Child Health, Coronavirus

Seattle Public Schools recommends fall classes start with remote learning

School Board to Vote on 2020-21 Plan in mid-August

Image by klimkin from Pixabay

From Seattle Public Schools

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau today announced the district’s recommendation to use a remote learning model beginning with fall classes of the 2020-21 school year, and to continue the remote learning model until the risk of significant transmission of Covid-19 has decreased enough to resume in-person instruction.

The SPS Board of Directors will vote on the superintendent’s recommendation, and an associated plan for Fall 2020, during its regular board meeting on August 12, 2020.

The recommendation for remote learning is a shift from the district’s previous hybrid plan that included in-person/in-school learning and remote learning.

“Every recommendation regarding this fall has been made by taking into consideration the latest data and science,” said Superintendent Juneau. “The current trajectory of infection in King County and the most recent data and information from public health makes it clear that resuming school in-person this fall is impossible.”

Countries that have managed to successfully reopen schools are those countries with declining infection

rates. In King County, rates of transmission are rising.

The recommendation to use a remote-only learning model has been endorsed by both the Seattle Education Association (SEA) and the Principals Association of Seattle Schools (PASS).page1image506787856

Since the closure of SPS school buildings last spring, new research has become available, including additional updated health guidelines from national and state agencies, as well as data and information on school safety experiences from around the world.page1image506798608

“Given the increasing transmission rates, SEA fully supports opening schools this fall with remote learning only,” said Jennifer Matter, SEA president. “Returning in a remote learning model means our students, staff, and community can stay safe.”

Other elements of the recommendation include:

  • Training for all educators in order to ensure synchronous (live), high quality remote instruction for students.
  • Providing a predictable and consistent teaching/learning schedule on common platforms, using up-to-date resources.
  • Ensuring that students receiving specialized services are provided instruction in alignment with their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans.
  • Racial equity training for all educators focused on student belonging, family partnerships, and interrupting implicit racial bias.
  • Working with the Seattle Council PTSA, City of Seattle, and other community partners to develop community-generated solutions for childcare and learning at home, and continuing to provide childcare in SPS buildings for essential staff, in partnership with the City.
  • Providing meal distribution throughout the city for any students and families with need.
  • Adapting, as necessary, as the environment and data regarding Covid-19 continues toshift and change.“We are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure every student can achieve their highest potential in any learning environment,” said Superintendent Juneau. “Our educators have been working so hard to adapt to these new teaching conditions, and I truly believe our students will be getting the very best in remote and online learning.”The district will announce more information, including specifics around school schedules, as soon as possible.