Charter Sector Community Update: Crisis Meets Innovation

Apr 10, 2020 | Blog

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to our schools and communities. WA Charters is working alongside our members, our supporters, and our partners to ensure equitable, high-quality education for all students in the face of the crisis.

As we work to ensure strong supports for students and families through the end of the school year and potentially into the next, WA Charters is continually inspired by the work of our schools, leaders, and community.

From launching immediate virtual learning to doing first-year enrollment through social media and Zoom, charter public schools have met the COVID-19 stay-home policy with energy, creativity, and enormous commitment to continued learning.

Virtual learning

Summit Public Schools launched Virtual School across their three Washington state schools. The academy replicates the full school day – virtually. Summit’s approach to learning, which utilizes the technology-enabled Summit Learning platform, has helped ensure a successful transition to virtual learning for students. More than ninety percent of students at all three schools have been logging into the platform.

Impact Public Schools has worked to provide high-quality virtual learning for all students from day one of the crisis, springing into action to ensure all students had access to laptops and WiFi and even helping provide hotspots for more students and families across the region. They have developed free-to-use at-home learning packets for Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade and are holding daily read-alouds for students.

Supporting our communities

Our community of schools, teachers, families, partners, and leaders is coming together to support one another. Willow Public Schools’ science teacher, Mr. Jesse, shared a message to his students and all of us. ‘I love you all. I miss you all. Choose kind. Stay safe.” While 1,240 meals were prepared and handed out by Pride Prep staff over the week of March 25th.

Moving recruitment and enrollment to virtual platforms

Commitment to high-quality learning doesn’t take a break, even in a crisis. Schools across the state are working to recruit new students for the year ahead, despite the challenges posed by social distancing. New schools and schools that are adding grades are working particularly hard.

As parents make choices for their students in the fall, the charter sector’s ability to nimbly respond to crises and support all students’ learning may prove even more attractive to families.

Share or forward this message to families or students you think would be interested.

Centralized resources for the sector

WA Charters is committed to ensuring easy-to-access resources for our schools and our community as we move through this crisis together.

Our team has been actively compiling members-only and publicly available resources for our schools and our network. Review our COVID-19 resource page for access to our public resources.

Help us make distance learning a reality for more students

Crises like the current pandemic have more of an impact on systemically underserved students and their families than on people who have access to more resources.

As the world moves to a virtual environment, we are working to ensure that all students have the tools and supports they need to thrive. But we need your help.

WA Charters is launching a COVID-19 rapid response campaign that will support the purchase of laptops, telemedicine, and other distance learning supports for our schools.

Over the next few weeks, you will see emails asking you to support our campaign. We hope you will consider making a contribution, sharing the campaign with your network, boosting us on social media, or launching your own fundraising campaign.