Kindergarteners, first-graders set to return to SVSD classrooms this month

An example of a room where students showing symptoms of COVID-19 at school will wait to be picked up by their parents. From the Snoqualmie Valley School District website.

An example of a room where students showing symptoms of COVID-19 at school will wait to be picked up by their parents. From the Snoqualmie Valley School District website.

More Snoqualmie Valley School District students will be back in the classroom later this month, including kindergarteners and first-graders.

In a Jan. 7 statement, Superintendent Robert Manahan said the district was ready to “move forward cautiously with bringing back more of our youngest students for in-person learning later this month.” Students will split their time between in-person classroom learning and asynchronous learning at home.

The plan was approved by the Snoqualmie Valley District School Board on Dec. 29. The district also came to an agreement with employee unions on ways to ensure staff and students are safe.

Kindergarteners will return on Jan. 19, and first-graders will return on Jan. 29. Students and families can still opt to remain fully remote. The district also hopes to phase in hybrid learning for second- through fifth-grade students no sooner than Feb. 8. A phased approach for students in grades 6 through 12 will follow.

Schedules for elementary students will follow an a.m./p.m. hybrid model, where students will be grouped into small and consistent cohorts either in a morning or afternoon session. There will be part-time, in-person learning four days a week. The rest of the school week will be done at home. This will limit the number of students in the classroom at any time to no more than 11.

The school district has also released a list of updated safety measures it will follow. It includes requiring physical distancing while on school property when possible, encouraging frequent hand washing, and requirng face coverings on all campuses and all buses. The district states online that there are limited exceptions to the mask rule. Each case will be reviewed, and students may be given remote learning assignments as an alternative.

Students and staff will additionally need to do a temperature check at home, and complete a daily health screening before leaving for school or riding a bus. Students will complete a digital questionnaire via email or text on days when they do in-person learning on campus. A non-digital option will also be available at the schools.

Students who are showing any signs or symptons of potential COVID-19 illness should not come to school. Students with symptoms will be excluded from school and not allowed to return until they are cleared by the school nurse. Students who come down with symptoms at school will be placed in an isolation care room, under safe supervision, and parents are expected to immediately pick up their child.

Visitors are limited to essential guests by appointment only. Visitors who are not staff or students will need to use a QR code posted at the entrance to complete a health screening and attestation before entering the school or district building.

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