Do you know a student who's living in a shelter, motel, campground, car, park or abandoned building? Or someone who is living doubled up with others because they lost their housing or are facing economic hardship? They may qualify for support services under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.
The Monroe School District (MSD) School Board is pausing the return of first grade students to the in-person, cohorted, hybrid learning model. We have heard the concerns of our staff and families and are pausing in response to these concerns. We want to assure you that your MSD Board of Directors is committed to providing your students with the best education possible in a safe and healthy learning environment. We are committed to working with all of our labor groups to ensure confidence in our safety measures and practices during this ongoing pandemic.
Late this morning, Governor Jay Inslee announced a four-week statewide set of restrictions that will be in effect Monday, November 16th at midnight to help with our state's battle against COVID-19. It is important to note, in-person hybrid instruction for our youngest learners was not included in the new restrictions.
Throughout the last few days, the Monroe School District (MSD) Board of Directors has met in closed sessions regarding bargaining with the Monroe Education Association (MEA). During these conversations, there was much discussion on the current timeline for transitioning first-grade students to our hybrid learning model. Today, the MSD Board of Directors has authorized a delay of the return of first-grade students to a hybrid learning model by one day, Tuesday, November 17th. Out of an abundance of caution, the Board has directed district staff to spend the days leading up to Tuesday ensuring the robust district safety plans are being implemented in our schools as intended.
This is an update on COVID-19 cases in our schools. In the seven weeks that students have been back in our buildings, we have experienced three isolated potential COVID-19 exposures, in three different buildings. Meaning, classes have quarantined, but the potential exposure did not result in any spread of COVID-19 in our schools.
Update from Snohomish County Health District on K-12 facilities.
View the recording of the webinar with Superintendent Dr. Justin Blasko and Snohomish Health District's Dr. Chris Spitters. The webinar took place on 11/12/20 at 3:00 p.m.
View the recording of the Family Q&A with Superintendent Blasko Webinar along with links and videos Dr. Blasko referenced during the webinar.
The Health District's guidance issued October 20 have not changed:
- Continued distance learning is still strongly recommended, with limited in-person learning for younger learners (especially K-3) and high need students (e.g., disabilities, homelessness, farthest from educational justice)
- In-person learning for older students is discouraged, except high need students, particularly at the current level and trajectory of COVID-19 activity in the community.
- Strongly recommend canceling or postponing most in-person extracurricular activities, including sports, performances, clubs, events, and such, with the option to allow extracurricular activities in small groups of six or fewer students.
Today, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released a new report by the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) that quantifies how various diagnostic screening scenarios could help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission associated with reopening schools. The report, the third in a series by IDM, affirms that while there are still risks associated with returning to full in-person instruction, the risks could be significantly reduced through school-based countermeasures, hybrid scheduling, and a phased-in approach that brings back K-5 grades first.