Superintendents face unprecedented challenges trying to re-open schools
Thanks to declining transmission and overall improved conditions around COVID-19, area school districts have started announcing more concrete plans for returning to some form of in-person learning.
In reviewing these plans a common theme emerges: families should expect the process to be more like “turning a dial” and less like “flipping a switch.” That means students will return in small groups, based mostly on age (younger students first) and also on need (students with more significant needs return earlier). Older students will return later if the initial re-opening goes well. High school students in some districts may at best only see hybrid learning options.
There will be lots of health and safety procedures to follow, including masks and distancing. If families want to stay the course with remote learning they’ll be able to do so (but you’ll definitely want to check with your district). And of course all of this can change if conditions change.
If you’re exhausted just trying to figure this out, imagine being the person in charge of it all. In Washington, that person is the superintendent in each school district, in consultation with local health authorities. Not the governor. Not the state superintendent of public instruction.
So to all superintendents and their staff we say thank you. We appreciate all that you do.