Thank you for your flexibility to support ongoing education during the COVID-19 global pandemic. I know the situation has been challenging for all as we navigate continuous learning from home.
I’m writing to share that the much-anticipated guidelines for returning to school in the fall were just released by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) today. These recommendations were developed in close collaboration with the state Department of Health and Governor Inslee’s office.
General principles in the guidance include school resuming in the fall, either via in-person instruction or through a hybrid learning model involving a rotating schedule and/or an enhanced form of distance learning. The decision about which option works best for a school district will be left up to the school district to decide, as long as health department guidelines are followed. The OSPI guidance also instructs districts to promote social distancing, screen for illness, wear face coverings and promote good hygiene practices in order to limit the spread of the virus, along with the cancelling or modifying activities that call for large group gatherings. You can view the full guidance issued by OSPI here.
The Skamania School District’s plan is to thoroughly review the guidelines and engage our staff and community in discussions about reopening to develop a local plan for our schools based on the state’s recommendations. Information about opportunities to weigh in on the school reopening conversation will be forthcoming.
Please know that our number one priority is always the health and safety of our students and staff. This priority will be at the heart of every decision we make. This is uncharted territory and there will be some elements of the plan that will need to be worked out along the way. We appreciate your patience as we navigate this process, and we promise to stay in close communication with you as we move forward.
On a related note, Skamania County has received approval to fully implement Phase III of Governor Inslee’s Phased Approach to Reopening Washington Plan.
I hope you are staying safe and healthy. I will be in touch very soon with more information,
Dr. Ralph Pruitt, Superintendent