Vancouver schools work through pandemic-related details

Education

Students coming back to class this week

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell made it clear the district is willing to step up and do what it takes to make sure students get everything they deserve this year, which will be different than almost every other school year.

Snell said they want students to be in a space where they feel comfortable being themselves, allowing the space for them to learn from and work well with other students.

Dr. Jeff Snell was chosen to be the new Vancouver Schools Superintendent on March 3, 2021 (Courtesy)

The students will be back in the classroom this year after a year of distance learning and pandemic interruptions. Parents do have options this year — full in-person or full online instruction. There is no hybrid option this year.

Snell said the kids are the priority, adding that providing a safe and welcoming environment go hand in hand.

“We want students to know we care about them and they belong in the learning communities we create,” he told KOIN 6 News. “We want students to know we see them for their unique personalities and gifts to bring to our classrooms.”

Vancouver schools FAQ

  • Will masks be worn? Yes, masks will be worn at all times, except lunch. Accommodations can be made for students with a medical or cognitive condition that makes them unable to wear a mask.
  • What if a COVID case appears? All COVID-positive cases need to quarantine and be vaccinated. If a close contact of one of these cases has symptoms or is unvaccinated, they have to quarantine as well. Close contacts who are vaccinated and have no symptoms are free to stay in the building.

“We won’t be asking families to do an at-home attestation each day of their student’s health, but we do ask that you stay home if you are sick,” he said. “Thank you for your patience as we work through all the details that go with operating schools during a pandemic”

  • What about athletics? Athletics, where you can’t always stay 6 feet away, will be closely monitored. Schools are expected to institute screening for athletes, coaches and trainers and others who work with athletes but are not vaccinated.

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