January 21st, 2021 Principal’s Q&A notes

Opening remarks:

What we know about returning to the building has been shared via the Principal email update.

Starting in February, parents will be participating in the committee to return to the building.

Most parents have completed the survey about return to school for March 1st (K, 1st and Special Education eligible students).

We are getting the information at the same time that you do.  We are keeping an eye on the School beat emails and other district communications/websites.

We will target Feb 25 for our next Q&A.


Q: How will students be assigned to teachers for return to building?

A: District has advised that Bryant‘s goal is to try to keep students with teachers, but there are mitigating factors.  Goal to keep as much continuity as we can. If there are teachers who are unable to return on March 1st, that would necessitate a change of teacher to be in building classroom.  If some students remain remote, this will likely result in a different teacher assignment.  We cannot say that


Q: What is the likelihood of 2-5 grades return to the building?

A: This is a District decision.  And this may depend on how K-1 goes after March 1st.  This will be a district decision.


Q: Can you give information about how many families are returning to Bryant for in-person learning?

A: We know there is strong interest in returning to in-person learning, but we don’t know the

District will be coordinating nutrition and transportation based on the survey numbers.

The Building is planning out the supplies needs so that students will have their individual materials.  And that teachers will have sufficient paper supply.


Q: Will the daily start time change?

A: This is an open decision, but we anticipate that it will still be 8:30am.


The school playground field has been re-seeded.


Q: I’m assuming it would be difficult to accommodate all the students if everyone wanted to return. From an equity standpoint, is it helpful if families who have the ability to keep their kids home, do so, to allow for smaller class sizes at the school?

A: Class sizes are supposed to be up to 15 students per class (15:1 class size).  1st grade is a large class grade this year, and we have additional classrooms we can use.

If you want to have your child return to in person, please have them return.


Q: Do you have any information about Fall 2021 in person return to school?

A: We don’t.  It looks favorable. We will do budget and projections review in February.  This is guided by Kindergarten enrollment numbers.


Q: Following up on the question about in-person capacity– won’t you need more teachers to have a 15:1 ratio for first-graders?

A: Yes.  Principals are meeting with Chief Jessee at the district.


Q: Will everyone be able to return to in person learning at full time? Will teachers or students be required to still be wearing masks? Or have a proof of vaccination?

A: This will be determined by the state guidelines and from the district office.  We can’t require kids to be vaccinated.

Q: How will wearing masks effect learning and social emotional communication.

A: We have found some clear masks so that students can see their teacher’s mouth and expressions.  These may be used at times, and there will need to be some learning about how to communicate with a mask.


Q: In general, are teachers excited to come back to in-person? Worried? A mix?

A: It’s a mix.  The majority are excited.  Some teachers are already teaching online from their classrooms.  We know there is a connection that can only be made in person.


Q: How will LASER be impacted by K/1 returning? Will there be an after-school program?

A: We are working with LASER and the district.  We met with Facilities and are discussing the dedicated spaces.  Including access to Ms. Confer’s room adjacent to LASER.  LASER may still use the gym and cafeteria, because classes will not be using those spaces.  There may be impact to the classroom space next to Ms. Confer, but we can make do with the major spaces (gym, stage, cafeteria).  There will be sufficient notice to LASER if there are changes.


Q: All throughout Seattle, K classes will be larger.  Is there a risk of reducing capacity in LASER.

A: We won’t impact the program this year.  There is a plan at Bryant and there is space at Laurelhurst.


Q: What is the likelihood that Bryant will stick to the March 1st timeline for return? 

A: We will take the direction from the district.  If an alternate plan, we will have to follow suit. 

We announced using the language from the district regarding labor negotiations.  The district has sent the survey to understand interest and then enter into negotiations with all staff unions.  The building is planning as if it is happening.  We encourage you not to give up your child care situation until we have more information.


Q: What is status of discussion between district and union?

It began around Jan 15th. The teacher’s union (SEA) is bargaining with the district, and there are no status updates.   Any updates are posted on the SPS website.  We recommend to listen to Superintendent Juneau’s online town halls, typically on Tuesdays.

Virtual Town Hall with Denise Juneau – Seattle Public Schools (seattleschools.org)


Q: Is there a rough time frame that we can expect to know for sure if we are in person or will continue remote?
A: By Feb 23rd, we were told we would know something.  We’re working on getting ready, such as supplies and PPE planning.  If teachers are caring for someone else, they will have the option to opt out of in person learning.


Q: What’s the update on the playground?

A: The playground is still closed.  We don’t have a partnership with parks and rec.


Q: What might the online option look like, if other students return in-person?

A: The online option will be the same.


Q: Will there be school lunches available for students in in-person class? And will the current meal site program continue outdoors?

A: Yes, for the in-person classes.  It may be a brown bag lunch, because the meal will be eaten in the classroom.  We need to make sure the lunches are easy to open without teacher assistance.  Sometimes home lunches are in boxes that are hard to open for 5-6 year olds.

We’re not sure about the current meal site program.


Q: You mentioned a 8:30 start time. When will the school day end? Right now, 1st grade virtual class ends at 1:15 then the remainder of the day is independent/ seesaw work

A: We don’t know yet.  It will be a transition to manage.  Hoping to keep the schedule as it is today.


Q: Speaking of transition, next fall when children return to a building, how would parents and teacher can help them adjust to being back at school? 🙂

A: We are currently working toward this.  We have committees and grade level teams that will be informing.  We don’t know yet if parent volunteers will be allowed in the building.  It may look differently, because of the pandemic restrictions.  We will do our best to normalize and stay within guidelines.