COVID Weekly Update: October 16, 2020

As it is Friday, I am providing this week’s COVID-19 update. Since last I shared an update, teams across the District have continued preparing for a Modified Stage 3 transition. Our plan was to begin phasing in selected groups listed in Stage 3 on October 26 - starting with students in Headstart, the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP), and the Adult Transition Program (ATP) - Pathways. At the same time, many of us have also been watching the data, and the numbers are troubling. Infection rates across our state are spiking. Both King and Snohomish counties now have high infection rates and experts expect the numbers to continue on an upward trend.

Here are the latest infection rates:

  • King County:
    • October 11: 94.20
    • October 14: 86.20
  • Snohomish County:
    • October 11: 79.10
    • October 14: 90.40

The New York Times also reported that “the number of new daily cases has risen almost 50 percent in the U.S. over the past month. The situation is even worse in Europe.” This worldwide trend matters.

Based on the current data, we must further modify our Stage 3 planning status by delaying the return for students in the Headstart and ECEAP Programs. All actions supporting phasing in students will continue to be dependent on our ability to safely do so given the evolving data which we will continue to track.  If you would like to learn more, you can review data and many of our considerations for reopening for in-person instruction here.

While our Northshore Learns 3.0 instruction model is based on a dial that can move back and forth between stages depending on numbers, it is important to try and reduce disruption to all students’ learning experience as much as possible. At this time, we are continuing to plan and prepare for the future, while also addressing all of the considerations that come into play for these critical decisions that affect each of us in different ways.

I understand that the uncertainty and anxiety resulting from this pandemic is real for everyone – our students, staff, and families. I encourage you to hang in there with us. Stay focused on your goals and on the good in every day as we remember that ‘gratitude turns what we have into enough.’  Please stay in touch with us and with each other. Make sure your students are staying connected and seeking the assistance of our mental health counselors if they feel the need. We are all trying to create the best possible experience for our students, staff, and families they go home to while also preparing to move the dial forward when it is safe to do so. This is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. Together, we will cross the finish line and I am confident that we will be stronger for the journey.

Wishing you all the best,

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Superintendent

 

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