Dear Highline Families,
Thank you for all you are doing to support our students and schools through this difficult time. The onset of the omicron variant has brought new challenges just as we hoped to be nearing the end of the pandemic.
We have committed to keeping our schools open as long as we have staff to operate safely, and we are doing everything we can to make that happen. This month, we have:
- Raised substitute pay by $65 per day
- Increased compensation to $100 per day for teachers when they have to sub for a colleague during their planning time
- Deployed all available central office staff to schools to cover teacher, administrator and support staff absences.
We will continue these efforts, but we may reach the point in the coming days or weeks when these measures are not enough to continue operating safely. Due to omicron, our staff and student absence rates are climbing, and we are having to fill between 180-200 teacher vacancies on a daily basis.
While we remain committed to keeping our students in school, we must prepare for the possibility of switching all schools to remote learning for a short period of time. If we need to make this transition, we will notify you by email and text with as much advance notice as possible.
We have sent our students home with devices today and have plans to support our staff in the transition to remote learning in case we need to make that call over the weekend. If we do need to transition to remote learning, here is what you can expect.
- Your child’s teacher will send a link to Google Classroom or SeeSaw platform.
- School schedules will be similar to the in-person schedule. Your teacher will provide specifics.
- We will communicate opportunities for families to pick up devices they need or get tech support.
I understand that not knowing when or if we will go remote is difficult. I cannot provide you with absolute certainty, but I do feel that I have the responsibility to keep you informed so that you can be as prepared as possible for whatever comes next. If we have learned anything from this pandemic it is that we cannot know what is around the corner, so we must be ready for anything.
Thank you for your ongoing grace and patience as we continue to navigate this pandemic. Together we will get through it, because together we are Highline.