Superintendent Susan Enfield gives an update on Distance Learning. "After much careful deliberation, the board and I have made the decision that Highline will remain in full distance learning for the first semester of this year." Watch to learn more.
Hello, Highline. I'm coming to you today with an important announcement. After much careful deliberation, the board and I have made the decision that Highline will remain in full distance learning for the first semester of this year. I know that this is not the news any of us wanted. We all want our students and our staff back in buildings. We have heard however rightfully so that the safety of our students and staff is everyone's number one priority as it is ours.
And the reality is that the COVID activity rates in Highline remain higher than King County overall and still are above the threshold that the Department of Health has set for when schools may safely reopen. In addition, we are hearing that there is likely to be a surge of the virus in winter. So the chances of our numbers going down significantly are not great.
This was not an easy decision as I said. It will however allow us to put all of our energy now on figuring out how to do distance learning well, how to best support all of our students and our staff with all of the energy that we have. That is what we want to do.
I do want to say that the one exception is that like other districts in our region, we will be bringing back very small groups of students with special needs who need direct service from us. These will be very small groups. We've invested in all of the PPE that the state mandates we use. But we feel that it is incredibly important that like our neighboring districts we're serving our students with special needs to the degree that we can.
I want to end by saying thank you. I know that this is a challenging, challenging time for us all. I also know that there's tremendous uncertainty. Please know that I continue to be so proud and so grateful to each of you, to our staff and families who are working so hard to make sure that our students have what they need to learn, and to our students, whom we miss, that are really working to make distance learning work for them. Thank you. Thank you so much.
We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more. And as I said, now we are going to focus all of our energies on being the very best we can in the months ahead. Together, we will get through this. Because together, we are Highline. Thank you, everybody.