Update for School Year 2021–2022 from SJISD Superintendent Fred Woods

Posted August 5, 2021 at 5:48 am by

Con­tributed photo/ SJISD. Super­in­ten­dent Fred Woods.

At the begin­ning of June, our school staff was able to cel­e­brate the grad­u­a­tion of seniors from both Fri­day Har­bor School and Grif­fin Bay School out­side on the foot­ball field. See­ing the faces of those stu­dents and shar­ing in their joy was price­less.  The 2020–2021 school year seemed to last for­ev­er as we all nav­i­gat­ed the uncer­tain­ties of COVID 19.

The pan­dem­ic shook the world and changed edu­ca­tion­al approach­es across the globe. What we, as edu­ca­tors, missed most of all last year was inter­ac­tion with stu­dents. As a life­long edu­ca­tor, I can assure you, there is noth­ing more ener­giz­ing than a build­ing full of kids. We are look­ing for­ward to the fall and to the return of stu­dents, the sounds of their voic­es excit­ed to see each oth­er again, and the oppor­tu­ni­ty to resume what we do best.

The online, remote and hybrid instruc­tion imple­ment­ed last year was in response to a dis­ease we did not under­stand. It was impor­tant that we main­tain safe­ty for all while at the same time offer oppor­tu­ni­ties for our community’s chil­dren. Giv­en these cir­cum­stances, San Juan Island School Dis­trict pro­vid­ed the best edu­ca­tion pos­si­ble, but it became very clear, very quick­ly how valu­able in-per­son learn­ing is. 

The fact is that most stu­dents learn more, grow more, and par­tic­i­pate more when in the class­room. We are social beings. We learn from each oth­er, and we need human con­tact. There­fore, on Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 2, we will be open­ing our doors to in-per­son learn­ing and stu­dents will return to an all day, five day a week sched­ule. For those fam­i­lies who need their chil­dren to be in a remote set­ting, Grif­fin Bay School will offer off site and remote learn­ing. What­ev­er the choice, it is impor­tant to note that we have put in place addi­tion­al social-emo­tion­al sup­ports for stu­dents across the dis­trict and have increased coun­sel­ing ser­vices to meet their needs. Aca­d­e­m­ic after-school pro­grams will be avail­able for tutor­ing.  Stu­dents will need assis­tance as we return to our robust aca­d­e­m­ic roots.

This is not a return to nor­mal if nor­mal is defined as pre-COVID days. This glob­al cri­sis has not gone away. The Delta vari­ant does cause alarm, and we real­ize that this bat­tle with an invis­i­ble ene­my will con­tin­ue. Through­out the past year, how­ev­er, we have learned how to mit­i­gate the risks. Schools will con­tin­ue to do every­thing pos­si­ble to ensure that stu­dents are safe.

  • All stu­dents and adults who enter the build­ing will wear masks, vac­ci­nat­ed or not. 
    • Wear­ing a mask in pub­lic school is a direct order from the Gov­er­nor and the State Depart­ment of Health.
    • The Super­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic Instruc­tion has informed all dis­tricts statewide that schools who fail to com­ply to this order will not be funded. 
  • COVID test­ing clin­ics will be avail­able on cam­pus once a week on a vol­un­teer basis for our stu­dents and employ­ees. We are now cer­ti­fied to admin­is­ter rapid test­ing as needed. 
  • Staff will con­tin­ue with dis­in­fec­tion pro­to­cols. Our staff will ensure that clean­ing is done con­sis­tent­ly and thoroughly.
  • The air fil­tra­tion sys­tem will be open com­plete­ly to main­tain good air flow.
  • Class­room and lunch time struc­tures will encour­age social distancing.

Just like you, we wish we could go back to pre-COVID. How­ev­er, we will do every­thing we can so stu­dents can be safe­ly in their class­rooms inter­act­ing with their teachers.

As stu­dents return to school, they will notice some oth­er changes. In the ele­men­tary school, Hol­ly Wehn­er will greet stu­dents as their new prin­ci­pal. Hol­ly has taught at the ele­men­tary school since 2014. She has pre­pared rig­or­ous­ly for a prin­ci­pal­ship, and we are proud to have her step into this lead­er­ship role.

On the sec­ondary cam­pus, con­struc­tion is under­way. Vot­ers approved the cap­i­tal levy a lit­tle over a year ago. One of the items on that levy was a new ten­nis facil­i­ty. Soon, you will see the brand-new courts. Of the four courts that will be avail­able to the pub­lic dur­ing non-school hours, two of them will have pick­le­ball lines. Our goal is to cre­ate a facil­i­ty to be used by our ten­nis teams, phys­i­cal edu­ca­tion depart­ment, and the greater community.

All of this begins in one month. As we con­tin­ue to learn how to live life with a virus that con­tin­ues to dis­rupt, we want you to know that San Juan Island School Dis­trict is doing all it can to give stu­dents the oppor­tu­ni­ty to grow, achieve, and be pre­pared for the next step.

Fred Woods
Superintendent
San Juan Island School District

You can support the San Juan Update by doing business with our loyal advertisers, and by making a one-time contribution or a recurring donation.

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

By submitting a comment you grant the San Juan Update a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate, irrelevant and contentious comments may not be published at an admin's discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.

Receive new post updates: Entries (RSS)
Receive followup comments updates: RSS 2.0