Hoquiam School District moving to five days a week of in-person learning after spring break

The Hoquiam School District will move to in-person learning five days a week April 12.

“Coming after spring break we’re going to add Friday to in-person learning,” said Superintendent Mike Villarreal Thursday.

The district had been offering in-person learning Monday through Thursday, broken into morning and afternoon groups. “Now we’re going to add Friday to the mix,” said Villarreal, again split into morning and afternoon groups.

District staff spent the week looking at the district’s schedules and staffing, transportation, food distribution, cleaning schedules, and building capacity and space after Gov. Jay Inslee’s March 26 announcement dropping the social distancing restriction of six feet to three for classrooms before approving the addition of Friday in-person learning.

“We ultimately landed on something that doesn’t really shock our system,” said Villarreal. “Parents, all of us want something routine and we haven’t been able to establish that, we are just barely starting to do that.”

The addition of Friday “means that our students will have smaller groups and they are going to have more attention from our staff,” said Villarreal, “and research tells us if you are able to have small groups with teachers one-on-one, it can be very very powerful. That is intentional. We’re going to be asking our staff, with the time that they have, to really focus on the needs of the students.”

He continued, “In the limited amount of time we have between now and the end of the year, our motto is to focus on reaching our students, trying to get to know them really well. For some they haven’t had a chance to dive in and work with them face-to-face, and this is our opportunity.”

More detailed information and a calendar for the remainder of the school year will be available for parents and students on the district website, hoquiam.net/, and Facebook page, facebook.com/Hoquiam-School-District.