Local schools to start fall 100% online
SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Under the guidance of the Snohomish Health District, Monroe, Everett and Snohomish school districts have announced schools will be 100% remote learning to start the 2020-2021 school year, despite majority survey results.
Each school district’s re-opening committee has spent the past week or more sending surveys out to families and faculty to get their opinions on how school districts should operate come fall.
The majority of each district’s survey stated that a hybrid model of in-person schooling, as well as remote, would be the best option.
Snohomish Health District advised against the opening of schools to in-person learning entirely because of the recent resurgence of positive COVID-19 cases in Snohomish County.
“Recent case investigations in Snohomish County have seen one confirmed case quickly spread through a business or an entire household. When considering resuming in-classroom school in the midst of high community transmission, the goal is to reduce the chances of a student or staff member spreading the disease to friends, family members, neighbors, or others who are more vulnerable,” a Snohomish Health District news release said.
“Taking all of this into consideration, I have concluded that reopening schools for in-person classes at this time poses a substantial risk to the school and the surrounding community — especially its medically vulnerable members,” Dr. Chris Spitters, health officer for the Snohomish Health
District said in the news release. “We know that fall is quickly approaching, and plans need to be finalized on how schools will start
the academic year. By making this recommendation now, I hope that provides our schools and their staff and families with as much time as possible to prepare for online learning.”
As of July 30, Snohomish officially announced 100% remote learning and will continue to get details, schedules, and additional information out to parents as soon as possible. the district’s website, www.sno.wednet.edu, has updated information regarding the re-open including a FAQ for the most common questions and concerns.
A common concern brought before the board was the intensity of the courses. Once again Superintendent Kent Kultgen stated the remote learning this upcoming fall will not be comparable to last spring.
Prior coverage: Snohomish Schools’ fall
re-opening plan forming
On July 29, the Everett School District announced the adoption of remote learning. A message to families, from Superintendent Ian Saltzman, was released on the district’s website.
“At this time, we plan for our students to begin the 2020-21 school year in a 100% remote model, using a staged approach for in-person reentry into school buildings. Remote learning in September will look quite different than it looked in the spring. We heard your feedback loud and clear and are making adjustments and improvements to the remote learning model. You will hear more about schedules, attendance, grading and expectations after the final plan is approved by the School Board in August. There will also be a Parent University later in August to support families’ needs and understand the remote learning model,” Saltzman’s message said.
Additional information regarding the re-opening is available at everettsd.org
The Monroe School District (MSD) announced July 31 will be doing remote learning as well. An announcement from Superintendent Justin Blasko was sent to the families of students.
“Monroe families, I know you want to understand what distance learning will look like for the 2020-21 school year. We have reviewed survey responses from last week and the spring, we have had conversations with staff, student groups, parent groups, and in emails and phone calls. Here are some of the changes that are being made to MSD distance learning for the fall:
• The use of Canvas as the sole districtwide Learning Management System (LMS)
• Daily attendance and typical grading practices
• Essential standards to be identified for each subject area and used to focus deep and lasting learning
• A mix of synchronous (using Zoom for class discussions, read-alouds, some instruction, and assessment) and asynchronous (at home and at times that work for you) ... learning working to meet the needs of students and families
“We recognize that distance learning cannot fully meet the needs of some students and we will continue to focus on supporting students and families with unique needs, including special education services, English language learners, students experiencing homelessness and others. The most recent Health Department guidance recognizes this need and recommends groups of no more than five meet at any given time. We will work through this recommendation and determine safe protocols for serving our students within this recommendation,” Blasko’s announcement said.
More information regarding the re-opening can be found at monroe.wednet.edu
Each of the three districts' plans to have students in the building as soon as it is safe for the community.
According to the Snohomish Health District, the ability to safely resume in-person instruction in schools is directly linked to the actions of the community. There are steps we all must take to slow the spread of COVID-19 and create an environment that allows for schools to reopen for on-site learning. These include:
• Wearing a face cover in public
• Maintaining at least six feet of distance from non-household members
• Avoiding gatherings larger than five people from outside of your household, and keeping your social group consistent
• Staying home and getting tested if you are feeling ill
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