The Daily World
The Aberdeen School District announced Friday that it will reopen in the fall with classroom learning for grades K-3 and distance learning for grades 4-12.
A statement from the district said school will open “in a hybrid instruction model that brings the youngest learners and most vulnerable students back into the buildings for in-person instruction on a modified schedule, while students in grades 4-12 will start school in a distance learning model until COVID-19 case counts have abated.”
Superintendent Alicia Henderson on Thursday outlined the plan at a meeting of the district’s Reopening Task Force — a stakeholder group of 80 people that includes parents, principals, teachers, staff, and union leaders that has been meeting weekly since June 11 — and intends to present the plan to the school board Aug. 11.
“We would like to provide an in-person option for all students, but current health conditions do not allow us to do that safely,” said Henderson. “However, we are confident that we can safely reopen school for preschool and K-3 under guidance that permits up to 10 people in a classroom. In addition, we will be working with the parents of our special needs students to determine who to bring back for in-person services.”
She added, “Critical to our success will be strict adherence to all safety measures by our students, staff and families.”
Distance learning remains an option for all families. “We are committed to a robust system that provides flexibility and the best opportunity for our students to be successful,” Henderson said.
Until recently, Grays Harbor was a “low risk” county and the Task Force was focused on a plan that provided in-person instruction for all grades, read the district statement. But as COVID-19 case counts began to rise this summer, the Governor’s Office paused the reopening process.
This week, Gov. Jay Inslee and local health officials issued updated guidance that places Grays Harbor as one of nine “moderate risk” counties. For moderate risk counties, the governor recommends distance learning for middle and high school students, with in-person options for elementary school students.
Grays Harbor County health officer Dr. John Bausher this week issued guidance recommending K-12 students start the school year with a distance learning model, or, in special circumstances, a hybrid model. Special circumstances are defined as having the staffing capacity and facilities to implement all safety measures outlined by Washington State Department of Health K-12 Schools Fall 2020-2021 Guidance and the Washington State Department of Health. He encouraged schools to prioritize elementary students and special education services, and to utilize remote learning models for older grades.
Henderson invited the Task Force to continue planning for the eventual return of all students. The work of the Reopening Task Force can be found on the district website, https://www.asd5.org/, under the “Reopening” tab.