Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

in-person school

(iStock photo)

Lake Washington returning to in-person school for more kids

Hybrid model approved for grades two through five, starting in March.

In-person school: The Lake Washington School District and the Lake Washington Education Association have released information on the new learning model for grades two through five, which will combine in-person and remote learning. 

Here’s the latest news, from the joint press release on the return to in-person school, from the Lake Washington School District superintendent, Jon Holmen, and Howard Mawhinney, president of the Lake Washington Education Association:

We happily welcomed kindergarten and first grade on February 18. Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent stated, “We appreciate the partnership with all stakeholders to successfully transition our Kindergarten and First grade students to their new learning models. We are grateful to be able to provide both in-person and remote learning services for our students.” Dr. Holmen went on to say, “As a District we continue to be committed to the highest of health and safety standards for our students and staff.”

After exploration of various creative models, we settled on AB/AB hybrid model (Group A Monday and Thursday mornings; Group B Tuesday and Friday) with students receiving In-Person instruction two mornings a week following the same start and end times as Kindergarten and First grades. At-home learning will occur the other three days a week.  Our ability to implement other created solutions was limited by physical distancing protocols, health and safety requirements, transportation hurdles, staffing resources, and financial considerations.

Lake Washington School District will continue the staggered return of students beginning March 18-19 (AB) for second and third grade and March 29-30 (AB) for fourth and fifth grade following a phased in approach in accordance with public health guidance. We know that families and staff need dates and details to plan for this transition. Together, we are working to meet that need and release information. Based on survey data from families, approximately half of our students will remain in remote learning. Class rosters will be adjusted to meet health considerations, staffing availability, and family requests for in-person or remote learning. Like the return of kindergarten and first grade, second through fifth grade students will participate in asynchronous learning for a week prior to the return date. District administration and building principals will send additional information to families as it becomes available.

These outcomes are results of our on-going collaborative planning which requires finalization between the District and the Executive Committee of Lake Washington Education Association. The parties historically use a problem-solving approach to dive deeply into issues and reach consensus. LWEA and LWSD acknowledge and appreciate the high-quality work and solutions achieved through this process. We continue to negotiate the impacts of these changes to create a final negotiated agreement.

LWEA President Howard Mawhinney stated, “The District and the Association have a long-standing tradition of student-focused, collaborative planning.  We believe the added effort required of this approach leads to superior results.   On behalf of our 2,100 members, I want to thank district leadership for supporting this essential work. 

Moreover, I want to thank the 100+ LWEA members who have sacrificed their evenings and weekends to participate.  Their expertise has had a significant, positive impact on our ability to ensure that all students, including nearly 50% of students who are electing to continue remote learning, will experience safe, well-functioning classrooms and a meaningful educational experience.”

We appreciate the community’s understanding during these challenging times.

More in Education

Opinion | Post-pandemic, kids can catch up in math at in-person school — and still have fun

Opinion | Our teachers are pulling off the impossible with remote learning

Opinion | District has failed to deliver on special education during pandemic

Opinion | Are kids being damaged by remote learning? That depends

About the Author