In early August, Gov. Insley’s office urged most schools in Washington State to consider implementing distance education when schools resume in the fall. Counties at risk were divided into three categories – high, medium and low – in terms of a viable return to individual learning.
While the following recommendations based on risk categories were not a legally binding requirement, 95% of students returned to school remotely statewide in September.
Most Washington students will start school remotely throughout the year
For high-risk counties – with more than 75 new cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period – distance learning is recommended for students at every level with a disability “strongly”, a limited-person option for students with disabilities. .
The recommendation is for medium-risk counties with 25 to 75 new cases for every 100,000 residents, with distance learning for middle school and high school students, learning for elementary school students and people with disabilities.
In low-risk counties – under 25 new cases per 100,000 residents – the recommendation was to include a hybrid model that included both distance and in-person learning for middle and high schools and full-time in-person classes for elementary school students.
The decision tree for K-12 outlines a reopening from the state Department of Health that some learners in schools may begin to consider gradually reopening when their county is in the middle grade. It recommends that younger students be given priority for individual return to schools.
As of September 14, there are now 10 counties in the low-risk category. 14 counties are still listed as high-risk, reporting more than 75 new cases per 100,000.
King and Pierce counties were high risk in August, but have now moved into the medium risk category. However, this does not mean that students will return to schools immediately. Both public health – Seattle and King County and the Tacoma-Pierce Health Department have indicated that there will be no return to school two weeks before Labor Day, as rising trends in new cases in Washington were seen after the weekend of the Fourth’s holiday. July and Memorial Day. To ensure that transmission rates continue to be monitored for at least 14 days downstream.
Pierce County, which has a rate of 65.4 new cases per 100,000 in the last two weeks, schools may consider a “gradual return to individual learning.” Read the health district letter sent to the school superintendents concerning this requirement.
For King County, which has a rate of 68.1 per 100,000, the Department of Public Health says it is supporting schools and communities in preparing for in-school learning by updating critical metrics and developing the school COVID-19 response toolkit.
Most schools are closed for in-person learning for now because there is a high increase in the number of COVID-19 cases when students, staff and teachers are brought back together when there is a high community transmission ”, followed by hospitalization. According to a recent blog post on Public Health Insider, the system as a whole and our community.
If transmission rates remain moderate or declining, King County health officials say school districts may decide to bring back some students based on their individual assessments, plans, and abilities.
‘It’s Regular School Now’: Washington aims for better virtual learning as classes begin
According to the state DOH, guidelines to resume in-person learning include: face covering, physical disturbances, placing students in small and consistent groups, increasing cleanliness and hygiene, and improving ventilation in buildings.
Public Classroom Insider reads, “There is still a risk when returning to classrooms, and schools, families, and communities can work together to mitigate that risk.” “We don’t know much about how this school year will be. Returning to in-classroom education will require all of us to keep community rates as low as possible for health practices, including physical disturbances, wearing masks and keeping gatherings short. Together with all of us – carers, students, school staff and community partners – everyone can be an active part of keeping us healthy and learning together. ”