Highline Public Schools will start 2020-2021 without in-person classes
Highline Public Schools has announced that the 2020-2021 school year will start without in-person classes:
Highline Superintendent Susan Enfield announced today that Highline schools would begin the school year with distance learning, where students in all grades will learn from home. The district had been planning for in-person instruction on alternating days to allow for social distancing.
“I have been fiercely hoping to have our students back in our schools this fall,” said Superintendent Enfield. “But after reviewing all the data and feedback, and as the person who ultimately bears responsibility for the health and safety of our students and staff in our schools, I cannot in good conscience open schools for in-person instruction in September,”
In a survey of all employees, over 35 percent of staff reported they are in a high-risk group for COVID infection, and nearly 29 percent of teachers say they live with or care for someone who is at high risk.
This announcement comes on the same day as five other south King County districts announced similar plans.
Countries that have successfully reopened schools in-person have done so with declining infection rates. COVID-19 cases are rising in King County, and over half of all new cases are among people ages 20-39 according to Public Health – Seattle & King County.
When infection rates decrease, the district plans to move into a hybrid model. Families will have the option to continue distance learning, with students remaining with their teachers and classmates while learning from home, or choose in-person instruction two to four days a week, depending on grade level and special needs.
For more information, visit highlineschools.org/coronavirus.
Neighboring Seattle Public Schools made the same announcement today.
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