Path 4Ward: Spokane Schools superintendent explains what’s next for students

SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington parents finally got some clarity on Thursday about what schools will look like come fall. 

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction released a guide on how schools in Washington can re-open. 

Spokane Superintendent Shelley Redinger says the guidance is what they’ve been preparing for. 

Navigating education through a pandemic. 

“What does it look like? The unknowns are scary in terms of what this will look like in the fall,” said Redinger. 

SPS is weighing three options: Whether kids return to class in person, stick with distanced learning or choose a hybrid option, or alternating between in-person and online instruction. 

Back to school won’t be back to normal. 

“We are working on our plan right now but there are so many needs because we will need more technology,” said Redinger. 

SPS is looking into Federal CARES Act funding to help supply more online learning programs and laptops. 

“We’ve checked out about 9,000. We’re letting families that are going to be with us next year keep it for the summer so they’re not worried about having to check it back in,” said Redinger. 

According to OSPI’s newly released reopening guide, every school district has to put together an alternative plan to go back to online instruction. 

So expect some form of online learning to play a role this fall. Some of that federal money may go to another big need. 

“The personal protective equipment, the PPE is huge. Masks, cleaning for student and staff, think a lot of money will help with startup,” said Redinger. 

Students won’t be back in class without cleaning strategies and the Spokane Regional Health District will help SPS determine those. 

“Masks will be an important part of it,” said Redinger. “Also, we’re checking to see temperature checks.” 

OSPI has recommended increasing space between desks, holding lunches outside of classrooms, canceling field trips. 

Dr. Redinger hopes to have a specific plan by August 1. 

For now, she says SPS is communicating with families and staff regularly, and they want input.

You can visit Spokane Schools’ website to leave your input.

READ: In-person instruction expected to resume in Washington schools this fall

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