District response to new state guidance

District response to new state guidance
Posted on 03/25/2021
Student in class

We want students back to school full-time! Our entire team (the school board, district leadership, teachers, and staff) is tirelessly working to make this transition successful. All hands are on deck to make this happen.  

Governor Inslee announced today that all Washington State schools can adopt the new federal CDC guidance released last week. All K-12 schools are required to follow the Washington State K-12 Guidance developed by DOH. This includes new 3-foot distancing between desks and continued 6-feet during meals, activities and common areas. 

We are actively planning and are committed to implementing this new guidance as soon as possible. See below for the steps that we have already taken, and the issues that still need to be resolved.

Steps that ASD is taking: 

  • We are actively planning to return students to more in-person hours based on a 3-foot distance. It may require a change in start times and end times due to consolidating bus routes. 

  • We are hiring additional staff for supervision at playgrounds, lunchrooms, etc. 

  • We are revising school schedules. 

  • We are revising or restructuring routines (seating arrangement, desk placement, breakfast, lunch, recess, contract tracing, sanitation, school entry and exits, drop off and pick up, etc.).

  • We have been partnering with our bargaining groups all year and will continue to do so as State guidance changes. We have five bargaining groups who work for ASD. Each group is collaborative, positive, and focused on returning students to school. We recognize that there are many narratives and rumors about various unions across the State. In Anacortes, we are fortunate to work alongside a group of professionals who share an interest in a total return to school.

  • Our Board of Directors have been engaged throughout each step of the process. They are committed and support all of our collective efforts to reopen for in-person learning. 

Issues ASD needs to solve:  

  • All K-12 schools are required to follow Washington State K-12 Guidance developed by DOH. 

  • Per DOH guidelines, 6-foot distancing is required during lunchtimes for all grades and other times when masks are not worn. Our current lunchroom spaces and classrooms cannot accommodate this requirement. We will problem-solve how to spread students across campuses and hire additional staff to manage lunch routines and supervision.

  • Transportation staffing remains a concern, and we continue to recruit more drivers. Instead of a survey asking about transportation needs, please contact your school and inform them if you do not need district-provided transportation this year. We encourage families to drive or carpool. However, we will continue to provide district transportation to any students who need it.  

  • We are continuing to hire staff and substitutes to fill a variety of positions. Please consider applying or encourage others to apply. The faster we fill positions, the better we will be able to return all students to school. 

We know this has been a frustrating year. We will creatively solve known problems and continue to predict solutions for issues that are not yet known.

We all want our students back in school full time. We recognize that some families are organizing a peaceful protest to reopen schools. The Anacortes School Board, district leaders, and staff share the same sense of urgency for students to fully return to school. We will continue to keep you informed of our plans. 

Questions? Superintendent's Office - 360-503-1211 or information@asd103.org
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