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We are looking forward to welcoming 4th and 5th grade students into our school buildings beginning next week! We also plan to begin offering concurrent livestreaming for those students who will continue learning remotely. Concurrent livestreaming means that teachers will teach in-person in the classroom, and part of the class will join the teacher in-person, while those who chose to continue remote learning will join at the same time by Zoom. Those 4th and 5th grade students whose parents have chosen in-person hybrid learning will start attending in person Thursday, March 25.
While we move forward with this plan, there is not yet a new agreement in place with our IEA teachers union. We continue to bargain, and are hopeful we can come together to best serve our students. This plan will allow us to meet the requirement put forth this week in Governor Inslee’s emergency proclamation, which requires all schools to provide the option of in-person learning at the elementary level by April 5.
In-person hybrid learning has gone smoothly for K-3 students, and virus transmission in our schools has remained limited, so we are ready to bring in more students. We have been impressed by these younger students’ willingness to learn and follow our health and safety protocols, and we are confident our 4th and 5th graders will show the same willingness.
Later today, we will send 4th – 5th grade families more specific information about in-person learning health and safety protocols, including a timeline for the coming days. Each elementary school will send families a link to their building-specific Hybrid Handbook for Families, which will contain specific health and safety protocols and expectations.
We will continue to follow government public health guidance on how to limit community transmission of the virus including the required use of face coverings, physical distancing, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, daily health attestations and others.
We continue to hold bargaining discussions with the IEA around opportunities for the return of students in grades 4-12 to in-person hybrid learning in keeping with the Governor’s proclamation.