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Distance LearningCOVID-19 Distance Learning Program for Students
Schools are closed to the general public for the remainder of the school year. Access limited to employees and scheduled appointments only.

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COVID-19 Update from Sup't Smith

Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith says Distance Learning Program focuses on connections and equity
As a result of school campus closures due to COVID-19, Walla Walla Public Schools launched its Distance Learning Program on March 23 for students and families. Listen in to a section of Superintendent Smith’s weekly communication with staff as he discusses equity and “connection over content” emphasis.
• Click HERE to watch a segment of Dr. Smith’s video update to staff

Backgroud:
Despite the challenging circumstances surrounding the closure of school campuses due to the COVID-19 health crisis, Walla Walla Public Schools remains committed to offering the richest educational experience possible for its students through its Distance Learning Program

Framed by our Distance Learning Guiding Principles the following guidance outlines the district’s fundamental beliefs to ensure all students remain connected and engaged.

Fundamental Beliefs
• Connection over Content: Walla Walla Public Schools understands that learning expectations and experiences will be different as it transitions to a distance learning model. Maintaining student connection with teachers will take priority over content material to ensure students remain engaged with faculty and classmates during this difficult time.

• Equity for All: Walla Walla Public Schools understands that equity must take into account both access and means for students and families. Access has been addressed, for example, by ensuring all students have computer and internet capability or supports to pick up and/or deliver learning packets. However, means will also be considered. Faculty will work closely with families to address individual circumstances that may affect a student’s ability to participate fully in their distance learning experience.

Middle School Approach to Grades and Student Expectations:
• When the Governor announced school campus closures effective March 17, students were just about finished with their third quarter courses. Third quarter grades will be finalized as normal and reflect the work and student progress through March 17. Note that some accommodations and grade adjustments will be made for students who didn’t have the chance to make up tests and/or assignments due to the closure mandate.

• Coursework was transitioned to Google Classroom and classes officially resumed via distance learning on March 24. As we begin fourth quarter online, students will be expected to continue making academic progress and communicating regularly with their teacher. While equity and connection are prioritized, and certain student conditions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, completion of assignments and communication with their teachers remain critical. Should the pandemic cause extended school closure, we anticipate students and families will have the option at the end of the fourth quarter to choose how their courses are applied; either graded traditionally (A, B, C, D or F) or on a Pass-Fail basis.

High School Approach to Grades and Credits:
• When the Governor announced school campus closures effective March 17, students were about halfway through their second semester classes. Coursework was transitioned to Google Classroom and classes officially resumed via distance learning on March 24. Student grades and coursework completed as of March 17 will have greater weight on the student’s final end-of-year grade for the course. However, students will be expected to continue making academic progress and communicating with their teacher while online in order to successfully earn credit. Should the pandemic cause extended school closure, we anticipate students and families will have the option at the end of the school year to choose how their courses are applied to their transcripts; either graded traditionally (A, B, C, D or F) or on a Pass-Fail basis.

Student Expectations (High School)
• Although extra emphasis will be applied to grades and assignments completed prior to closure, students must continue their learning through the Distance Learning Program to ensure credits are earned and they remain on track for high school and graduation. While equity and connection are prioritized, and certain student conditions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, completion of assignments and communication with their teachers remain critical.

Supports for all Students
• Walla Walla Public Schools’ staff and faculty are committed to supporting ALL students and families during this difficult time. Teachers, counselors, intervention specialists and support staff are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact your teacher, your school, or visit our website at www.wwps.org/distancelearning if you have questions or need assistance.

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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