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Seattle schools consider partial or full remote learning in fall

Will Seattle Public Schools students return to class this fall? A new district project is working on an ‘adaptable plan’ for next school year.

SEATTLE — Seattle Public Schools (SPS) plans to decide by the end of June whether to continue with remote learning in the fall or have a mix of virtual and in-person classes.

SPS began a three-week project this week aiming to create an adaptable plan for the 2020-21 school year.

The project is called “Learning Plan – Returning to School Fall 2020” and is comprised of four engagement teams. The district said the teams will consider and discuss “a wide range of factors” over seven meetings between June 4-16.

SPS said the engagement teams will explore the following three scenarios:

  • Pre-kindergarten to 5th-grade students attend school in-person full-time; students in grades 6-12 on an A/B schedule receive part in-person learning and part remote learning.
  • PK through 12th-grade students on an A/B schedule receive part in-person learning and part remote learning.
  • 100% remote learning.

RELATED: Guidance for fall classes coming soon for Washington school districts

The engagement teams will present their recommendations to a project leadership group that will announce a decision for the 2020-21 school year on June 19. The district said the decision will be communicated to staff, students, and families.

Each of the four engagement teams will have around 18 members comprised of school leaders, parents, SEA members, partners, students, and central office staff. SPS said the details of the engagement teams are still being finalized.

According to the district, the four engagement teams are tasked with coming up with an adaptable plan that keeps students and staff safe, mitigates and minimizes the spread of COVID-19, supports social-emotional well-being and safe interactions, enable students and staff to return to learning and a plan that supports families through the transition.

SPS said the engagement teams' plan should also prioritize “access to learning for students furthest from educational justice” and “provide services through a racial equity lens.”

The planning process will also include feedback from recent staff, family, and leadership surveys, and will be guided by the tenants of Seattle Excellence, the district said.

RELATED: Tacoma families struggling to access online learning tools

“The project’s swift timeline is purposeful, in order to provide educators with as much time as possible to begin preparing,” SPS said in a press release.

District staff will have a final decision on re-entry plans before the end of the school year and staff departs for the summer.

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