Washougal, WA — Washougal School District (WSD) is expanding its hybrid learning program for students in grades 6-12 to four days of in-person learning, starting Monday, April 19, 2021.
The change was made possible by the State of Washington Department of Health adoption of the three-foot physical distancing guidance for students in classrooms that was adopted earlier this month by the Center for Disease Control.
“We are working with teachers, staff, administrators, and public health officials to ensure we can provide safe learning environments for larger numbers of students,” said Mary Templeton, WSD Superintendent. “Staff will be working over the coming weeks to implement protocols for areas where the six-foot social distancing rule still applies, like during lunch and passing time, and in some classrooms where students are exhaling more frequently such as P.E., choir, and band. All district staff will have had the opportunity to be fully immunized by that time.”
Middle and high school students will continue to have an asynchronous day on Wednesday, which provides time for teachers to plan lessons and make contact with students who are not able to return to in-person learning at this time. K-5 students will also continue to have an asynchronous Wednesday, along with the current schedule which has a 1 hour late start. Teachers use this time each day to contact students who are fully remote.
“Our goal is to continue to provide service to both in-person hybrid and fully remote students this way through the end of this school year,” said Templeton. “We are also committed to providing the least amount of disruption to our students and families as we make this last transition for the school year. As we plan for next school year, we plan to offer five days of full-time, in-person learning for students in grades K-12, unless they are enrolled in the new online Washougal Learning Academy. We are delighted that WLA is available to serve families who need flexibility or who are unable to return to in-person learning.”
These opportunities for schools to expand in-person educational offering are the result of the community at large doing their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Clark County’s rate per 100,000 must remain under 200 to use the new 3-foot guidance in grades 6-12, which is critical for supporting four days per week. The rate per 100,000 over 14 days is currently 105.6. “To keep students in school, all of us must wear masks, watch our distance, and wash our hands,” urged Templeton. “Health officials studying the spread of COVID emphasize these simple, but critical steps in our daily lives to be able to take next steps in our reopening.”
- April 12: Students in grades K-5 will begin hybrid four-days per week, with the same late start schedule they have now.
- April 19: Students in grades 6-12 will begin hybrid four-days per week with the same schedule they have for hybrid now.
- Students with special needs who are attending in-person on a special schedule will be contacted by the student’s case manager if there are schedule changes.
School staff continue the safety routines and protocols that are keeping students and staff safe. These include daily health screening, mandatory face coverings, social distancing, hand washing, and additional cleaning, signage and training.