New Horizon School

Dear NHS Families and Friends,


I am writing this evening to let you know that New Horizon School will re-open in September 2020, remotely.



We know that online learning is not ideal, and we know that this decision will present some challenges for many of you.  We also know that our students learn best with in person instruction.  However, our top priority is the safety of students and staff.  Based on the recent trend in transmission of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, and according to updates from King County Public Health, the risk is too high to open on campus in a hybrid model; therefore, we will be remote only.


How Long?

We cannot predict how long we will be teaching and learning remotely.  It will depend on how well King County is able to control the spread of COVID-19.  As you know, we have written plans for re-opening that include on campus, hybrid, and remote.  We have also completed much of the preparation to be ready to implement any of the three plans.  Therefore, when it is safe to re-open on campus, we will move to the hybrid model.  To that end, we have purchased supplies for cleaning and disinfecting, masks, touchless thermometers, face shields, signs for physical distancing, touchless hand sanitizers, gloves, and many other items.  We will begin the work of upgrading our HVAC system early next month.  We have hired a janitorial service to perform an intensive level of cleaning in the middle of next month and to perform daily cleaning when our buildings re-open.  When it is safe to move to the hybrid model, our buildings will be ready.  We expect things to change periodically, and we are prepared to shift from one model to another as needed.  In the meantime, we will continue to monitor information related to COVID-19, and we will stay in touch with King County Public Health officials.  We will notify you of any change in our status.


What were the results of the family survey regarding re-opening NHS?


Thank you to all who responded to our family survey last week.  The results of this survey indicated that:


  • 68% prefer to have school open on campus and 32% prefer to have school open remotely;


  • In a hybrid model, 74% prefer that instruction take place on alternating days and 26% of you prefer alternating weeks;


  • Top three priorities for our families in a remote learning environment:  consistent use of Schoology, an easier way to track student progress, and hands-on materials mailed to the home.


  • work assigned last spring was “just right” (amount and level) – 70%


  • student knew what to do – 88%


  • student could keep track of assignments and work – 72%


  • student had a quiet place at home to do schoolwork – 96%


  • parent had an adequate level of support from NHS – 93%


  • student received instruction through multiple means – 96%


  • student was able to demonstrate knowledge and skills through multiple methods – 97%


  • student received adequate feedback from teachers – 96%


  • parent questions were answered and/or concerns addressed in a timely manner – 96%


  • student had opportunities for social engagement – 90%


  • student had access to adequate technology – 97%


Concerns and Challenges?


We know that re-opening NHS remotely in the fall creates some concerns and challenges for some of you:


  • some of you work in essential fields, and the demands on your time are great,
  • some of you need support in using Schoology as a way to see your student’s work and progress,
  • some of you have other children at home who may also need your support in remote learning, and
  • some of you are very concerned about your student’s social, emotional, and/or mental health and well-being.


The NHS staff and faculty are here to help in any way we can.


What can we expect for remote learning at NHS in the fall, 2020?


We plan to provide a NHS laptop to every student before the start of the school and a hot spot to those who need it.  We will reimage these laptops prior to the start of school, to provide easier access to every program and application that students will need.  We will continue to develop opportunities for students to use digital tools to facilitate learning.  We will continue to use Schoology, but the teachers and I will be completing some training to use Schoology more consistently and to use it to a fuller potential, to make it easier for students to find things as well as easier for them to join Zoom classes.


We will create a predictable, consistent schedule.  Instruction will include face-to-face instruction in Zoom, small group instruction in Zoom, and 1:1 instruction in Zoom.  Instruction will also include some asynchronous learning (also known as “flipped classroom”).  We will strive to be increasingly consistent, structured, and organized in remote teaching and learning.


As mandated by Superintendent Reykdal, OSPI, we will take attendance daily, and we will assess, grade, and report progress regularly.  We will offer training and support on Schoology and Zoom to parents who need it.


Our speech/language therapists, occupational therapist, and mental health counselor will continue to provide services to students remotely.


In addition to our Minecraft club, we hope to offer some other student social activities remotely.  Our goal is to support your student in learning the technology AND organizational skills to be as independent as possible in the remote environment.  Remote teaching and learning will look similar to spring, 2020, but improved!


We will also continue to strive to answer your questions, address your concerns, and engage you in the school community.


We were hoping to start the fall on campus in a hybrid model, but it isn’t possible right now.  Our students are counting on us to model adaptability and flexibility in the face of change.  Please contact me if you have any questions or feedback.






Marla L. Veliz


July 27th, 2020

Posted In: School News