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.

 

Why?

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Marla

 

Marla L. Veliz

Administrator

July 27th, 2020

Posted In: School News

June 16, 2020

Congratulations NHS Graduating Class of 2020

Dear NHS Families and Friends,

As the school year comes to a close, I have a few reminders for you.

Today, June 16th, is the last day of classes.  Your student will need to log on to Schoology to answer discussion posts, and attend Zoom classes beginning at 12 PM.  All assignments should be turned in no later than Friday, June 19th, but the sooner the better so that teachers will be able to grade them.  Report Cards will be distributed on Friday, June 26th.  If you have any question or if you don’t receive your student’s report card on that date, please contact Vikki Colson at vcolson@new-horizon-school.org.

Wednesday, June 17th, we have conferences by appointment on the calendar for 1 – 3:30 PM.  Please contact any teacher with whom you wish to have a conference to schedule with him/her directly for a Zoom conference.

We were hoping to schedule a time for families to come by the school to pick up their students’ belongings and return books and other school items to us, but at this time we are still unable to allow gatherings of people on campus.  We will contact you during the summer to schedule a day and time, if public health guidelines allow it.

Summer School begins on July 7th and will be an online program due to continued concerns with the community spread of COVID-19.  We will send a letter to families whose students are enrolled in Summer School to explain the schedule for office hours and Zoom classes shortly.  Reminder, the theme is “Celebrate Community”, and we will be teaching math, reading, writing, and teambuilding (social skills) through the theme.  The teachers have planned a lot of fun and educational activities that promote community building, and they will be mailing summer school supplies for these activities to your home shortly, if your son or daughter is enrolled.

Please watch for our monthly newsletters the first week in July and again in August.  We will keep you informed as our planning goes forward for the fall.

Last week Chris Reykdal, OSPI, announced that schools will return to campus, face-to-face instruction, in September.  However, as we have learned over the past four months, this is a fluid situation with many changing regulations, guidelines, and recommendations.  We will prepare for on campus, face-to-face instruction, as required by OSPI.  However, we will also plan for continuous learning using other models as well:  1) online full time with improvements based on what we have learned this spring, 2) online part time with improvements combined with on campus part time, 3) some staff and students online and some staff and students on campus, or 4) some combination of all of the above.  In the meantime, we are preparing for on campus instruction:  having our HVAC systems inspected; purchasing Personal Protection Equipment (masks, face shields, gloves); purchasing hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and disinfecting wipes; installing portable handwashing stations; and studying the square footage in the classrooms to determine the student:teacher ratio that will allow the required 6 ft physical distancing that will be required in each of our classrooms.

With the number of newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 continuing to increase in King County and elsewhere, it seems unlikely that we will be allowed to open school in September on campus full time.  As noted previously, this is a dynamic situation, with constantly evolving data, regulations, and guidelines.  We will keep you informed throughout the summer regarding our plans for the fall.

We look forward to “seeing” those of you whose students will be joining us for summer school on July 7th, and we look forward to staying in touch with all of you throughout the summer.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at mveliz@new-horizon-school.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Marla L. Veliz

June 16th, 2020

Posted In: School News

New Horizon School in Renton, Washington, is pleased to announce the 2020 Graduating Seniors.  Congratulations to Rachel Chronister, Thérèse Miller, and Roger O’Brien.  We are proud of you!

www.new-horizon-school.org

 

June 12th, 2020

Posted In: School News

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