Seattle's Child

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What will school look like in the fall? We’re still not sure.

Seattle Public Schools has put out a plan that still has a lot of question marks.

Seattle Public Schools are hoping for a full return to in-person instruction in the fall — but realizing that’s probably unrealistic.

In an update from the district on Friday, the last day of school for 2019-2020, school officials laid out the options and contingencies for the fall while much remains unknown.

A key thing to know is that a full return to in-person instruction would require that King County be in Phase 4 of the state’s gradual reopening plan, about which the district says, “While we are hopeful, this scenario is unlikely in Fall 2020.”

The update lays out the following scenaries, designed with the help of four “engagement teams” that have been working for weeks:

  • 100% online learning will be provided as an opt-in option for any family that does not want to return in person. The district will work over the summer to create online options that it says will be “high-quality and consistently provided with clearer expectations and accountability for instruction and assignments.” This will also be important if new outbreaks of COVID-19 necessitate a return to full or partial remote learning.
  • A blended model with some in-person learning for all K-12 students and some remote, online instruction. The district’s Reopening Leadership Team said it’s clear that, “while the hope is to provide in-person class time for everyone, social distancing guidelines may require a phased-in approach or starting with smaller student numbers.” The exact details of this hybrid model are still being worked out.
  • A full return to in-person classes. A full return to regular instruction will require we are in Phase 4 and that we follow guidelines of Public Health. While we are hopeful, this scenario is unlikely in Fall 2020.

The whole situation is a work in progress and a more-detailed plan will be presented to the School Board during a June 30 public work session.

Related: Here’s what state officials recently said on the matter

Also: Learning at home is really working for some families

‘Micr0-schools’ could keep Seattle kids busy and learning

About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is the website editor for Seattle's Child. She is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 12-year-old girl.