September 25, 2020 Message from Superintendent Ben Ferney
Dear Families and Staff,
On Friday, September 25th, our regional Health Officer, Dr. Sam Artzis, released a statement in coordination with the Northeast Tri County Health District (NETCHD) advising school districts to consider reopening for additional in-person instruction. Below is the direct message:
“With these improved metrics and status in key areas of public health and medical care, it is my recommendation that schools consider reopening for additional in-person instruction in accordance with the Washington State Department of Health Decision Tree for Provisions of In-Person Learning under the educational modality provisions of “Moderate” levels of COVID-19 on or after October 5, 2020. Under this educational modality recommendation, school districts should:
- Maintain distance learning provisions but consider expanding in-person instruction to K-12. Cohorting, alternating schedules, and staggered schedules are all critical considerations to help limit contact between students and staff, decrease class size and promote social distancing.
- Not hold in-person extra-curricular activities or events that would result in the gathering of 10 or more students/staff.
- Identify and train COVID-19 coordinators to oversee COVID-19 prevention and response activities within each school building and the school district.”
Valley School District staff are excited to bring more students back on campus as we transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 in our 5-Stage reopening process! In Stage 3, our priority will be to implement a cautious and stepped approach by first welcoming to school our youngest learners who have been shown to have the biggest challenges in learning remotely.
We have been planning to reopen schools for months and welcome these new opportunities for in-person instruction. I look forward to sharing more information next week as our plans and timelines are finalized.