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Board Delays Yellow Stage Transition

Message from School Board President Sam Wells:

Last night the board met for nearly 3 hours as we reviewed our preliminary decision to transition to the Yellow Stage this coming Monday the 26th. Our deliberations included consultation with the Walla Walla County Health Officer Dr. Jecha and his two colleagues, review of public testimony, analysis of viral trends, and considerable board discussion. We failed to reach consensus on our Oct 26th opening. At the conclusion of the meeting we provided Dr. Smith with the following direction.

- To notify staff and parents of our decision to suspend the October 26th transition to the Yellow Stage

-We asked him to reach out to WWVEA/Union leadership to review and discuss if our formally-approved metrics/triggers to open up schools should be modified. This became very apparent in light of the information received from the local health officials last night, providing compelling testimony that our current metrics, while established, agreed to and communicated to families many months ago, may no longer be applicable based on current viral understanding.

-To work with staff and WWVEA to develop a parent, staff, and student survey to elicit feedback from stakeholders regarding possible metric modifications and/or other options to consider.

-To work with WWVEA to consider possible modifications to our reopening plan based on staff, stakeholder and health official input.

I want to thank my fellow board colleagues for what was a thoughtful meeting where many feelings, ideas, and perspectives were shared and discussed in an open, transparent, and respectable manner.

Thank you all again for your incredible efforts and patience as the Board weighs this important decision.


Sam Wells

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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