June 29, 2020 -- Recently released State of Washington social distancing mandates for safely reopening schools this fall for face-to-face instruction will require Walla Walla Public Schools to make modifications to the traditional school day. The state requirement of maintaining six foot social distancing between students when seated in a classroom will push the district to reduce classroom capacity by about half, according to Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith.
“We are currently exploring two options which satisfy the state mandates for safely reopening our schools for face-to-face instruction,” said Superintendent Smith. “One option is an AM/PM approach where students would attend either in the morning or afternoon, and the other is an every-other-day option. When students are not on campus, they will receive instruction remotely.”
OPTION ONE: AM/PM Approach (Monday – Thursday)
In this scenario, students would be assigned either a morning or afternoon session Monday-Thursday for face-to-face instruction. Students would distance learn the remaining half of their day. Transportation would be provided to students outside of the walk boundaries as usual and meal services would also be provided.
OPTION TWO: Every-Other-Day Approach (Monday – Thursday)
In this scenario, students would be assigned either a Mon/Wed or Tue/Thur session with half their peers. On-campus, face-to-face instruction would occur two full days a week, while distance learning would occur on their non-school days. Transportation would be provided to students outside of the walk boundaries as usual and meal services would also be provided.
FRIDAY: In both scenarios, Friday would likely consist of distance learning from home with the opportunity to make contact with teachers and other staff for learning support.
Today Walla Walla Public Schools launched its second parent survey to get input on these two options. The district also recently surveyed staff and met with student leadership on reopening options for fall 2020. The district asks parents to complete one survey per child and complete the survey by midnight July 5, 2020. Survey links below.
“This new survey feedback, in addition to previous surveys and input from dozens of faculty and community partners participating in 10 different planning/input teams, will help the district formalize a recommendation to take to the school board in July,” said Superintendent Smith. “We appreciate everyone’s input as we make a final decision on safely reopening our schools this fall.”
Visit our Safely Reopening Schools website for more information: https://www.wwps.org/safely-reopening-schools