Hello, Highline families. Well, it's officially fall, and we are officially two and a half weeks in to our new school year together. And we are all adjusting to distance learning, which is our new way of learning at this moment in time.
I want to give you an update today on the potential for bringing back some students in small groups for in-person learning, as you are hearing is happening in some districts across our region. But first, I want to take a moment to thank you. Thank you for continuing to give us your support and your patience and grace as we work through the challenges of distance learning.
And thank you to those of you who took the time to participate in our Thought Exchange. We really appreciated hearing from you what's working and what isn't, and I know that our hardworking teachers and staff appreciated knowing that you acknowledge how hard they're all working because they are. So thank you for that.
So when might we potentially have students back in person in Highline? Well, first of all, this is going to be driven by the transmission rates, and the transmission rates vary across counties and within counties. So for example, in Pierce County, where Tacoma is, their transmission rates are lower than King County, which is why you're hearing the Tacoma, Puyallap, other districts in Pierce County are planning to bring elementary students back within the next week or two.
Here in King County, our transmission rates are higher, but they are going down, and that's good news. And so you are also hearing that districts in King County are talking about bringing students back in a hybrid model in small groups. We need to make sure, however, that the transmission rates in Highline support our being able to bring students and staff back in as safe a manner as possible, and so that is what we are looking at right now. Rest assured that we will continue to communicate with you as we learn more from public health and that our decisions will be guided by public health and that we will partner with our teachers and staff to make sure that the return is as safe and smooth as possible.
So stay tuned. We will continue to update you as we learn more. And I just want to close with this. When I welcomed you to the school year a couple of weeks ago, I said that our theme this year would be on connection, communication, and celebration. And I urge us to continue our focus there. So please, please, please make sure that your child is connecting with his or her teachers and fellow classmates. And if you have any challenges in that regard, let your teacher, principal, or me know.
Number two, communication-- please continue communicating with us. We know that we have much to learn and much to improve, and we appreciate hearing from you on what we can do better. And finally, three, celebration-- there is so much good going on, so much to celebrate across Highline. So please share the good news as well because heaven knows, we all need a little bit of good news these days.
So with that, I thank you. And it is truly an honor to serve as your superintendent. Please stay safe, strong, and healthy, and we will see you soon.