Video Message from the Superintendent
November 12, 2020
November 10, 2020
It is with great disappointment that I announce our district will not be moving forward with plans to return athletes to limited outdoor activities or return K-2 students to in-person learning on November 16th.
We will continue to provide in-person services for individual and small groups of students who have previously been identified as requiring more intensive supports. These services will continue until further notice, as our protective measures have continued to prove effective. For those families who recently requested to move their child to the Online Academy with Edgenuity, you will receive a call from your child’s school on Thursday to clarify your preference.
As you may have seen yesterday, the transmission rates for Snohomish County increased from 125.9 to 187.7 cases per 100,000. At the same time, hospitalizations have doubled in the past week. Test positivity rates are at 6%. All of these indicators are well past recommended levels in the DoH Decision Tree. This explosion of infections outstrips our district’s ability to assure families and staff that the safety measures we have in place will hold up as hundreds of students return to school.
It is our determination that bringing grade bands of students onto our campuses under these conditions is not reasonable. Because we are not returning our K-2 students to in-person learning before the holidays, we will also have to pause on our planned return of 3-5th graders on January 11th. All timelines are on hold.
Because the spread of COVID-19 is not likely to reverse during the holiday season, we will be reviewing trends and guidance after we return to school on January 4th. During the first two weeks of January, we will once again consider a phased return of our elementary school students to in-person learning and our athletes to limited activities outdoors.
I recognize that for many of you this news is disappointing, even heartbreaking. The school board and I understand the hardship that many of you and your students have experienced during remote learning. We have heard your stories. Over the past two weeks, our staff and administration have been working side-by-side every day to finalize plans for our students’ return on the 16th. Though not everyone agreed with that decision, everyone engaged in the planning. The courage and commitment shown by our staff were truly inspiring. Our plans are in place. We stand ready to move forward when the time is right.
We all share the heartbreak and disappointment that this news brings. I will continue to update you as we revisit our plans. Please stay safe and healthy.