On Thursday, July 30th, during a school board work session, Snoqualmie Valley School District Superintendent Dr. Rob Manahan recommended now starting the 2020-21 school year fully remote.
The recommendation is a change from the hybrid in-person /remote learning model announced on July 8th – and in response to increasing COVID-19 spread across King County and Washington State.
Nearly all King County school districts had already announced plans to also change course and start the year remotely.
Dr. Manahan recommended the district commit to the full remote learning plan for the first 6-weeks of the school year for student and teacher consistency – and then reassess as virus trends potentially change.
A district survey in mid June showed 51% of parents were very comfortable sending students back to the classroom and 11% were not comfortable at all. But it was after completion of the survey that virus spread began to increase statewide. [About 3,000 people responded to that survey.]
A recently-closed July survey of SVSD staff showed only 50% were comfortable being back in buildings this fall. 32% said they were not comfortable. 18% of staff did not respond for various reasons according to Manahan.
Following the district’s initial hybrid learning plan announcement, about 20% of families chose the full remote learning option and about 55% opted for the hybrid model. 2% of elementary students and 1% of middle school students withdrew from the district after that announcement.
Manahan said the district will continue to actively work on preparing for the new school year, including its honing its improved remote learning model; solidifying childcare with community partners; completing a comprehensive return to school guidebook; professional development for teachers; finalizing return to school and food service plans for vulnerable students. [See full list below]
During the work session, all school board members indicated they were supportive of the district’s recommendation to switch to full remote learning model this fall.
At one point there were over 200 people attending Thursday’s Zoom board meeting, a possible attendance record for the district.
SVSD formally announced the new fall reopening plan on Friday morning, July 31st. The School Board is expected to approve a resolution detailing its final reopening plan at the August 13th meeting.
See some of the slides below that were presented during the work session: