North Kitsap schools off to a ‘Strong Start’

North Kitsap School District kicks off the 2020-21 school year with a series of “Strong Start” days to get everyone on track for this new kind of online teaching and learning.

The year officially started for some students in the district Wednesday while others started Thursday or will start Friday as part of the program.

“Building strong and meaningful personal relationships with students is foundational to learning, whether it is in-person or remote. These first days of school are dedicated to building those strong, personal relationships through meaningful and intentional connections with students and families, and to prepare them for a successful educational experience in the distance learning environment,” said Jenn Markaryan, district communications coordinator.

The first few days are less about academics and more about teachers getting to know their students and what their families need.

In a pre-COVID-19 world, teachers typically wouldn’t hold parent-teacher conferences until late fall and spring, but this year teachers are checking in with parents one on one to assess student strengths and needs as well as to answer any questions or concerns parents may have.

This is also the time when teachers and students will get the little details, such as log-in credentials, Internet access and programs they will be using for the next nine weeks — if not longer.

Elementary school students will be using a program called Seesaw to receive their instruction while middle and high school students will use Microsoft Teams.

When school officially starts districtwide Tuesday, all students will be expected to complete small tasks set by their teachers through these programs, as well as attend Zoom online meetings and watch assigned videos.

NKSD will also be hosting virtual family nights as well as drive-through school supply pick-up events for elementary students.

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