Do you have questions and concerns about the safety of hybrid learning? Maybe you have seen statements on social media that are making you anxious about students and teachers returning to school buildings.
There are so many things we don't know: Will a new variant cause COVID rates to spike? When will vaccines be accessible? Will public health guidance change between now and our March 1 target date?
Fear is a natural reaction to the unknown--and we have a lot of unknowns right now. Fear can also lead to misunderstandings and rumors that generate more fear and anxiety.
That's why we are introducing Hybrid Hot Topics as a news feature on our website. Visit this page to find more facts and information on the latest buzz:
The buzz: District leaders are using outdated COVID data that doesn't account for new variants.
District leaders based the plan for a March 1 start for hybrid on guidance from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), which advises in-person instruction for small groups of young students at current COVID rates. This guidance was updated on January 25, 2021.
This does not mean that there is zero risk to in-person instruction, only that public health authorities judge that the current risk is no higher in schools than in the community. This could change with new variants emerging. If DOH revises its guidance, we will revise our plan.
The buzz: Teachers and students will have to clean classrooms between AM and PM sessions.
A teacher or paraeducator will be asked to spray student desks and chairs after the AM session and allow them to air dry. Custodians will:
- Wipe down high touch surfaces (doorknobs, dispensers, etc.)
- Disinfect all rooms with electrostatic machine.
Custodians will repeat this cleaning at the end of the day, as well as disinfect desks and chairs. Custodians will disinfect restrooms hourly. Schools will get a deep cleaning weekly.
The buzz: School safety plans are inadequate to keep staff and students safe.
School safety plans for hybrid are being developed now by teams that include the principal, a teacher representative, a support staff representative and a school nurse. A central office team will review each plan to ensure it complies with Washington State Department of Health and CDC standards. Plans will address entrance and exit points, traffic flow, distancing and other recommended safety measures.
School safety plans will be continually updated, as guidance changes. They will be posted on our website no later than February 10.