Edmonds School Board scheduled March 8 to discuss mask requirements, returning to in-person meetings

The Edmonds School District Board of Directors at its Tuesday, March 8 business meeting is set to continue discussing whether it should lift the mask mandate in schools, and will also talk about the possible return to in-person school board meetings.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Feb. 17 that the statewide mask mandate will be ending for most indoor settings on March 12. This includes K-12 schools and child care facilities. However, school districts can still choose to have students and teachers wear masks.

The governor’s office said the Washington State Department of Health will issue updated guidance the week of March 7 for K-12 schools that will then go into effect on March 12. 

In other business, Board Director Keith Smith has requested a discussion regarding returning to in-person meetings. The Edmonds School District Board has been meeting remotely since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with a decrease in reported positive cases and the indoor mask mandate ending soon, the board is considering returning to in-person meeting at the Educational Services Center in Lynnwood.

In addition, the board will also be presented with the proposed Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) policy amendments for 2022.

These amendments include:

  • Redistricting the state from nine to six districts
  • Eliminating “no position” as a voting option for Representative Assembly members.
  • Adding chess as a communication arts and leadership activity under WIAA jurisdiction
  • Allowing students to retain the full number of practices previously completed after returning from an extended absence
  • Allowing for a student to be placed on academic probation at the start of fall quarter if the student failed to meet grade requirements at the end of the previous school year
  • Increasing the season limit for baseball and softball games from 20 to 22
  • Allowing high school basketball teams to compete in 20 games per season

The board will also have a public hearing regarding the redistricting of Board Director district boundaries. Every 10 years, following the U.S. Census, Edmonds School District is required to redraw the boundaries of its directors’ districts. The district has contracted with Flo Analytics and has produced three draft maps for the board and public’s consideration. These maps were previously reviewed at the study session on Feb. 15. The public will have the opportunity to provide comments on Tuesday night. The final map will be presented to the school board on March 22 for adoption.

The remote meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. There will also be an opportunity for public comment. The complete agenda can be viewed here.

— by Lauren Reichenbach

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