Snoqualmie Valley School Board President: Reopening Schools? We Hear You

[By Carolyn Simpson, SVSD School Board President. Letters can be sent to]

Dear SVSD Families,

It has become the most popular topic in the news and on social media: Reopening Schools…the when… the how…the kids…the staff… and the still present COVID-19. 

The opinion range is all over the place. 

Here in the Snoqualmie Valley School District, it is no different.  Our parents and educators are passionate about the education of our Valley’s students, no doubt.  We, the school board, have been hearing the desperate pleas from parents and staff via emails, public meeting comments, phone calls, Facebook chatter, grocery store conversations, etc.  

We hear your passion loud and clear. 

We hear those who are adamantly saying, “The science is undeniable. We must open schools.” 

We hear those who are just as adamantly saying, “The science is undeniable. We must keep our kids and our staff home.” 

We hear those who are extremely concerned about the economic and human tolls of how to handle work and children at home. 

We hear the concerns about coronavirus spread and the health of our community.

The SVSD School Board is in the middle and listening to these passionate and real pleas. 

We all can agree the best way to educate most children is in person.  Unfortunately, we are in trying times that limit our ability to do just that. 

The Department of Health, OSPI, and the Governor have imposed restrictions on social distancing, which make it almost impossible to bring all students back into the buildings, 100% of the time. 

Even with masks, extreme cleaning, and reasonable separation, there are still concerns about COVID-19 transmission that must be considered and guide us.   

We are proud of the work our administration, staff members and community members have done so far to develop an outline of options for learning in the fall – some in house, some remote. 

Our families still have the personal choice for 100% remote, at-home learning – and we are working hard to make meaningful improvements to our remote learning platforms and delivery. 

We plan to be prepared to be nimble as conditions change in either direction, leading to changes in reopening and/or remote learning guidelines from the state and locally.

Our board must approve a reopening plan by mid-August. Our education leaders are working hard on the details. We are still gathering input from parents and staff. 

Parents, please complete your survey that will help us plan for how many students might elect remote learning versus the hybrid model. We have about 2,000 surveys returned so far, but we have about 7,000 students.

Currently, about 25% of families are opting for remote learning. This is helpful information, as we need it to preliminarily assess our staffing, class sizes, program offerings and transportation plans. 

So, keep those surveys coming.  Also, please send in questions to or write to Superintendent Dr. Rob Manahan at and/or the school board at    

Your questions so far have been thoughtful and inspiring – and they help us continue to update our Frequently Asked Questions. 

Most importantly, we want to complete our mission of educating and preparing all Snoqualmie Valley students for college, career and citizenship – even during this temporary disruption. 

Whether we do that in-person or at-home, we are committed to this mission. It will not be perfect. We will not be able to answer all questions. We are, though, committed to doing our best.  

We ask for your patience, your grace and your support.   


Carolyn Simpson, President, SVSD Board of Directors

[The superintendent update on reopening schools, the critical survey and the FAQ can be found at HERE]  

Comments are closed.


  • Here’s a question- If enough parents elect for 100% remote learning, which then reduces the number of children physically at the school enough for the on site students to be properly distanced, would those students then be able to be on campus full time?

    1. Carolyn asked in her letter that we please send in questions to or write to Superintendent Dr. Rob Manahan at and/or the school board at We are incredibly fortunate to have leaders like Carolyn, the rest of the School Board, Rob and the dedicated SVSD staff. There are simply no finer, smarter, or more committed to our valley’s students than these people. We may not agree or even understand every decision, but I know there is no group I would trust with these decisions more than them. Right now is when our support and trust matters the most. Let’s give them that.

      1. I appreciate people asking questions in a community forum like this as well as it helps people see what others are thinking and concerned about. Many of us have been in top notch schools on Mercer Island and in Bellevue so it would be interesting to learn with them as well. My only question is how do teaches do split classes? IE if they are in school with some of the kids are they also going to be working on some days with the kids at home?

  • The latest graph from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), (the independent global health research center at the University of Washington) shows a near vertical climb of infection rate/numbers through November 1rst. Anyone who thinks we’re going back to school needs to, well, go back to school…

    1. It might not be an either/or choice.
      Across the country many child care centers have been open for essential workers and their kids and they haven’t had any infections in kids or staff. They are different in that they had staggered arrivals (vs a bus) and very small student staff ratios (9 to 1) but we might be able to learn from them.
      On the other hand schools opened up in South Korea only to be closed again.

  • Could someone clarify for me the current percentage 25% for online learning is base on computation from overall 7,000 students or 2,000 returned survey numbers?

  • They are now saying district 410 is 100% remote learning when school starts.
    On that ridiculous note, my family is 100% homeschooling. If they expect me to be the teacher then why should they get paid for my students. What a waste of an amazing and expensive brand new high school. If people are afraid and want to live the rest of their lives hiding in their basements, so be it. But don’t ask me to pay for it. My family and I are out. Maybe move to Sweden, more likely Wyoming or Texas. This is sad, been here since kindergarten and the teachers are amazing.

  • Living Snoqualmie