Inslee signs emergency proclamation requiring schools to offer increased in-person learning opportunities

Image Credit: Gov. Jay Inslee, Twitter

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Governor Jay Inslee has signed an emergency proclamation that will require districts to bring more students back into classrooms.

The proclamation requires Washington school districts to offer the opportunity to engage in both remote/online learning and on-campus/in-person instruction for K-12 students.

The state will allow for staggered efforts to meet these goals. By April 5, all K-6 students must be provided with an opportunity to engage in a hybrid learning model. By April 19, that will be expanded to K-12 students.

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That same day, all school districts must meet at least 30 percent of average weekly instructional hours as on-campus, in-person instruction for all K-12 students. Additionally, under no circumstances may a student be offered less than two days of on-campus, in-person instruction per week.

All school districts will be required to continue work to exceed the required 30 percent instructional hours and must reach the school’s maximum capacity and frequency of in-person instruction that the school can provide.

With all of this, districts will be required to follow strict health and safety recommendations, like masking and social distancing.

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Inslee also made note that moving students to in-person instruction is just the first step in approaching the work needed to help with students’ mental health. Washington state schools are expected to receive $2.6 billion in federal pandemic relief as a result of the American Rescue Act and Inslee said he will encourage the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to use some of those funds for mental health aid for students.

Several school districts across eastern Washington have already implemented and are executing plans that bring students in for some level of in-person learning.

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