School district adjusts reopening plan

District plans to bring students back two grade levels at a time, high schoolers able to return in phase five

K-3+students+are+back+in+the+classroom+using+a+hybrid+model%2C+which+includes+in-person+and+distance+learning.

SCREENSHOT FROM MEETING

K-3 students are back in the classroom using a hybrid model, which includes in-person and distance learning.

ADALINE GRACE, Evergreen reporter

Pullman Public Schools board discussed changes to phase four and five of the district’s reopening plan during a meeting Wednesday.

Hybrid learning for ninth-12th grade students will start once the school district enters phase five, Superintendent Bob Maxwell said.

“The plan for the stages of reopening have been adjusted to reflect updated metrics provided by the Washington State Department of Health on Dec. 16,” Maxwell said.

K-3 students are back in the classroom using a hybrid model, which includes in-person and distance learning, he said.   

The district is planning to bring students back two grade levels at a time, as the majority of schools on the eastern side of Washington state have been doing, Maxwell said.

Maxwell said communication with Whitman County Public Health has been difficult because the COVID-19 data changes continuously. However, he will still rely heavily on them for guidance. 

“We still have to supply them with any reopening plan, including guidance or suggestions,” he said.

Schools have received concerns from community members about fully opening elementary schools before the secondary education buildings, said Allison Munch-Rotolo, board liaison for Sunnyside Elementary School.

“We’ve received some letters from people who are suggesting that it may be more appropriate to open up middle school into a hybrid before returning K-5 to full time five days a week,” she said.