Pullman school board votes to keep students distance learning through start of the new year

PULLMAN, Wash. — Students in Pullman Public Schools will not return to classrooms until after the start of the new year.

The school board approved a motion Wednesday that includes a January 4 reopening date.

The motion reads as follows:

The motion was to approve January 4, 2021 as the start date for reopening school utilizing the Stages of Reopening document as long as in-person learning is still recommended by the local health department and reinforced by the state metric. The district will explore testing options for students, staff and teachers, will have a sufficient substitute capacity and will also provide weekly updates regarding conditions at schools which would include testing, safety and any other concerns.

Similar to other districts across Washington, students in Kindergarten and first grade will be the first to transition to in-person learning when it is safe to do so.

Whitman County has dealt with increased case numbers over the last few months, primarily stemming from transmission among students at Washington State University.

As of Thursday morning, there had been 1,867 total cases reported in the county since the start of the pandemic. Six people remain currently hospitalized.