Continuous Learning FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions
Finley School District Continuous Learning During COVID-19 Closures

In an effort to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of COVID-19, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee ordered all public and private K-12 schools to close beginning March 17. On April 6th, the Governor extended the closure of all schools through the remainder of the current school year (June 19, 2020). The original guidance first provided to school districts by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) around learning during the closure continues to change. As of March 23, guidance was revised to state, “Although schools are closed and are not providing traditional in-person instruction, education must continue…OSPI expects educational services for all students will begin by Monday, March 30.”

What this looks like must necessarily be different from district to district across our state. Districts are not expected nor required to move to an online platform. School districts have the option of providing instruction to meet the unique needs of their communities using a variety of methods, such as printed learning materials, phone contact from teachers to student/s families, email, technology-based virtual instruction, or a combination.The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are intended to answer many common questions we have received regarding what continuous learning will look like in Finley schools.

How will students continue to learn and keep from falling behind during the extended school closures?

On March 27, Finley School District delivered our first set of Learning Packets for ALL grade levels. We will continued to deliver hard copies of academic packets at all Finley school bus stops on Fridays as outlined below.* These packets are also being uploaded onto our Finley website at www.finleysd.org/community/COVID-19/ed-resources, along with links to educational resources, teacher webpages, and more. In addition to academic packets, Finley teachers will continue to call students and families to check in on the wellbeing of students, assess what each family’s access to technology and other resources looks like, and assist students with their academic packets as needed. Finley teachers for all grade levels and administrators have continued to call to check in with each of their students at least once a week.

* When are the learning packets being delivered?

Packets will be distributed at the same designated bus stops every other Friday following the schedule below. We will post electronic copies of these packets on our website for students and families to print at home if desired. Students should return packets to the bus stops on Fridays.

Kindergarten-5th Grade Packets will be distributed on the following Fridays:

  • April 17

  • May 1

  • May 15

  • May 29

  • June 12

6th-12th Grade Packets will be distributed on the following Fridays:

  • April 10

  • April 24

  • May 8

  • May 22

  • June 5


Teachers and principals have been contacting families to determine each student’s access to technology at home. Principals have distributed Chromebooks to identified students at the middle and high school. If your child does not have access to a computer or similar device, and/or internet, please contact the school office and leave a message.

Packets are delivered at all Finley school bus stops using our two-hour delay schedule, meaning 2 hours later than students would normally board their bus in the morning. For example, if the bus on Route 4 usually stops at Airway Heights at 7:07 AM, it will now make that stop at 9:07 AM.

Which grade levels are receiving learning packets?

Students in all grade levels (K-12) will receive learning packets.

Can teachers provide more packets to students?

Yes. As teachers continue to communicate with students and families, some teachers may choose to develop additional packets or resources to be delivered to students who are seeking additional work. If a teacher chooses to create and distribute packets on any additional pick-up dates beyond what is listed above, the teacher will notify his/her students and families in advance.

Is the work being done by students through these packets going to be graded?

Currently, learning packets are not being graded. Districts are awaiting further guidance from OSPI on any changes to this expectation. The original intent of the learning packets was to serve as an educational opportunity for students to stay engaged – not an extension of current classwork.  Teachers are providing feedback on packets that students submit so that students can check their thinking.

Which bus stop should I go to?

All students are asked to pick up learning packets and meals from the bus stop closest to their home; however, students in 6th-12th grade may pick up a packet from ANY Finley bus stop. All Finley school bus stops locations are listed on our website under Departments > Transportation > Bus Routes.

Am I allowed to pick up a packet from a different bus stop?

Students in 6th-12th grade may pick up their packets from any bus stop. Because elementary packets are different in that they are class-specific, students in grades K-5 must pick up their packets from the bus stop closest to their home.

Where does my student go if he/she doesn’t usually ride a bus?

If you are not sure where the nearest bus stop to your home is located, please refer to our list of bus stop locations on our website under Departments > Transportation > Bus Routes. You also may contact your school office to make other arrangements.

What if I am not able to make it to a bus stop on Friday?

Bus drivers will have copies of the learning packets that remain on their buses each weekday. If you missed a distribution day, you can ask the bus driver for a copy, or contact your school office between 8:00-10:00 AM, Monday-Friday to make other arrangements.

Can a parent pick up an learning packet if the student is unable to come to the bus stop?

Yes! Any family member may pick up an learning packet for a student – parent, sibling, grandparent, etc.

Our family lives out of district. How are we supposed to receive our packets?

Each Finley principal has been working with out-of-district families to make arrangements for distribution of packets. If you have any questions, please contact your school office between 8:00-10:00 AM, Monday-Friday.

Is there any other way to get packets besides picking them up at the bus stops on Fridays?

Yes! We are continuing to upload scanned copies of the packets onto our website at www.finleysd.org/community/COVID-19/ed-resources. Please visit the website to download and print copies as needed and find other links to learning resources.

What is the expectation for students on IEPs, 504 Plans, and/or ELL?

  • If your student is on an IEP, please email your child’s case manager (special education teacher).
  • If your student is on a 504 Plan, please email Sonya Bell at sbell@finleysd.org (for elementary or middle school students), or Rebekah Duty at rduty@finleysd.org for high school students.
  • If your student is an English Language Learning (ELL), please email one of the following staff members:
    • Elementary – Ashley Bowen at abowen@finleysd.org
    • Middle School – Tina Gore at tgore@finleysd.org
    • High School – Oscar Carrasco at ocarrasco@finleysd.org

Are students supposed to return (turn in) the packets?

Yes.  Students should return their packets to bus drivers on Fridays.

Why isn’t the district moving to a completely online learning platform?

In alignment with recommendations from OSPI, many school districts are using a combination of multiple print and electronic tools to develop activities and resources for continued student learning during the closure. We also know that remote learning cannot replace the impact a teacher has on student learning in a classroom, face to face.

How long will this “continuous learning” last?

The original order issued by Governor Inslee closed schools from March 17 through April 24th. On April 6, the Governor extended the closure of all schools for the remainder of the school year, which has been set as June 19th. At this time, continuous learning in Finley will last through June 19th.

Will students take any state assessments, such as Smarter Balanced?

OSPI has cancelled all state testing for the 2019-2020 school year. This includes the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS), the Washington Access to Instruction and Measurement (WA-AIM), English Learner Progress Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21), and WIDA Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.

Will schools need to make up missed days or lost instructional time?

Current guidance from OSPI states that districts are expected to make every effort possible to make-up any days and instructional hours lost due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including extending the school year to June 19 if necessary. Districts are not expected to continue school for the 2019–20 school year or make up any days beyond June 19.