Parents want clarity for 2020-21 school year


September 1 start date looms in Washington state

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Despite indications from Washington education officials that schools will open this fall for at least some in-person instruction, many parents want a clearer picture of what to expect for their kids.

September 1 is the date most districts in Clark County plan to launch the new school year, yet many of them are still scrambling to make adjustments under the circumstances presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

One of Washington’s largest districts, the Evergreen School District, is planning for several scenarios. Communications Director Gail Spolar said implementing the hybrid system with both in-person and remote learning will have different effects on different parts of curriculum. Nevertheless, she understands frustration felt by parents who want to be prepared.

“The state is requiring us to have a plan submitted two weeks prior to the start of school,” said Spolar. “So we are wanting to give parents some sort of idea where we are going at the same time things are changing so quickly that we are hoping we will give them information sometime in august.”

Many teachers said they are concerned with a growing desire among parents and students to “go back to normal.” They are worried that they will be put at risk in the classroom because of increased pressure–particularly at the national level–to reopen.

Governor Jay Inslee has addressed calls for him to reopen schools by saying he and state officials will respond to advice from health experts and not President Trump’s administration.

“As with a lot of their claims, they have tried to bully us into making decisions that are not best in the state of Washington,” Inslee said on July 9. “We know this – decisions about schools, and how to have it on site or otherwise, will remain with the state of Washington. These are Washington students and Washington state has the legal authority to make the decision about their education,” he said.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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