In-person classes expected to resume in Washington schools this fall


Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal has provided guidance for state schools as they prepare to reopen in the fall.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released documentation detailing the approach for schools across various counties, as those move through phases of reopening, as well.

“We will do this together, keeping student and staff safety and well-being as our highest priority in the reopening,” said Superintendent Reykdal. “To be very clear, it is my expectation that schools will open this fall for in-person instruction.”

Counties that are in any form of Phase 1 must get approval from their health districts to reopen—some counties may have to consider a hybrid of face-to-face and online instruction.

OSPI requires that school districts adopt their reopening plans through a local school board resolution. The Office also encouraged the loosening of learning standards and attendance.

Reykdal said that every school district must also put together an alternative plan to return to online instruction, as well as setting aside make-up days in the event of short-term closures. He also encouraged schools to incorporate remote learning into their education models, in case they need to close for long stretches of time.

Several more changes would come to schools—everyone on campus will be required to wear face masks, and social distancing is encouraged as much as possible.

Other suggestions include:

  • Canceling field trips, large assemblies
  • Cancel or modify classes where students will be in close contact
  • Suspend or modify activities considered ‘high-risk’ (such as choir)
  • Increase space between desks
  • Stagger classes or reduce the number of students passing through halls
  • Holding lunches outside of the classroom