In-person instruction for Seattle schools to resume before March

Jan 5 2021, 7:05 pm

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will be sending out surveys today to families with kids in pre-K, Kindergarten, first grade, and special education programs as it prepares to bring students back for in-person learning.

Last month, the board approved a resolution that allowed SPS to begin the process of bringing approximately 9,000 students back into school buildings and classrooms.

With the new resolution, students in pre-K through first grade, as well as students enrolled in moderate to intensive special education service pathways, are expected to return to school by March 1.

The surveys will gauge how many eligible students will be returning to school buildings this year as families who don’t feel comfortable sending their kids back to school can continue with remote learning. The results of the survey will help the district figure out the number of in-person teachers and classroom space is needed, as well as the amount of PPE needed.

The Department of Health suggests three categories for re-introducing in-person learning:

  • For schools in counties where COVID-19 cases are “low” (less than 50 residents per 100,000), in-person learning should be made available for all students.
  • In counties where COVID-19 cases are “moderate” (between 50 and 350 residents per 100,000), in-person learning should be phased in, starting with elementary students not already attending in person and middle school students, followed by high school students.
  • Finally, in counties where COVID-19 cases are “high” (over 350,000 per 100,000 residents), it’s recommended that schools should only offer in-person instruction for elementary and high-need students in small groups of 15 students or fewer.

Enrollment for the 2021-22 school year for all students new to SPS began yesterday, January 4, 2021. The School Choice window closes May 31, 2021. More information on registration can be found on the SPS website.

Alyssa TherrienAlyssa Therrien

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