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Edmonds School District students getting some days off

'No New Work Wednesdays' aimed at relieving pressure


Last updated 12/3/2020 at 12:32pm

Edmonds School District students in the seventh through 12th grades are getting some days off in order to catch up before winter break.

Three Wednesdays this month, Dec. 2, Dec. 9, and Dec. 16, have been designated as "No New Work Wednesdays," according to Superintendent Gustavo Balderas.

Teachers will not provide new assignments for students to work on during these independent learning days. Instead, students can work on existing assignments, missing assignments or resubmitting assignments with low grades.

Office hours will still be offered.

"As we begin the month of December, we are on the home stretch to closing out 2020 – a year we won't soon forget," Balderas said on the district's website.

In the pre-COVID-19 world, December was already tough on students. The stress for everyone will likely be magnified this year as we are experiencing disrupted traditions, economic uncertainty, and perhaps illness or the loss of a loved one."

Andi Nofziger-Meadows, president of the Edmonds Education Association teachers union, said the idea of releasing pressure on families and students during what is always an exceptionally stressful time came out of discussion from the Superintendent's Advisory Committee, which includes parents, students, teachers, and administrators.

"It was a joint decision between the district and EEA, and we were heavily involved in crafting the message," Nofziger-Meadows said. "While a couple of teachers have expressed some concerns, I have gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback from teachers, other staff, parents, and students.

"Remote learning is tough, and we're all trying to find the sweet spot of learning, work, and rigor for our students and families, especially when we have connectivity challenges for a segment of our students.

"Giving everyone a chance to catch their breath, or to get caught up, seems like the right thing to do so that students can come back after winter break ready to finish the semester strong."

Kindergartners through sixth graders won't get the days off, but will receive fewer lessons or assignments on Wednesdays.

"Our hope is the lighter workload for (these) students will provide time for students to practice skill sets they are working on, do more reading and complete any missed assignments," Balderas said.

"Seventh through 12 graders can work on existing assignments, missing assignments or resubmitting assignments with low grades."

No work will be assigned to students over winter break.

"We all need some time away to relax, recharge, and do what brings us joy during these two weeks off," Balderas said.


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