Are Washington County Schools Opening

James Lee
• Wednesday, 11 November, 2020
• 9 min read

From the menu, you can read letters from our superintendent, view our plans for re- opening of schools, and access information on remote learning. The date to return to the same in-person learning plan that was implemented October 12 – December 4 to include the same strict mitigation strategies is now scheduled for Monday, January 25.

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The sleep patterns of students at Roosevelt High School were studied before and after the district pushed start times later in the fall of 2016. Every school district across Western Washington has a different set of challenges for instruction in 2021 as it navigates the effects of coronavirus on students and staff.

The state Department of Health’s Decision Tree was created to help districts decide when to open. My Northwest has put together a reopening tracker so that it’s easier to compare districts’ plans as they develop throughout the school year.

Based on the progression of COVID-19 metrics and guidance from the health department, the earliest we will bring grades 3-12 back for in-person learning in a hybrid model is February 2. We are hopeful we might bring our youngest learners back earlier than the older students.

Our current plan is to evaluate the health data in mid-December to determine if a mid-January return in hybrid is feasible for students in Preschool through 2nd grade. Elementary students will only be brought back for broad in-person learning in January, following Winter Break.

Any decision at that time will be subject to review of the health data conditions for King County. Secondary students will only be brought back for broad in-person learning for the second semester of the school year.

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Any decision at that time will be subject to review of the health data conditions for King County. FPS, like most of the surrounding districts, decided to start the 2020-21 school year providing 100% remote learning.

The Kent School District will remain in remote learning for the first semester of this year through January 28. We made this decision primarily based on the data that the COVID-19 activity rates in the SD community remain higher than King County overall and continue to stay above the maximum level the Department of Health has set for when schools may safely reopen for in-person learning.

From the superintendent: The MID staff and elementary schools are ready to bring our kindergarten students back on January 6 as planned. The Early Childhood program successfully and fully reopened at North wood after Thanksgiving, which makes us confident kindergarten will be a success, allowing us to remain on schedule and bring first-graders back on January 19.

Given the current trajectory of the data, at this time it is unlikely that the Renton School District will offer an in-person Preschool through 5th grade hybrid model option before January 2021. The most likely scenario is that the vast majority of students will continue with remote learning through at least the end of December.

A task force will monitor progress, implementation and efficacy of the reopening plan and remote learning model, and to advise the Board and Superintendent throughout the 2020 – 2021 school year. We will continue to monitor all available data and will provide families and staff at least two weeks’ notice before beginning to offer a hybrid learning option.

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We will continue to monitor community and regional data and public health guidance to determine a timeline for switching to a hybrid model of instruction. We are disappointed to announce that rising rates of COVID-19 transmission in King County have led us to delay inviting Tahoma students in preschool through grade 2 back to classrooms on Oct. 19.

Tequila School District staff are starting to develop plans for the potential return of our early learners and examining what this experience might look like. Part of the planning process knows whether families have a preference to have their students return for some in-person learning or to stay with a distance-learning option.

Note: There may be exceptions for students with special education whose disabilities significantly impact their access to an online learning environment. Most of our older students will remain in a fully remote learning model until at least the end of first semester (January 28).

Students in kindergarten and first grade will be the first groups to transition to in person learning in the classroom. Kindergarten and first grade hybrid students started attending school on-site part-time on Oct. 12.

Current projections would place Harrington in a remote learning model through at least the first academic quarter (November 6, 2021). Plans have been in motion for weeks to bring four (4) groups of self-contained special education students back, and our goal is November 2.

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During the summer, we shared approximate dates with our families for when we saw it logistically possible to transition to in-person learning, which would be the start of each new quarter/semester (Nov. 12, 2020; Feb. 3, 2021; April 14, 2021). We will continue to use those dates to guide us on major shifts, but the sooner we can get some of our students back to in-person learning, the better.

At this time, we do not know when we will move forward with Phases 2-4 (see graphic below) of our Hybrid Learning Plan. This transition will be dependent on COVID-19 infection rates and guidance from the Snohomish Health District.

In the Marysville School District, we opened with a plan called “Continuous Learning 2.0” that will have a three-prong approach based on health and safety and the primary considerations developed by the community workgroup. We are currently planning to welcome back our developmental preschool and all kindergarten students as early as October 12.

Superintendent Nelson shared that due to rising COVID-19 cases in our county and specifically within district boundaries, tentative plans to bring back some students starting Oct. 26 would be postponed. The school board decided to postpone the tentative October 26 in-person start date for our preschool through 2nd grade classrooms.

Dr. Sitters emailed guidance to school leaders asking them to “not move ahead now on any plans to bring in additional students.” He also stressed that, at this time, “there is no need to go backward at schools that have already started to bring in students Kindergarten to 3rd grade, or those with special needs.” We will be meeting with Dr. Sitters on Tuesday, October 20th, to discuss our plans to bring back 4th and 5th grade students for face-to-face instruction on October 26th. The Ethel School District will not return to in-person learning in October due to the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in Pierce County.

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All students will continue in our current remote learning instructional model through at least mid November. It is their recommendation, based on COVID-19 cases in OUR county RIGHT NOW, that it would be unsafe to open schools in early September.

Based on the concerning increase in the rate of county COVID-19 cases and updated health department information, the district will delay launching hybrid learning for students and will remain in virtual learning: We will continue our work and planning that we have begun that currently targets a November 2nd return for students in preschool through fifth grade.

It is difficult to say today whether we can stick with that November date, but for the time being we will wait and see what happens with transmission rates in Pierce County. Eatonville School District elementary students enrolled in any of the district’s three elementary may start to return to school in-person at the end of the month, if Pierce County continues to meet COVID-19 targets set by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and state Department of Health.

This next phase is called the hybrid model, in which students learn two days in their school and three days at home with Wednesdays continuing from home using the current “Wednesday Distance Learning Schedule.” From the superintendent: Fife Public Schools will not be transitioning to a hybrid learning model on November 2nd, which was our target date established on September 28th.

Students will be divided into two cohorts to increase engagement, reduce screen time, and create flexible alternatives for families. There are far too many factors to base our decision-making on a specific number as our only metric for reopening.

We do not want to pivot back and forth between opening, delaying, or additional closures due to changing advice by the TP CHD and increasingly risky conditions for our children. The Task Force plans to reconvene and discuss the next steps in reopening Opting Schools on October 20, 2021.

PSD is currently providing safe, in-person learning for preschool, K-1 students and other small groups. If COVID-19 case rates move to and stabilize at the “Moderate” level, in mid-December, we will notify families of our intent to have elementary students (grades K-5) begin our hybrid model on January 4th, 2021 (immediately following Winter Break).

While it was a very difficult decision, we believe it is the right one for the health and safety of our students and staff, especially in light of the continuous increase in COVID-19 cases. Our district team continues to stay in close contact with the health department and monitor the data.

White River schools will start this fall with every student in distance learning. WashingtonCounty Public Schools seeks to find hardworking, highly qualified teachers and personnel.

WashingtonCounty Public Schools (CPS) is currently taking a pause from our Return to Learn plan. All students transitioned to full distance learning through online classes as of November 16, 2021.

CPS intends to resume in-person classes in Stage 4 on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, dependent on community health metrics. CPS is optimistic our community health metrics will continue to decline and will support this plan.

Stages will move forward or in reverse based on community health metrics that the State of Maryland has provided for guidance. The community can review this data on the Maryland Schools Recovery website.

The following students are eligible to attend in-person classes five school days a week: In November 2020, CPS surveyed parents and guardians to determine how many and which students would be returning in Stage 4.

School staff will contact these families to confirm the return of their students in Stage 4 no later than Monday, February 1, 2021. It is important that everyone in our learning community uphold and follow the established health and safety protocols, which are based off of local and national guidance.

Wearing face coverings throughout the day in all school facilities and buses. CPS has developed a website that includes information about all of our health and safety protocols for students and staff during COVID-19.

Parents are encouraged to use Parentage and CPS email to communicate directly with teachers regarding their children. Teachers can also invite parents and guardians as guests to their child’s Google Classroom.

Parents can choose to receive daily or weekly assignment summaries to track their child’s progress. School staff members will be available from 4:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday to provide general assistance with school-related assignments, applications, and websites.

If in-person practices cannot begin on this date, the winter sports season will be canceled in WashingtonCounty. CPS will be following state guidelines and will share additional information regarding spectators at sporting events closer to the start of competitions.

It has been a priority of CPS to continue to provide access to school meals through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Food Services staff is operating meal sites at different locations across WashingtonCounty this school year.

As required by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), CPS released the Return to Learn Plan: Reopen and Accelerate Learning and posted the document to the website by August 14, 2021 (updated 10/23/2021). This document outlines the priorities, strategies, and operations of CPS for continuous learning through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note the table of contents topics are linked to their respective sections of the plan. WashingtonCounty Public Schools (CPS) has developed student day schedules during distance learning.

Students have one hour for lunch to allow enough time for children to visit one of the 19 meal sites across the county. Students have one hour for lunch to allow enough time for children to visit one of the 19 meal sites across the county.

Students have one hour for lunch to allow enough time for children to visit one of the 19 meal sites across the county. Students have one hour for lunch to allow enough time for children to visit one of the 19 meal sites across the county.

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