Schools beginning to release plans for fall

A combination of on-site school and distance learning will be the routine for students in the Aberdeen School District this fall.

Meanwhile, the Hoquiam School District reopening committee voted on its own plan Tuesday, but details have not yet been released, and the Montesano School District is shooting for a five-day-a-week onsite learning plan with a 100% digital option for families not comfortable with students returning to school.

Aberdeen

The Aberdeen School District announced Monday it’s reopening task force, made up of more than 80 staff, parents and community members, selected the following schedule:

• Grades K-8: A blended five-day week, four hours at school and two hours of distance learning.

• Grades 9-12: A four-day-a-week schedule in school. Students will be required to participate on the fifth day in distance learning, but it might look different for each student, according to the district.

There were 72 members voting on a schedule over the weekend — 69.6% chose the five-day week for K-8, and 71.4% chose the 4+1 schedule for 9-12.

“The district is very grateful to the task force members who have met four times for several hours each time to arrive at this decision,” Superintendent Alicia Henderson said. “With this decision, we can now further define the details of what school will look like in the fall.”

Henderson added that a number of scenarios were explored, with the focus on a schedule that best supports students, as well as a safe reopening for students and staff.

“We are committed to a robust system that provides flexibility and the best opportunity for our students to be successful,” she said. “We also, at all times, need to be prepared to shift to a distance learning model, whether it’s by student, by school, or the whole district, depending on individual needs or whether closure is required.”

The task force meets on Thursdays. Meetings are recorded and can be viewed on the district web site at www.asd5.org. There are also smaller “work groups” that are diving into the details of transportation, Special Education, food service, health, instruction, scheduling and facilities.

The reopening plan is scheduled to be presented to the School Board at a special meeting Aug. 11. Under the state’s reopening guidelines, districts must submit their reopening plans not later than two weeks before the start of school. The first day of school in Aberdeen is currently set for Sept. 2.

“We will never be able to adequately thank the many people who are working this summer to plan and prepare for schools to open safely with a great educational program,” said Henderson.

Hoquiam

The Hoquiam School District reopening committee, also made up of parents, teachers, administrators and community members, voted on a preliminary opening plan Tuesday. The district anticipates “sharing this plan soon,” according to a district statement. “We ask that you remain patient as this committee is working hard on behalf of the best interests of the students and staff in our community.”

Montesano

The Montesano School District is planning to reopen all three of its buildings — the high school, Beacon and Simpson — to face-to-face learning five days a week.

Superintendent Dan Winter said adjustments have been made to make sure all three buildings abide by the state’s Department of Health and Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction guidelines on social distancing and other safety requirements.

“We may have to alter some start times and release times,” said Winter, and there will likely be an early release day so teachers can work on the digital teaching component, which will still be a part of the curriculum for the fall. Even kids coming to school every day will still have a distance learning component this fall, said Winter.

To accommodate students and families that may not be comfortable with face to face learning, the district created a 100% distance learning option that will be available for all families. “It’s a far more structured plan than we had in the spring,” said Winter. “This will be fully accountable, full-on learning.”

Each of the district’s buildings has posted information videos on the district website explaining specifics for each, and updates the site as new information becomes available. Keep up by liking the district Facebook page.