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Seattle schools superintendent hopes to improve online learning in fall

The superintendent for the Seattle school district shares what parents can expect this fall.

SEATTLE — Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Denise Juneau acknowledged online learning in the spring was “a little rocky,” but said the district hopes to improve on it this fall as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

“Now our plan is to be good at online instruction,” Juneau said. “Because even if we do come back in-person, depending on the activity of the virus we will likely have to pop in and pop back out several times. So there will be a need for online instruction.”

Juneau says families should expect a hybrid model of in-person and remote learning next year, although an overwhelming number of parents want students back in the classroom.

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Of the 30,000 parents who responded to a recent survey, just 8% want students to stay at home full-time, according to Juneau.

Seattle Public Schools is expected to develop the final blueprint for fall instruction in August, but Juneau said there are some things parents can expect, such as social distancing and masks required at all times. The district hopes to have a minimum of two days of in-person learning per week, but parents can choose a completely online option if they like.

Last week the Seattle Public School Board examined a preliminary plan to reopen schools in fall. The hybrid model is expected to cost $15 million, which covers hiring staff, purchasing personal protective equipment and cleaning gear and deep cleaning schools after a confirmed case.

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