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Bellevue educators reach agreement with school district for modified in-person learning plan

The Bellevue Education Association approved an agreement with the Bellevue School District late Monday for modified in-person learning.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The Bellevue Education Association (BEA) approved an agreement with the Bellevue School District late Monday for a "modified in-person expansion plan."

According to the BEA, second graders will return to class on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Kindergarten and first-grade students will tentatively start in February. 

Exact terms of the agreement are still being finalized. The two sides have been at odds for weeks about teachers and students returning to the classroom. 

BEA said in a statement, "After more than three hours of discussion filled with emotion and tough questions, the vote passed by a slim margin and concerns remained. Key terms of the agreement include building-based control over any further expansion services, health-based triggers for delaying expansion for returning to remote instruction, and clearer procedures for ensuring safety protocols are followed and violations are documented and reported."

The Bellevue School District released the following details late Monday:

  • Second graders: Our second graders will continue to meet in person Tuesday and Thursday this week, with Wednesday as a remote learning day. A reminder that this Friday is a no-school day.
  • First graders: We look forward to welcoming our first graders February 8 and 9, with the rest of that week remote.
  • Kindergarteners: Our Kindergartners will start in person learning February 11 and 12.
  • Current in-person learners: Will return to our buildings Tuesday and continue on their normal schedules. 

The district canceled classes Monday, Jan. 25, in order to finalize an agreement with teachers. 

In an alert sent to parents Sunday, the district said, "In order to finalize their work, the Bellevue School District and Bellevue Education Association jointly agreed to cancel school for Monday, January 25. This includes all grade levels, hybrid and virtual, and preschool through grade 12. The school-age BOOST Childcare and Bellevue Boys & Girls Club will serve participating families; and Nutrition Services grab and go and preorder meal deliveries will continue uninterrupted."

Educators with the Bellevue School District held a car parade and rally Sunday, calling on district leaders to resolve safety issues before brining more students and staff back into the classroom.

Teachers voted last Tuesday to pause the expansion of in-person learning until all teachers have the opportunity to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

The district did bring 775 second-graders back to their classrooms on Thursday for partial in-person learning. But they were greeted by substitute teachers.

Their regular teachers largely stayed home because of coronavirus concerns.