July 12, 2020
Dear Walton Families,
I want to officially welcome the Class of 2024 to our Walton family! Our students “rolled-up” to their new grade levels this week so you should be able to see this reflected in your ParentVue accounts.
On Friday, the school district released the reopening of school plan for the 2020-2021 school year. If you did not receive the correspondence, here is a link to the webpage the District created: https://www.cobblearningeverywhere.com/. Families will need to go into ParentVue between July 13 and July 22 to register each child for Face-to-Face Instruction or Remote Learning Option. This choice is binding for one semester.
The amount of information presented does take time to digest. I have studied the District information along with reading and researching guidelines from the Center of Disease Control, Georgia Department of Education, American Association of Pediatrics and the Department of Public Health. What I think is most important to keep in mind is the landscape is changing. We will be revising and updating our plans each time new guidance is released.
Walton Safety Chart
On the forefront of my mind is the safety of the nearly 3000 students and faculty members that are part of our Walton family each day. Assistant principals return from summer break on Monday, and we will be focused on safety and mitigation strategies. I have created a matrix of safety measures specific to our campus. I attached a rough first draft to this correspondence. In the matrix, you will see District protocols side by side with Walton protocols as well as a list of items we will need to purchase. I engaged our PTSA and Foundation to see how they can help us obtain the items we have identified. Please look for correspondence from them on how you can support our safety and mitigation initiatives.
Walton Remote Learning Plan
As you all are aware, we begin the creation of a master schedule for a new school year with registration in early March. Once we have all the course requests, we can determine how many sections we need of each course and whether there is enough interest in a course to create a section. The last step is to match the courses with our teachers. Inevitable some conflicts exist, and we must contact individual families to look at alternate options.
This process will be no different in the creation of the remote classes except that we have very limited time and will also have to make changes to the face-to-face schedule. With a selection deadline of July 22, we will not be able to create a master remote schedule until we are able to compile a list of students and the courses they selected during the registration process. The reality is it would be challenging for us to offer a remote class when only a few students have registered for a course.
As we create the remote learning schedule, our priority will be to create full sections of courses taught by a Walton teacher. This will ensure a consistent curriculum among all our students at the expectation level students and parents have for a Walton class.
When we cannot create a full section of a remote course, we will coordinate with the other two traditional schedule high schools to share students and teachers.
We are also pursuing some creative platforms/ideas for singleton courses and can utilize Cobb Virtual Academy and Georgia Virtual School as needed. As in our Face to Face schedule, there will be situations where we will need to engage families to discuss an alternative course selection.
Additionally, there are some courses which due to specialized equipment or nature of the teaching methodology do not translate to the remote learning environment with the high quality that parents and students expect from a Walton class. An example would be a ceramics course. Students would not have access to a potter’s wheel or kiln from home. We will work closely with district content supervisors and our Walton teachers to identify courses that fall into this category.
I recognize and acknowledge that making an educational decision for your child during a time period of uncertainty is certainly not ideal. While I do not have all the answers and I am certain that there will be challenges, I am committed to partnering with all Walton families as we find creative solutions to the complex problems that will arise.
I invite you to submit questions by July 16 at the link below and we will work to share the answers to your questions and/or ask the district for further clarification.
I thank you in advance for your support as we navigate through the learning option that is the best fit for your family. Our commitment to “Educate, Inspire, Empower” students daily will continue regardless of the decision you make. Looking forward to the start of a great year on August 17th!