Back to School Plan 2020-2021 (7-21)

Dear Westlake Academy families and staff,
During the past few days, I have participated in several calls with our Tarrant County public health officials relative to the rate of community transmission for the novel Coronavirus along with other factors that affect our local positivity, hospitalization, and fatality rate. The public health officials advised Tarrant County Commissioners regarding the date that local schools may re-open for on-campus instruction and an order was issued by the Commissioners Court. As of the decision made today, we can return to campus for face-to-face instruction beginning September 28, 2020. This decision is in alignment with TEA's published Public Health and Planning document.  
With that said, we will begin our school year on August 24, 2020 via remote learning. We know that you as a parent, are concerned about the educational progress, socialization, and interactions of your child(ren) and that you are eager to return to a more traditional educational experience. So are we. We are planning for and anticipating a return that will embody all the wonderful aspects of Westlake Academy all while keeping your children and our staff teams as safe as possible.
We have been proactive in the planning process for the coming year knowing that the transmission rate of the virus may result in a decision by local health officials to delay our on-campus return. Instructional leaders and teachers continue their collaboration relative to educational engagement. Learning approaches and expectations will align with our IB philosophy throughout our IB continuum with homework, assignments, and grading reflective of the tenets of the IB. Students will be expected to be engaged and will be held accountable for their learning, including homework assignments, and both informal and formal assessments while we balance the social and emotional needs of our students. Sports and extracurricular information is forthcoming, as is our back-to-school plan. We expect this information to be communicated in draft form to parents as soon as possible. We are putting the final components together and will present this plan to the Board of Trustees at our August 3, 2020 board meeting. We understand that this information is vital to our families' ability to plan and coordinate effectively; however, there are components of the plan that will require Board approval. Draft portions may be provided prior to the August 3 rd date with ratification to come at the formal meeting with the governing board.
Finally, all of the information we are providing is current as of the date it is conveyed to you. We are educating and leading in a time that is ever-changing and information becomes dated very quickly. We will do our very best to keep you as informed as possible without providing you with information that is constantly in motion. Please check our website often as we will use this format and social media as the quickest way to provide you with our plans. We urge you all to read over the TEA’s latest communications as they pertain to back-to-school policies. Those recent communications can be found below, including my message regarding the TEA’s recommendations.
·           Superintendent’s Message
·           TEA: Public Health Planning Guidance
·           TEA: Attendance and Enrollment
We will work diligently to create the best possible learning experience for your children and ask for your continued patience during these difficult times.
Amanda DeGan
Westlake Academy Superintendent