Woodland High School Report
To: Michael Green
From: Phillip Pearson
Date: October 20, 2020
Re: WHS Report
Over the space of 8 weeks. staff and faculty have transformed WHS from an in-person school into an online school. It's a bit like turning a banana into a camel. The learning curve has been incredibly steep. The mission has remained the same, however, and we continue to be recharged by the students we get a chance to spend time with every day. It's safe to say that the staff is motivated and exhausted and hopeful and stressed all at the same time. Morale is a key challenge these days. Here are some details -
Currently, WHS is serving about 50 high need students in self contained bubbles. Students are assigned a specific bubble and are transported to campus for in-person assistance 2 to 4 days a week. Students do not move from one bubble to another, bubbles are spaced apart from one another in the gym and other classroom spaces, and efforts are made to avoid the need for staff to work with multiple bubbles. Mr. Uhlenkott has been leading a large team of staff members who have made this possible. Huge kudos to those folks!
PASS Plus data team:
Online school is a tough place to make connections with kids, especially those kids who struggle in school. Every week an expanded version of our PASS team meets to review attendance and academic data in order to identify our highest-needs students. Each student identified is assigned a staff member for the week and specific action steps are prescribed. To date, about 250 students have been served with personal contacts, delivery of school materials and basic essentials, and sometimes by home visits.
In my book, getting athletics moving is every bit as important as getting the kids back in academic bubbles - and probably quite a bit riskier COVID wise. Mr. Huddleston has done a fantastic job setting up a system of practice rotations and player bubbles that will enable this to happen as safely as possible. We've also established a clear response protocol and a defined immediate response team. As cautious as I tend to be when it comes to student and staff safety, I'm optimistic that we'll be able to get some of our kids doing some of the things they love the most.
Teachers are working overtime creating and re-creating new ways to engage students. Every day kids live are being impacted in positive ways. Our biggest challenges are around fun, energy, and COVID stress. In short, we're living in strange times and the staff is struggling to find the joy and maintain their energy. Moments of celebration (like our corn hole tournament) are helping and, as always, folks are soldiering on.