Task force looking at options to get students back into classrooms this fall

OLYMPIA, Wash. — State Superintendent Chris Rekydal said Washington leaders are getting a better idea of what school will look like for students this fall.

Not only will the experts have a say, parents in Washington will also be able to weigh in.

Reykdal said the best case scenario is that the virus tapers until a vaccine is available. Until that happens, he has created a team of experts and community  members to find the best way to get children back to school.

“More than 120 people, super diverse from all geographies of the state by race, by gender, principals, superintendents, teachers, students, parents, practitioners, community-based organizations, legislators, we’ve tried to put a lot of voices on this so that we can understand the health aspects and how to safely open our schools,” Reykdal said.

The task force is looking at several possibilities to do this. One option is to meet social distancing requirements by operation on a split or rotating schedule. They are also considering a model where some students go back to the classroom and others continue distance learning.

Reykdal said, while health and safety are the priorities, the task force will also look at other key issues like transportation and nutrition services provided by schools in the state.

There is not a plan set in stone yet, but Reykdal said he will be back with another update in the coming weeks after the task force has more work under its belt. He said he will also ask for parent feedback at that point.

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