From an October 27, 2020, Everett Public Schools press release.
Everett Public Schools will remain in full remote learning until January 11th, at which time they will begin bringing their youngest students back only if health conditions allow.
This does not apply to the Developmental Kindergarten, Developmental Pre-K, Life Skills and Strive students, whom are now planned to return to the classroom on November 16th, a two-week delay from the original announcement.
This was not an easy decision, but the district does not want to transition to hybrid learning, only to have to close buildings again due to infections. They also want to provide consistent, stable information for families, so they do not worry about information and conditions changing weekly.
“We realize this may be disappointing for many of our students, families, and staff, but we believe it is necessary due to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases over the previous several weeks,” stated Superintendent Ian Saltzman.
In addition to the amazing volume of community feedback the district received through their Let’s Connect sessions, part of their decision-making includes reviewing several metrics weekly to determine if the time is right for a return to school. At this time, the prime concern and the reason for their delay to in-person learning is growth in COVID-19 positive cases in Snohomish County.
“We look forward to bringing all our students back to the classroom, but understand we need to start with smaller groups, so we are bringing back our most vulnerable students first,” Saltzman added.
The students returning on November 16, 2020 will follow safety protocols set forth by the health district. The remaining students will be phased-in beginning January 11th at the earliest and will be based on current COVID rates.
“The health, safety, and well-being of our school community remains our top priority,” Saltzman continued.
He went on to say, “We are following sound protocols aligned with expert health guidance to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect everyone’s health.”
In preparation for return to school buildings the district developed a Family COVID-19 Handbook that contains information on how they will be keeping students safe, and things parents should know.
For further information and updates, please visit everettsd.org/covid2020-21.