A plan from the Seattle School Board to return the city’s youngest students to the classroom won’t hit its March 1st target date.
In a message to families from Seattle Public Schools, the state’s largest district is telling parents and guardians it will take at least one additional week to work out an agreement with the teachers union. The new target date is March 8th:
An increase of in-person instruction also requires we negotiate new working conditions with Seattle Education Association. Unfortunately, we don’t yet have an agreement with SEA. To begin phasing in students on March 1, we needed an agreement by today. Without an agreement the in-person return date has been delayed until at least March 8. We know that changes like these are difficult for families and students. We are committed to keeping you informed as new information becomes available.
The district plan would begin with preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students and “a phased increase of in-person instruction for students enrolled in Special Education Intensive Service Pathways.”
The district says its central office staff have been “preparing for many months” for the return to school and “health and safety protocols have been implemented, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is in place, and the district has prepared for student transportation and meals.”
The state is also providing increased resources including expanding a system of COVID-19 testing for schools.
Seattle school kids transitioned to online only instruction last spring as the pandemic began to grow. CHS reported earlier this month on the many private schools around Capitol Hill and the Central District taking early first steps in returning their students to the classroom.
The moves come as spread of the pandemic has slowed to rates last seen in early fall and officials say there is progress reaching vulnerable communities in the first phase of the state’s vaccination plan.
CHS reported here on Seattle’s plans to reach a fall 2021 70% vaccination level officials say will allow the area to successfully emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. The massive challenge of the Washington’s “future phases” that will include a wider swath of the state’s population awaits.
HELP KEEP CHS 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' FOR EVERYONE -- SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.