District already meeting new state requirements

District already meeting new state requirements
Posted on 03/12/2021
Students outside AHS

The Anacortes School District is already meeting, or in some cases exceeding, new state requirements announced today by Governor Jay Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. 


The governor’s emergency proclamation will require that all school districts begin providing some in-person instruction by mid-April. Anacortes has returned students in all grades to some in-person instruction as of February 22. Many of our students have been receiving in-person instruction since November, 2020. Some students receiving special education services have been receiving in-person instruction since September, 2020. 


“I’m proud of our staff and the diligence and teamwork they have shown throughout this pandemic,” said Superintendent Justin Irish. “Our teams worked incredibly hard to get students back into classrooms, and I’m pleased that we are already exceeding these new requirements. We continue to plan for the next steps to eventually welcome students back into our buildings full time.” 


Distancing guidelines

Unless changes are made to the 6-foot distancing requirement, we are limited to 50 percent occupancy in our buildings, and students will remain split into their A/B cohorts. Federal and state health officials continue to study this requirement, and we will be prepared to make changes if those restrictions are amended. If restrictions are amended, district staff will need time to implement updated systems and services. 


“We wouldn’t be able to flip a switch and immediately go back to normal, but I am confident in our staff’s ability to adapt and implement any changes efficiently,” said Dr. Irish. “We are proactively planning for possible changes this spring and preparing for fall.” 


Funding 

The federal government has provided $2.6 billion to the state to aid schools. Anacortes has already received $252,000 and is expecting another $975,000. That funding will be used to make up expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic, including opening ASD@Home, and lost revenues from transportation, food services, and enrollment. The district dropped below its adopted fund balance in order to preserve staff and programs. 


“This relief funding helps us build back our reserves,” said Finance Director Dave Cram. “But we still fall short, considering the reductions we have experienced due to lost enrollment and programmatic revenues.” 


If the district receives enough funding to bring its reserve balance back to its approved level, any additional funding will be used to support students socially, emotionally, and academically. 


Questions? Contact Superintendent Justin Irish, (360) 503-1211 or jirish@asd103.org 


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