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May 22, 2020

Bellevue Learning Community:

With four weeks remaining in this school year, I want to express my deep appreciation for your help during this disruptive pandemic.  You came together as a true learning community to organize, support, and find solutions for our students with a daily dose of compassion, kindness, and grace.  I am deeply inspired by your work and truly grateful for your participation.

As we move forward with our plans for the fall, this same collective commitment to educational excellence will be required.

We are currently considering several different options and examining what they will mean for our students, families, and staff. These options will depend on guidance we receive from the Governor and the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Department of Health. As we await this guidance, we have started our planning to make sure we are prepared and that our community is fully informed. Much like the experiences we have shared during this unprecedented health crisis, I know the future will be challenging and somewhat unfamiliar, but also full of opportunities.

What we do know now is that we must be ready for evolving circumstances that require all of us to work together.  We must also prioritize the health and wellbeing of our students and staff.  Our schools will need to operate differently when we reopen, but what that looks like will largely be informed by the information and guidance we receive from local, regional, and state health officials.

However, we are not waiting.  Last week, a group of principals, educators, nurses, and district leaders met to discuss various scenarios for reopening our schools in the fall.  The group looked at several options including different scheduling plans that will comply with anticipated health requirements for physical distancing, health screenings, possible use of masks, and focused cleaning of our classrooms, buildings, and buses.  As we move forward, we will continue to evaluate different models in close consultation with our School Board to make sure our schools reopen in a healthy and safe manner that is responsive to the needs of our students, staff, and families.

We are committed to keeping you fully informed about the planning process.  With that in mind, we have created a website that we will continue to update as we learn more. I encourage you to visit www.bsd405.org/fall2020 to keep informed about our plans.  Please be assured that our planning for the fall will be grounded in our vision: To affirm and inspire each and every student to learn and thrive as creators of their future world.

Thank you again for your support, strength, and compassion as we work together through the challenges and opportunities of this unique period in our lives.

In partnership,

Ivan Duran
Superintendent
Bellevue School District

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