School board to review middle school in-person learning plans as new COVID-19 cases decline
School board members will meet Feb. 2 to review community COVID-19 case data to determine if thresholds have been met to begin transitioning middle school students back to in-person learning.
Data provided by the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health reveals COVID-19 disease rates have significantly improved since the holiday season. Based on guidance released by Governor Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health, schools are encouraged to reopen for middle school instruction when cases drop below 350 cases per one hundred thousand population over 14 days.
That ratio, when applied to the Walla Walla and College Place communities, equates to 200 new cases over a two-week period, the same threshold the Walla Walla School Board and Walla Walla Valley Education Association agreed on to begin returning middle school students back to campus. As of January 26, combined case counts between the two jurisdictions were at 209, just above the 200 mark. An updated report from county officials is expected Monday.
"If updated case counts meet the board's threshold we could begin transitioning back middle school students in about two weeks’ time," notes Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith. "This transition window allows families time to adjust schedules. It also allows the district time to perform its 3rd party on-site safety audit at each site, address specific staff safety accommodations, and communicate safety protocols and schedules to our families."
School board meeting information is located on the district's website:
School Board Regular Study Meeting Details
- Tuesday, Feb. 2• 5:30 p.m. (meeting open to the public virtually)
- Watch: https://wwps-org.zoom.us/j/96377543811
- Listen: Dial 1-253-215-8782 and enter the Webinar ID: 963 7754 3811
- Spanish Access:- Subtítulos en español: https://wwps-org.zoom.us/j/96377543811 (Seleccione "Live Translation" en el menú inferior). - Agenda española: https://www.wwps.org/district/information/school-board/board-meeting-schedule