one-hour late start).  The purpose of this change is to support the hybrid model/schedule and provide equal instructional time to students in both cohorts.  The proposed late start adjustment would begin on Wednesday, January 27th

 

Currently, elementary students who attend school in-person begin their day with a drop off and start time between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m.  As we transition to a hybrid model in grades 4-12 we will run staggered bus routes to meet the transportation needs of our elementary and secondary students.  Consequently, we are proposing a shift of our elementary start time back to the regular 8:20 a.m. start beginning on Monday, February 8th when the hybrid phase in for secondary schools begins.  Additional information related to this time change will be shared by each elementary school. 

 

The past nine months have been difficult for many of our families, students, and the community.  However, please know that as a system we continue to work hard and are trying our very best to plan for the safe return of students within a very different educational structure.   While this is the case, I understand that the proposed schedule changes may be a cause for concern for some of our families. 

 

In closing, I will continue to provide weekly updates to our families and community throughout the coming weeks as we continue to work toward the implementation of our reopening plans.  If you have specific questions related to our reopening plans, timelines, or processes, please reach out to your child’s school, email me, or call our district office at 509-559-4502. 

 

Take care, stay well, and have a great weekend!

Rob Roettger, Superintendent

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