The Washington State Office of Superintendent and Public Instruction released guidelines for reopening schools in the fall on June 11.
The guidance was developed in partnership with the state department of health, the governor’s office, the department of labor and industries, and a large stakeholder group of more than 120 educators, parents, students, legislators and community organizations, according to an OSPI press release.
“Learning is a social activity, and we want to see our students back in the classroom,” State Superintendent Chris Reykdal stated in a letter. “Protecting the health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. If schools can meet the guidelines laid out today by DOH, they will likely be able to open their doors in the fall for in-person instruction.”
The guidelines suggest three concepts for school districts to consider; split or rotating schedules with distance learning, phased reopening with continuous learning, and a more effective continuous learning system.
“To be very clear, it is my expectation that schools will open this fall for in-person instruction,” Reykdal stated in the letter.
Guidance from the department of health suggests that students and staff should be checked for signs of illness upon arrival each day, and should be removed from school if they show any symptoms. The department also suggests measures such as staggering drop-off and pick-up times to more effectively distance physically, keeping students as far apart as possible on bus transportation as well as regular sanitation of vehicles, and cancelling large-group events such as field trips and assemblies, among others.