LOCAL NEWS

Seattle Public Schools delays in-person start date after negotiations with teachers stall out

Feb 22, 2021, 4:47 PM
child care system, Seattle Public Schools...
Bus driver Treva White and nutritionist Shaunté Fields deliver meals to children and their families on May 6, 2020 in Seattle. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) announced Monday that it will be delaying its in-person start date for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, and Pathway students for at least one more week.

‘Encouraging news’ from study of COVID outbreaks in Washington schools

The initial start date for the phased-in return was originally set for March 1, and will now be pushed back to March 8.

The district blames the delay on continued negotiations with the Seattle teachers’ union over working conditions in schools. The union said Monday that it is looking to reach an agreement with the district on returning to in-person classes “as quickly as we can.”

“But we’re unwilling to cut corners on safety precautions in order to meet arbitrary deadlines,” it clarified in a written release.

The union went on to state that the process can move forward quickly if the district agrees to “necessary COVID protections,” including increased availability of personal protective equipment and the implementation of stringent health and safety protocols.

The SPS Board of Directors plans to hold a special work session on Thursday to “discuss next steps for the plan,” and says it is “committed to continuing negotiations in good faith.”

Reykdal: Concern over reopening schools ‘isn’t matching’ with science

The district also requested the use of a third party Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) mediator to “help facilitate a timely response.”

“PERC is impartial and will help explore solutions that lead to a mutual solution,” the district said.

That said, the teachers’ union declined the use of PERC to help facilitate negotiations, claiming that “the issue not that we need mediation but that the district needs to work with us to continue moving forward.”

SPS says it will notify families as soon as possible if further delays become necessary.

Local News

Hinman Glacier...
Associated Press

Washington’s Hinman Glacier gone after thousands of years

The largest glacier between the high peaks of Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak has melted away after a long battle with global warming.
8 hours ago
Tyre Nichols 900x506...
Graham Johnson, KIRO 7 News

Local law enforcement officials, community leaders continue to lament death of Tyre Nichols

Anger and heartbreak over the police killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis is felt around Puget Sound this weekend.
8 hours ago
Pierce County substation...
Associated Press

Man accused in holiday substation vandalism released from custody

One of the two men charged with vandalizing electrical substations in Washington state over the holidays to cover a burglary was ordered released from federal custody Friday to seek substance abuse help.
8 hours ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Thurston County community continues to remember victims of deadly house fire

Tumwater District Stadium was packed Sunday night as family, friends, and most of the community came out to pay tribute
8 hours ago
Cold Seattle...
Bill Kaczaraba

Frigid, but sunny start to the workweek in Puget Sound

It will be a frigid, but sunny start to the workweek in Puget Sound with highs only in the 30s.
1 day ago
Lynnwood protests...
Bill Kaczaraba

Opioid center protesters admit they lost the war

A few dozen protesters fighting against a new opioid treatment center admit they lost the war over the location in Lynnwood, but will continue to fight for children's safety and transparency of the process.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Seattle Public Schools delays in-person start date after negotiations with teachers stall out