Posted: November 5, 2020
Our trend of high COVID-19 activity levels has continued which is extremely frustrating as it delays our full-hybrid transition. Despite the trends, we have been able to safely and successfully grow the number of small group learning experiences for students this fall. These small groups have focused on students who receive special services, our youngest learners, and students with significant struggles in the remote learning model for various reasons. Serving small groups of students on campus aligns with the Washington Department of Health (WA DOH) recommendations for high COVID-19 activity levels. An important reason for our success has been the ability of staff to implement the five mitigation strategies from the CDC that include the following.
- Consistent and correct use of masks
- Social distancing to the largest extent possible
- Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Cleaning and disinfection
- Contact tracing in collaboration with the local health department
With the scheduled start of kindergarten in small groups next week we will continue to expand the number of students experiencing some type of in-person learning experience. Our plan is to build on this success and continue to increase in-person experiences cautiously and thoughtfully through small groups of students.
|Approximate # of Students Served Through In-Person Experiences||Percentage of Total Enrollment|
Current guidelines recommend waiting to transition to a full hybrid learning model (in-person and remote learning experiences for K5 and secondary students) until our COVID-19 activity level is in the moderate range. Given the current rates, the soonest this could be possible is the week of 11/30 for our elementary students. As we get further into the 2020-21 school year more data is becoming available about transmission rates in schools. In a recent article from the Seattle Times (Early data suggests some schools can safely reopen, Washington state health officials say) the WA DOH was cited in reference to this data and in-person learning experiences. We recognize how important these experiences are for our students and will consider adjustments to our reopening plans to align with any updated guidance from public health.
This has been such a challenging time for students, staff, and families to navigate. We understand and appreciate all of the concerns that come up in managing risks and making decisions as to the best course for each student, their families, staff, and our entire community. We have scheduled another Town Hall for November 16th from 6 – 7 PM to share updates and answer questions. ZOOM Information to come.