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Washington schools get more guidance on what fall classes will look like

With Washington educators still uncertain of what classrooms will look like when schools resume in the fall, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal has identified a trio of possible options.

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The proposals come from a work group Reykdal assembled weeks ago, operating under “the assumption that we won’t have a vaccine by September and that communities will still be mitigating the spread of COVID-19 by minimizing large group gatherings.”

With that in mind, the work group laid out three possible models.

  • Split or rotating schedules for in-person learning, with distancing learning available for students in the interim periods
  • Phased-in classes in person, with distancing learning still available
  • A measure labeled “Continuous Learning 2.0,” which would expand on the current distance learning models

All three of these proposals would account and adjust for the county, district, and region schools are located in. School districts expect to receive further guidance from the superintendent’s office by June 8.

What Washington schools might look like in the fall

Reykdal has been warning for months that the ongoing COVID-19 crisis could have schools operating remotely late into the year. In recent weeks, though, he’s hinted at more regional, focused approach.

“It looks like it will be some kind of a menu-based on a lot more localization,” Reykdal said in late May. “Caseloads are different around the state, [and] population densities … in elementary school can look very different than high school.”

At the time, he cited the possibility of up to eight different proposed models, “and then variations of those options.” Now it would appear as though the field has narrowed to the three proposals drawn up by the the state’s work group.

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