Edmonds School District welcomes third- through sixth-grade students back to in-person learning

Students at Westgate Elementary School in Edmonds lined in an outdoor hallway. (Photos courtesy Edmonds School District)

Toting backpacks and sporting face masks, more students were welcomed back into school buildings Monday as third- through sixth-graders returned to in-person learning under the Edmonds School District’s school re-entry plan.

Aiming to meet Gov. Jay Inslee’s emergency proclamation issued last month to offer in-person learning to all students by April 19, the district welcomed back third- through sixth-graders Monday, April 12. According to the order, school districts across the state must offer a minimum of 30% of students two in-person learning days. K-2 students returned on March 22 and grade 7-12 students will return April 19.

“It was wonderful to welcome back our 3-6 grade students for in-person learning this week,” said Superintendent Gustavo Balderas. “Our middle and high schools are gearing up to welcome 7-12 students starting next week.”

Edmonds Elementary School students assembled outside.

The governor’s order came after the state entered Phase 3 of the Healthy Washington pandemic reopening plan. However, a rise in confirmed and reported COVID-19 cases has prompted the governor to return three counties, including Pierce County, to Phase 2.

Under the plan that took effect March 22, counties are evaluated every three weeks over two metrics — case rate over two weeks and hospitalization rate over one week — and must meet both to remain in their current phase. Should Snohomish County phase down, any impacts on in-person learning would be left to the Snohomish Health District, said district spokesperson Lisa Van Cise.

“There hasn’t been any discussion of any rollbacks, yet,” she said. “We meet with (the health district) very regularly…and so far so good.”

–By Cody Sexton

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