Dear Wapato School District Families,
I hope this message finds you and your family in good health and in good spirits despite these extraordinary times. As you know, our educational systems throughout the region, state and country were impacted last spring by the coronavirus. We found ourselves navigating through an unprecedented school facility closure that started March 16 and lasted through the end of the school year. Many Wapato School District Team members worked diligently to implement a distance learning model and a process to provide our children access to a daily breakfast and lunch. The last few months of the 2019-2020 school year were definitely a huge learning curve for many students, parents, and educators. Nonetheless, we came together as a school community to do the very best we could considering the situation.
As you most likely already know, Wapato Public Schools will be starting the 2020-21 school year in a Remote/Distance Learning model. This decision was made after much input from various stakeholders that included students, parents, certificated and classified staff, administrators, Board members, and community patrons. Our decision to start school in a Remote/Distance Learning model was also influenced by Yakima County Health’s strong recommendation to start remotely due to the high number of positive COVID-19 cases in Yakima County.
Please know that we have learned a lot since the spring closure. We have moved from a reactive to a proactive position. Over the summer our teachers and administrators have continued to increase their knowledge around Remote/Distance Learning by participating in relevant and applicable professional development. We have purchased necessary technological equipment, like additional Chromebooks for students and teachers. We have purchased Hot Spot devices for families that do not have internet access at home. We have upgraded our elementary curricula, like CKLA, to better enhance online learning. We have invested additional funds in the purchase of cleaning, sanitation, and disinfecting products. We have also purchased personal protective equipment (PPE’s) like masks, gloves and shields for students and staff in preparation of in-person instruction on campus when allowed. We continue to focus on and plan for a variety of other areas as we prepare for the school year to start on September 8th.
Our mission to prepare students for a global economy has not changed due to COVID-19, but what has changed is the manner in which we deliver and receive instruction. I am hopeful that this
Remote/Distance model of learning is temporary. Our hope and desire is to once again, fill the classrooms, hallways, cafeterias, gymnasiums, busses, playgrounds, and athletic fields with children
learning, playing and growing academically, physically, and emotionally soon. Please visit our website at www.wapatosd.org or our twitter account @WapatoSD for current updates.
Wapato Public Schools truly appreciates your support. We value and commend the role you play in the education of your child. Thank you, and I look forward to serving you during the upcoming school year.
We miss you and hope to see you soon.
Kelly Garza, Superintendent