Central Valley 7th to 12th graders moving to in-person learning five days a week

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — A big change is coming for Central Valley School District students. Start on April 12, the Central Valley School Board voted unanimously to have all 7th to 12th graders will go back to class, in-person five days a week.

For the past month, high school students were on a hybrid model and only going until 12:10. Middle schoolers were also on a hybrid model, but went to class all day. Some of this won’t change.

“This would be more of a traditional high school and middle school schedule — 7-12,” said Ben Small, Superintendent of the Central Valley School District.

Middle school students will go to class from 8:50 a.m. to 2:05 p.m. with three periods. High school is going to be different.

These students will have three periods and go to lunch at 11:50 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. However, they’re not eating it at school. Small says there are many reasons for not having students at school all day.

“But as we look at how to finish the school year out, making major changes to what we’re currently doing is not — I don’t think it’s in the best interest as we move forward,” Small said.

He said not having lunch at school lowers the risk of transmitting COVID-19 as students take off their masks to eat. Also, they have to maintain six feet of social distance, so doing this with all the students in school would be hard to do.

“Keeping to this schedule allows more opportunity to have more students on campus and coordinate that as well,” said Tim Nootenboom, Associate Superintendent of Central Valley School District.

Just like right now, students will go home with their lunch for independent study.

“We believe that this system that we have today that was built to adjust to a model of in-person learning actually gives us the best chance to maximize and continue to have students in-person learning,” Small explained.

During Monday night’s board meeting, Small also discussed Governor Inslee’s announcement to relax social distancing rules, lining up with the CDC’s recommendations. While this was a discussion, no decision was made as to when this will drop from six to three feet. It’s only an option for school districts — not required. However, according to the State Office of Public Instruction, three feet will be required next year as long as cases remain low and the majority of the state’s adults get their vaccine.

There is some good news! High school students will have an in-person, outdoor graduation this year.

RELATED: Central Valley middle, high school students undergoing another hybrid schedule change

READ: Spokane Public Schools braces for updated reopening guidance from the state