Some students to return to full-time in classrooms

Elementary school shifts to keep kids with one teacher

PORT TOWNSEND — Salish Coast Elementary students in kindergarten through second grades who are now attending in-person classes part-time will return to school buildings full-time on April 12.

Full-time, distance-only K-2 students will continue with distance learning, the district announced Wednesday.

The school day for the Salish Coast students returning to full-time will be from 8:15 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. daily with early release on Wednesdays at 12:50 p.m., said Sarah Rubenstein, district communications director, in a press release.

All K-2 students will remain with the same classroom teacher. All current K-2 distance-only learners will continue in distance learning.

Optional Education Program (OPEPO) students will stay in the blended model — part-time distance and part-time in-person, Rubenstein said.

To allow staff time to support this change, present K-2 blended learners will have asynchronous at-home learning days April 1-2, Rubenstein said.

Classroom locations will be shifted to accommodate 6-foot spacing between students in the classroom. Students and families can expect more communication from teachers and the school district before spring break April 5-9, she added.

District staff are continuing to analyze different options for grades three through 12. The school board has asked staff to continue working on returning students for additional in-person learning, whenever it is possible to do so safely, Rubenstein said, adding that additional changes will not occur before April 12.

“We know that each of our families has a vested interest in having schools fully reopened,” she said. “We know that there isn’t one plan that meets all needs or family situations.

“But we are dedicated to continuing to work toward getting more in-person learning time for each student given the current case data in our county,” she added, referring to low infection rates in Jefferson County.

Other Jefferson County public school districts had not announced major changes to their current plans as of Thursday.

Brinnon

Brinnon School District students are continuing with in-person classes Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and a remote-learning day Wednesday, Superintendent Trish Beathard confirmed Thursday via email.

Chimacum

Chimacum School District is continuing to have its kindergarten through sixth-grade students attend five days a week split into morning and afternoon cohorts, Acting Superintendent David Engle said Thursday via email.

“That framework seems to be working well for our community,” he said. “Still, we will look at how to increase in-person learning opportunities for our students to the extent permissible under current requirements.

“We are looking at our entire K-12 program. We are unlikely to do anything different before May. It is predicted that 16- , 17- and 18-year-old students may have access to vaccination in May, which could change [high school] dynamics for the better.”

Quilcene

Quilcene School District is continuing to have kindergarten through sixth-grade students on campus Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Students in grades seven through 12th are on campus Monday and Tuesday if in Cohort A, or Thursday and Friday if in Cohort B, said Principal Sean Moss.

The district also offers tiered support to students on Wednesdays for those who need additional help, Moss said.

The district’s reopening committee is meeting regularly, but future changes to the plan are not expected until after Spring Break, Moss said.

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Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5, or at [email protected]

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