Dear School Board Directors,

Mount Si High School PTSA appreciates your service to our school community during this difficult time.  We are aware that high school re-opening decisions are complex.   We represent many parents and students who are extremely eager to cooperate with the District and facilitate through the reopening challenges.  Many want to know what they can specifically do to help make it happen as soon as possible. 

To that end, we ask the District to provide specific information regarding the logistics and other challenges that remain to opening the high schools (and the middle schools since they are linked).   For instance, if additional substitutes or other volunteers are needed, how can parents find out how to apply for those opportunities, who may be qualified, and what would be minimum volunteer commitments to make programs work?  Our PTSA has a long track record of providing volunteers for a wide range of school needs and activities from laptop distribution to health screenings to chaperoning dances. 

Secondly, since Transportation is another major challenge, can families assist by having parent and/or teen drivers assist by self-driving, transportation of siblings and/or other social ‘pod’ members?  Perhaps the District could do another family survey to assess which  families want and need District Transportation over the remaining semester to assess the actual need for high school bus transportation.  The prior survey may have been answered through a lens of student safety on crowded buses, not transportation need.  Many families may be able to arrange their own transportation but don’t realize how that might be instrumental to school reopening plans. We are aware that‚Äč a similar survey was sent out to middle school families in the past. 

Another road block for some teachers and staff is child care – what community support may be required to provide options for child care?  Can partners such as the YMCA and Si View assist with transition short-term care?

Can the community assist with other resources such as access to health care facilities, hospitals and other potential sites to facilitate administration of staff vaccines, or by contacting local health department officers to prioritize school staff vaccinations? 

In mobilizing parent resources, it would be helpful to know the target dates for reopening the high schools and middle schools so families could plan for new commitments.  Families are seeking more consistent communication on re-opening plans as they get closer, and a paucity of communication causes families to potentially be ill-informed about what’s being done and what remains to be resolved.  The District has done tremendous site prep and scheduling work which is reflected in School Board Agenda documents but in that format the info is not easily visible.  If families had regular summaries (perhaps a ‘dashboard’) of what the district is doing to get kids back in school with the list of road blocks and how families can help and volunteer that may alleviate much of the confusion and misinformation circulating in the community.

Thanks again for your work!

Sincerely,

Mount Si HS PTSA