As COVID cases spike, Edmonds School District preparing for possible temporary shift to remote learning

The Edmonds School District announced in an update to families Monday night that it is “preparing for the possibility to temporarily shift to remote learning” due to the spike in COVID-19 cases. The district also said it is postponing concerts, performances and in-person meetings, and suspending snack breaks for all grade levels to minimize the time students aren’t wearing masks.

According to the district, athletics and music competitions through the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association “will continue as we are WIAA member schools with obligations to other schools in our leagues. WIAA has made no decision to cancel activities at this time.”

The district said its decision to transition to remote learning will be based on either the direction of the state Department of Health or the Snohomish Health District, or on “the district’s ability to have enough staff given absences due to illness.”

The district warned families in a notice Sunday that student transportation could be impacted by a severe shortage of bus drivers “due to illness and Department of Health requirements.” In Monday’s announcement, the district said that about 10% of student bus riders will have changes to their busing effective  Tuesday, Jan. 11. Pick-up and drop-off times, route numbers, and stop locations may change. Affected families were to be notified by phone Monday and the changes will update in the Edulog Parent Portal and in Skyward overnight, the district said.

In Monday’s announcement, the district addressed what would happen if a student’s classroom or an entire school changed to remote learning. “Staff will have one day to prepare and plan after the decision is made to shift to remote learning,” the message said. “On that same day, students will have an independent learning day and will follow assignments and instructions given by their teacher(s).”

“The second day of remote learning will operate on the student’s regular start and end times and will include live instruction via Zoom and also independent learning time,” the announcement continued.

“To help prepare for the possibility of a quick pivot to remote learning, we ask students to take their district-issued Chromebooks to and from school daily,” the district said. “For those whose Chromebooks are left at school, there will be an opportunity to pick up the devices.”

“Since the change to remote will be based upon events out of our control, we may not have much notice before we need to quickly shift to remote learning,” the announcement said. “We ask that you think through what might be needed for your family if this happens, such as child care for younger students.”

The volume of COVID-19 cases being reported to Edmonds School District schools, as well as staffing shortages, are “impacting our ability to quickly update our COVID-19 Dashboard with the latest information,” the district said. It promised to “continue to work diligently to get this information updated as quickly as possible.” Meanwhile, parents can access the latest information available at bit.ly/ESDCoviddash.

The district also addressed in Monday’s announcement the quarantine and isolation requirements for students and staff who either test positive for COVID-19 or who are close contacts of a COVID case. You can read more on that, as well as the entire letter sent to families, at this link.

In a message at the beginning of Monday’s update,  Edmonds School District Superintendent Dr. Gustavo Balderas thanked parents “for staying flexible and supporting our students.”

 

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