Reopening Arlington Schools

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July 31, 2020

Dear Arlington Families and Staff,

I hope you are finding time to enjoy this beautiful summer weather and you are staying safe and healthy.

Last night, the Reopening Arlington Schools 2020 (RAS20) District Committee, comprised of students, staff, parents and community members, finalized a recommendation proposing a six step reopening plan for Arlington Public Schools for the 2020-21 school year. The recommendation includes beginning the school year on step three with enhanced distance learning 2.0 for all students which will be greatly improved from the distance learning that took place in the spring and will include teacher and parent training. Step three does provide an opportunity for students identified with the highest needs to access weekly in-person support in groups of five students or less as determined by a district or school team.

In order to determine the appropriate step to start schools in the fall, the RAS20 Committee considered many factors including the strong recommendation and warning by Dr. Christopher Spitters, the Snohomish Health Officer, which was released by the Snohomish Health District this week. Dr. Spitters stated that beginning in-person school presents a significant risk to the health of students, staff, and our community. The health and safety of our staff and students is a top priority for Arlington Schools.

The six step reopening plan is a progressive continuum where the ultimate goal is five days of in-person instruction when the COVID-19 transmission rates in our community and county show sustained improvement. A hybrid model is included in step five of the six step reopening plan. Movement from step to step will include consideration of health metrics and other criteria.

The proposed plan recommendation will be discussed at a special board study session on Monday, Aug. 3 at 4:00 pm and at the regular board meeting on Monday, Aug. 10 at 6:00 pm, when a final decision will be made.

It is our greatest desire to have students return to five days of in-person instruction as soon as possible. We understand that our decisions have impacts on families, students, staff and the community. Our Strategic Plan calls for us to not only increase student learning but to do so in a safe and caring environment.

Thank you for your patience and support in this time, when choices are hard and less than ideal. Your partnership is valued and appreciated.

Passionate for Student Learning,

Chrys

Dr. Chrys Sweeting
Superintendent
Arlington Public Schools

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