Greetings Walla Walla Students, Families & Faculty,
On June 11 State Superintendent Reykdal announced his expectation that schools across the state of Washington make plans to reopen in the fall of 2020 for in-person instruction. This immediately followed the release of the Reopening Washington Schools 2020 District Planning Guide.
While it is the expectation that districts plan for face-to-face instruction, social distancing requirements, safety measures and facility limitations will likely require many districts to modify their traditional experience accordingly. Alternative models such as am/pm or every-other-day shifting of students may be necessary for many to meet the required 6 ft social distancing mandate. Additionally, schools were also asked to develop plans that would allow them to pivot quickly to a distance-learning model if it becomes necessary for short-duration off-campus learning.
While we anticipate continued guidance over the summer months, this news provides Walla Walla Public Schools the framework necessary as we continue our 2020-21 Safely Reopening Plans and preparatory activities. District progress, timelines and engagement opportunities around these efforts can be found on our website HERE.
In addition to the significant parent, student and staff input already received in recent surveys regarding fall, we have dozens of faculty and community partners participating in ten different planning/input teams. Their continued work will serve critical to inform our safety plans that will be reviewed and submitted to OSPI in August, prior to the start of school.
It is important that we continue to remain vigilant as a community regarding our COVID-19 precautions and measures as we work together towards achieving Phase 3 and beyond status for Walla Walla County. Local conditions may greatly dictate our ability to reopen traditionally in the fall.
As I have pledged to all of you since the onset of this pandemic, we will continue to partner closely with our local health experts, engage stakeholders, and communicate as we work together to develop plans to keep our 6,000 students and faculty safe.
Wade Smith, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools