As the first full week of spring comes to an end, so does our first Bridge Week. Today, I visited Frank Love and Crystal Springs elementary schools and I was encouraged by the fun and creative environments that were developed for learning COVID-19 protocols.
Earlier this week, I communicated that we have completed plans for hybrid learning models at both elementary and secondary levels per Governor Inslee’s March 15 Emergency Proclamation. Our district's elementary schools (grades K-5) will begin a hybrid learning model on April 5. Secondary schools (grades 6-12) will begin a hybrid learning model on April 19. All secondary families are asked to complete the Intent to Return survey no later than noon on Tuesday, March 30.
In addition, Governor Inslee announced yesterday morning that all K-12 schools will be allowed to reduce physical distancing in the classroom from 6-ft to 3-ft in keeping with changing CDC guidance.
Following is a summary of the updated Department of Health K-12 Guidance related to distancing of students and staff in schools:
- In elementary schools, all students remain at least 3 feet apart in classrooms and continue other mitigating measures as required.
- Elementary distancing is recommended regardless of community transmission levels.
- In middle and high schools, students should be at least 3 feet apart in classrooms and continue other mitigating measures as required. When community transmission is over 200 cases per 100,000 and cohorting is not possible, middle and high school students should be at least 6 feet apart in classroom settings.
- All levels are required to maintain 6 feet apart during lunch and eating.
- Distancing between “adults and other adults” or “adults and students” remains 6 feet.
Because each of our schools is unique in size and design, our Support Services staff are already out in each of our schools measuring available and potentially available classroom space with the new guidance, so we can consider the possibilities given the numbers of students indicating their intent to return. I will provide more information as it is available.
While we continue the work to safely return students and staff to the school buildings in April, we are also looking toward the fall. I know many of us are wondering what the fall will bring and remain optimistic that indicators are nurturing a positive outlook. I will leave you with this community message from our elected Board of Directors about the future goals for beginning the 2021-2022 school year. Together, all things are possible…
Wishing you a joyfully abundant spring weekend,
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.