UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools now wants to start school year remotely

12:08 PM: Just forwarded to us by a Seattle Public Schools employee, this letter to district-wide staff:

At Seattle Public Schools, science and data continue to ground our response to COVID-19. We have been monitoring reports of increased COVID-19 cases in our community and are in close communication with Public Health Seattle & King County, OSPI, the Governor’s office, and neighboring school districts. We can’t imagine a way to open schools without the risk of significant transmission of COVID-19 based on the current trajectory of infections in King County. Superintendent Juneau is recommending to the School Board that Seattle Public Schools start the 2020-21 school year remotely.

We will follow the remote instruction model until the risk of significant transmission of COVID-19 has decreased enough to resume in-person instruction. The School Board will vote on the Superintendent’s recommendation and an associated plan for fall 2020 on August 12.

We know this will be a disappointment to our passionate educators who have devoted their careers to supporting students in-person, and for many of our students and families who rely on the relationships with adults in their school.

It is our responsibility as a school district to ensure that all students succeed in their education, no matter the circumstances. Thank you for your hard work laying the groundwork for high-quality remote learning and for thoughtfully engaging, planning, and refining our remote learning practices with over 15,000 students this summer. We have distributed over 2,000 internet hot spots and 25,000 devices to students to support learning, and we will continue to assess and fill technology gaps around the district to support student access to remote instruction. Students should not and cannot be left behind due to lack of access to a reliable internet connection and technology. Thank you to our staff who continue to work tirelessly to support students.

Additionally, all educators will be provided with training to ensure live, high-quality remote instruction with a predictable and consistent schedule on common platforms, as well as racial equity training. Families have shared that students’ mental health and wellness is a top concern, and these supports will be prioritized as we reopen school online in partnership with licensed community mental health providers. Additionally, SPS will make sure our students receiving special education services are provided instruction in alignment with students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 plans – which may include small group instruction if it is determined that services can be provided safely in-person and services cannot be accessed successfully through remote learning.

We understand that this decision for remote learning may cause frustration and hardships for many families and staff. We will be working with the Seattle Council PTSA, the City, and other community partners to develop community-generated solutions for childcare and learning at home. We will also continue to provide childcare in our buildings for essential staff in partnership with the City, as well as provide meals for students at our meal sites across the city.

More information, including specifics around school schedules, will be shared as soon as possible. As the environment and information around COVID-19 continues to shift and change, we will adapt and respond as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please check our website for the most up-to-date information, including a FAQ that will be published this Friday, July 24: www.seattleschools.org/fall-planning.

Followups to come.

12:28 PM: SPS also has sent a news release about this – see it here.

ADDED 1:50 PM: The Seattle Council PTSA sent this statement about the announcement:

Seattle Council PTSA recognizes the complexity of the decision of recommending remote learning for Fall 2020. As the largest parent advocacy organization in the largest school district in the State of Washington, we stand with our families and center the health, safety, and well being of our students as our highest priority.

We demand from the District (SPS), the School Board, the educators union (SEA), the City of Seattle, King County, and Governor’s office the following:

-Robust, reliable, equitable remote learning to all students, with a specif focus on students furthest from educational justice, students receiving special education services, students with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness and English Language Learning students;

-High-quality child care solutions for all families in need through authentic collaboration and partnership with community based organizations;

-Collaboration between the above-mentioned entities to pursue solutions for those that cannot access education online to find safe spaces for students and teachers to come together. Outdoor education is a very important topic to discuss and collaborate;

-Appropriate budget to offer robust mental health support to our communities;

-Mandatory anti-bias, anti-racist training to all educators, building administrators, staff, and childcare providers serving Seattle Public Schools students;

-Authentic Family Engagement with clear and transparent communication to families and community partners who support learning and care for our children.

We are committed to supporting our communities and holding the District, Union, City, County, and State leadership accountable on behalf of the more than 54,000 students in Seattle Public Schools.

123 Replies to "UPDATE: Seattle Public Schools now wants to start school year remotely"

  • AMD July 22, 2020 (12:24 pm)

    Honestly, it’s not like they have much of a choice.  If teachers in high risk categories all stay home (everyone over 60, pregnant, immune-compromised or a caregiver to someone who is immune-compromised) there are not enough teachers to teach in person, period.  Most substitute teachers are retired former full-time teachers who are also in high-risk categories and not able to teach in person.  There are not enough teachers who are medically able to be in a building with other people during a poorly-controlled pandemic.

    • AR July 22, 2020 (1:29 pm)

      I understand the view of SPS but from another perspective there are many high risk individuals who work at the hospital as nurses and doctors and we are in confined spaces for 14+ hours a day, touching multiple use surfaces, interacting with patients and not social distancing because frankly it isn’t possible. We wear masks all day. We wear gloves when doing procedures. We wash our hands. The transmission among staff is low. It is possible to have precautions such as masks and face shields and hand sanitizer and make it work in a classroom. And I believe teachers are just as essential as nurses and doctors. We are doing a disservice to our children. 

      • Tony July 22, 2020 (2:50 pm)

        You’re talking about medical professionals. Who are trained to work in that environment. I don’t believe teachers, staff should be pressured to work in that kind of environment if the choose to opt out….

      • mok4315 July 22, 2020 (2:51 pm)

        Great point, AR. You just changed my stance on this debate. 

      • Mia July 22, 2020 (2:55 pm)

        I work in the hospitals and in the schools as a speech therapist. I feel comfortable continuing to work at the hospital but would set foot in a school right now.  The mask requirement in the hospitals is actually enforced.  In the schools this would be difficult to enforce.  Many students have sensory issues, behaviors, or are simply too young to consistently follow directions. Additionally when I see a patient In the hospital, it is me and that patient and maybe another nurse or caregiver in the room.  All people that are screened daily for temp before entering.  This is vastly different to the risk of being with 30+ students breathing the same air in a room that may not have a window.  Then there is the issue if PPE.  At my WA hospital I’m provided mask, a shield, and gown every time I work. I can only imagine the paltry PPE the schools will provide.  I’ve joked to colleagues  it’ll be a 1-ply tissue paper held together with paper clips and rubber bands.  I joke, but in all seriousness if schools open up I have no doubt that teachers, especially special education teachers will die. 

      • Anne July 22, 2020 (3:32 pm)

        Sorry as much as I admire &  support every health care worker-I flat out disagree with you on this. There is a safe -albeit not ideal-alternative to in person school-remote learning. We do our teachers a disservice by not taking their health -as well as students health -into consideration. I also can’t  agree that you comment “ the transmission among staff is low” (in medical setting) can be applied to school full of kids & teachers.

      • john July 22, 2020 (3:56 pm)

        AR, you are wrong.  Teachers are not ‘essential’ regarding COVID19 mandates.  There are medically sound reasons for these restrictions that may seem irrational at first and at odds with the anecdotal reports such as yours.  On the macro level, this is what our experts have proposed and what has flattened surges.  Opening up at this point would certainly increase transmission as proven everywhere else.There is little to compare a hospital to a school or a trained medical staff to a school staff when it comes to experience with best medical  practices.  The school room cannot be compared to the waiting room.  Children in groups act,…like children.  What is there to challenge when we are informed, “We can’t imagine a way to open schools without the risk of significant transmission of COVID-19 based on the current trajectory of infections in King County.”Others who scoff at warnings are slowly (even a masked Trump) realizing the consequences of rushed re-opening.   How many people:students and their – children, parents, grandparents, teachers, custodians, lunch servers, principals, bus drivers, and all of their families should be risked?  It is COVID that is doing the disservice to our children.  Opening schools to soon would be deadly.

        • Will July 22, 2020 (5:49 pm)

          Actually AR is right. Are we just going to put off school forever…?Unfortunately everyone will most likely get Covid eventually. Sad result of too little too late.  Just watch.  Is there anyone out there it was never ever caught a cold? Well unfortunately this cold kills.This should’ve been taken very seriously months ago and now it is too late.

      • alki mom July 22, 2020 (3:58 pm)

        I 100% agree with you. I also think teachers are essential workers, and should be provided the required equipment to do their jobs safely (N95 masks, faceshields, hand sanitizer, distanced desk etc) so schools can reopen.

        • kim July 22, 2020 (6:51 pm)

          Can you imagine teaching with a mask on?  They can’t hear me at PCC when I give my phone number.  (I’m assuming teachers will be wearing masks.)

        • C July 22, 2020 (9:55 pm)

          This is all a A ridiculous conversation because I work in the hospital system and I can’t even get appropriate PPE… so we expect SPS to dole that out daily to hundreds of teachers and students?  My guess is that even if they try in person, teachers will strike as they rightfully should. Who would want to work in a classroom of 25+ students when you have no idea what their home situation is or who is taking this seriously? I wouldn’t gamble my life on it! I support teachers.

      • CAM July 22, 2020 (4:29 pm)

        Hospitals are intentionally built with air filtration systems that are far superior to what you will find in all but the newest school buildings. The reason you see less people getting sick inside the hospital, despite the extensive contact, is likely because the air is cleaner not because it’s safe. 

      • Concerned Human July 22, 2020 (4:51 pm)

        Yes! I do not understand how we can say grocery store workers are essential, but teachers are not. The US has never valued education and moving school online isn’t going to help. Absolutely outrageous. If grocery workers are working, teachers should work too. Yes, there are dangers, but this virus isn’t going anywhere for a long time. We need to learn, as a society, how to safely live with it and that includes opening schools and making modifications to make them as safe as possible for everyone. I am also concerned that this might mark the beginning of the end for our public education system. Already, many parents are hiring teachers and tutors, forming pods and micro schools. What’s keeping them from maintaining these new, smaller school communities and lobbying to shift funding from public education to some other voucher system or the like. This is a nightmare.

        • SWinWS July 27, 2020 (8:49 pm)

          I agree with you. public schools are an important infrastructure that needs remain open. If you choose to opt out that is your choice but, it is completely hypocrisy to turn your back on vulnerable children and families and then say you support Black lives matter because it’s trendy. This is disgusting, if you want to increase racial injustice and further the divide among socio economic class then online learning only is the most obvious way to do it. For many children, teachers are the only other adult in there lives outside the home, this is putting an entire generation of young people at risk. There are ways to do it. And like many have said if a grocery worker is essential than teachers absolutely are.

      • Matt P July 22, 2020 (5:17 pm)

        But the children aren’t going to wear masks or socially distance, which increases the risk for everyone.

      • Rockhills July 23, 2020 (7:38 am)

        I also work in both hospitals and schools as an occupational therapist. And I firmly believe that a hospital is a much safer place to work during a pandemic. Hospitals know infection control and have long- standing procedures in place,  and adequate staff,  to ensure it.   Hospital staff have much better PPE even during the current shortage.  Hospital staff aren’t outnumbered 25:1 by energetic and highly mobile charges who may or may not understand safety concerns and who really, really want to interact normally with their friends. We miss our students and we want life to go back to normal,  too. Distance learning is hard work for educators as well as families.  We’d much rather be back in buildings, too… when it’s safe. 

    • Lief July 23, 2020 (3:10 pm)

      Gatewood School has about 400 students and so far about 1, 500 people in our state have died due to the virus in the past four months. So, sort of imagine this means that a population of 3 elementary schools 🏫 have died in the past 3 months in the state of Washington. This virus 🦠 is real and not a hoax and people of all ages need to start doing their part to stop 🛑 the spread of the virus 🦠.  

  • YES2WS July 22, 2020 (12:31 pm)

    Highline Public Schools as well.

  • Mrs. A July 22, 2020 (12:34 pm)

    It’s a lose/lose situation.  Our teachers (and their families) are at risk for health issues.  And, our kids are at risk of losing everything – social/emotional links, academic skills, and their health.  There is just nothing good about this.  It sucks.I have a rising 8th grader and 2nd grader.  It’s been especially hard on my youngest – she is alternately furious and distraught.  We are bracing for fall to be miserable.

  • Erin July 22, 2020 (12:39 pm)

    I believe this was the right decision. I would also like to know what plans the school district, city, state, federal government, and employers come up with for parents of young children who work “non-essential” jobs, but whose ability to work is absolutely essential to support their families. Supervising young children during remote learning makes working from home nearly impossible, and paying a fair wage for one-on-one in-home support from a nanny or learning supervisor is very expensive and in fact impossible for many families. I hope there will be some solutions generated for this large group of the labor force.

    • Alice July 22, 2020 (2:07 pm)

      This! Every parent who can do so needs to start demanding support from their employer. 

      • Yma July 22, 2020 (4:11 pm)

        it is my understanding that ALL kids will have access to computers & internet connection.It’ll be still damn hard for those with younger kids.

      • flimflam July 22, 2020 (4:18 pm)

        what would “demand” actually be asking for? what would you expect your employer to do, pay for a nanny? i’m not sure i understand what you’d expect to be done…

    • Calires July 23, 2020 (12:50 am)

      I feel for all of you, but I took care of my severely dementia-addled parent who also had other physical disabilities for 8 years while working a very demanding technology job full time from home.  Do not expect the government, or your employer, to give you any help.  This is the United States of America and you are expected to take care of your own, or die trying.  And many people do die trying…

  • Kim July 22, 2020 (12:53 pm)

    I understand why, but we are failing our children…and no amount of remote mental health support can come close to replacing what they are missing out on.  

    • Mr J July 22, 2020 (1:31 pm)

      Are we? They’ll be alive, I’d say we’re saving children. 

      • Kim July 22, 2020 (2:59 pm)

        Yes, I believe we are.  Again, I understand why this decision was made, given the circumstances.  However, I believe the decision was made to save adults, not children.  Not that they/we aren’t worthy as well, but the children are sacrificed for it.  I full heartedly believe we could figure out a solution that safely puts adults and kids back in the classroom, at least part time, IF our government was actually willing to invest in education.  Of course that won’t happen, so here we are.  

        • This July 22, 2020 (10:17 pm)

          Saving adults is good for children.

          Children losing family members, even possibly their parents, is more impactful in my opinion than getting behind or having an off year of education.

      • Anna July 22, 2020 (3:03 pm)

        This is not a dispute of SPS‘S decision, but I think by this point it should be obvious that all of West Seattle’s children will continue to be alive whether or not we start school. The Virus isn’t killing kids, and it’s not killing or debilitating the overwhelming majority of people who get it. 

        • Gwen July 22, 2020 (6:07 pm)

          I’m starting my first year teaching this fall, and have worked in schools for years within other capacities. I was saddened to see this today, as having a classroom of my own has been a dream of mine for ages. But honestly? This is the right call. This isn’t saying that the entire year is going to be remote. It needs to start this way so things can be safe. Yeah, maybe it won’t spread to most kids. But there are plenty of students with medical conditions who could easily be affected, as well as plenty of teachers who fall into the high risk category. And there’s definitely a strong argument to be made that the social-emotional health of students is going to be greatly affected by all this. But you know what else will? If their teacher contracts it and dies shortly into the school year. Or a classmate. That is going to be much harder than starting remote again. And as far as the strain this causes–yeah. It sucks. And it sucks that there are a lot of employers who won’t be sympathetic to the difficulties this will continue to cause. But I don’t see that as an issue of the school district, and more the fact that our system, as a whole, has failed us through all this. It’s awful. None of us want to be starting remote, but it is the only choice, because this is where we are right now. So let’s do what we can to get through it. 

        • newnative July 23, 2020 (4:34 pm)

          Anna, that is patently false. https://www.mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-in-babies-and-children/art-20484405

      • This July 22, 2020 (10:19 pm)

        I agree that health should be a priority over staying on schedule with education, and it’s up to families and communities to help kids weather this challenging time both physically and emotionally.

      • S - in West Seattle July 23, 2020 (8:39 am)

        In states reporting, 0%-0.2% of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in death. Therefore, children are not the issue, but I would understand the teachers are. 

  • John July 22, 2020 (1:24 pm)

    I worry about the quality of education if this is done, not every kid does well remotely and in LA most kids only attended one zoom class before the end of the year. If it’s too dangerous for the teacher to go in why not have a younger teacher why not have a student teacher  act as a proctor to keep kids in person on track and the teacher can Skype / zoom in? 

    • WS Guy July 22, 2020 (3:46 pm)

      Totally reasonable solution.

      • wsres July 22, 2020 (9:13 pm)

        There is a shortage of teachers. I don’t think that would work. And hiring a bunch of younger teachers (and moving older teachers to other positions that are no in-person positions) would be costly. Schools would not have the money for more teachers and the costs of PPE, and cleaning, etc.

  • Smittytheclown July 22, 2020 (1:40 pm)

    Is there really no solution?  Masks? Ten foot teacher buffer?  Plexiglass? Nightly disaffection?  At-risk teachers video in?  Separate restrooms?  Why should teachers be less impacted than grocery store checkers?  Restaurant servers?  Bankers?  Bus drivers?  

    • Notoveryet July 22, 2020 (2:28 pm)

      Because all the occupations you mentioned see their customer for a lot less than 8 hours. The longer you’re around people, inside the more exposure. Covid 101. Seperate restrooms and plexiglass? Plexiglass where?

      • J July 22, 2020 (3:04 pm)

        Actually, all of those occupations are exposed for the same amount of time, (actually, longer than a school day), and to far more people than a single classroom of people.  If schools kept their classrooms isolated from the others, reduced class sizes with an alternating schedule, ate lunch in the classroom, avoided recess or went one class at a time, etc, they encounter far fewer people than most essential workers do. 

        • Marianne July 22, 2020 (6:14 pm)

          Well, that sounds awful. 

          • This July 22, 2020 (10:46 pm)

            Right? I wonder what will be worse for kids, schooling from home, or a possibly bizarre and stressful school experience, and that despite efforts, may lead to more people around them becoming seriously sick and some dying?

          • t July 23, 2020 (4:17 pm)


            It sounds awful, yes, but the kids will be learning
            something. I was not a fan of the 2days/wk concept. But it’s better than
            nothing. And in my opinion that is what online learning was in spring, NOTHING!
            My youngest (1st grader) had 2 -20 min Team classes during the entire closure
            last spring. SPS would needs to REALLY step up if their intent is to
            actually teach our kids.

            YouTube is not the appropriate platform for lessons. I had to
            turn off parental controls to their devices get the lessons, and on day 1 they
            were watching random YouTube videos. Needless to say, YouTube was again
            disabled and lessons were not being watched. Emailing multiple page
            packages for me to print and teach is not teaching and I know they were not learning.
            Prime example, I learned math differently and on more than 1 occasion my daughter
            was in tears because I was confusing her. For Distant learning to actually work, Teachers need to teach a full days worth of class, online, to their students. And I am doubtful this will happen.

            Prior to school closure I feel schools, teachers, and
            the students were getting into a good rhythm with handwashing when
            entering a room, limit touching unnecessary things and so on. Of course there
            is always room for improvement, but like anything, kids can be taught it
            just takes routine and repetition. We have taught them they need to wear a mask
            when going to the market, parks or anywhere in public; With continued lessons
            on proper hygiene and keeping healthy, I am confident that in-school
            lessons can be done and done safely for those who want it. Like anything in this pandemic, it won’t
            be easy but imo Teachers are essential workers just like the DOT says I am, just
            like the state says my husband is. And even more so in my opinion. And I have yet to see the plans for assistance, childcare options for families where neither parent is able to stay home to ‘teach’, will childcare facilities be able to assist with online learning (doubtful), what about families who don’t have access to internet, families who are not tech-savy, help needed for families who are virtually working and supporting the teaching efforts … the list goes on.
            Spring was a MESS, what are the lesson learns? Where is the data for how many kids were learning?  The question I have is SPS going to step up and show this can even work? So far I am not convinced

      • Alice July 22, 2020 (3:20 pm)

        Plus, there are 1,000+ kids at some of these schools. Far more exposure.

      • Anna July 22, 2020 (3:26 pm)

        They did plexiglass somewhere—maybe Korea? Plexiglass all around each individual desk. Seemed like a good idea 

    • cwit July 22, 2020 (3:10 pm)

      Nightly disaffection – I think that’s fairly well covered.

    • ej July 22, 2020 (5:04 pm)

      Ha! “At risk teachers video in”?! Seriously?! That would be a hilarious failure. Can you even imagine?! “Ok, 2nd graders, listen up! Please keep social distance. Don’t touch your masks. Please don’t chew your mask. Take your mask off your shoe. Don’t share/trade masks with your friend. Please don’t touch your neighbor. Don’t use too much hand sanitizer. Please don’t use sanitizer on your face. Sanitizer is for hands, not chair seats. Please sit quietly. Everyone line up. Someone please carry my face on a screen in line to the library” I could go on for days… I’m sure they would do great!

      • HPE Family July 22, 2020 (5:33 pm)

        Yes! All of this and more!!!

      • NL1 July 23, 2020 (7:59 am)

        So how does the teacher, when present, prevent all those behaviors anyway? By physical means? The video idea could work with parents, who can, volunteering to chaperone the classroom.

        • Highline Teacher July 24, 2020 (12:56 am)

          An effective classroom teacher can manage students to not behave that way in person. Just knowing that their teacher is possibly watching or headed back into the room can cause students to scramble. But it takes a build – up and rapport between the teacher and students.  And only works best if the teacher is physically present. 

          • Marianne July 24, 2020 (9:02 am)

            Thank you for explaining, I didn’t even know where to start.  I would like to add on that teachers may quietly ask to speak to a student in the hall or at recess,  give them preferential seating, something to fidget with, ask them to leave the group, or possibly contact parents or admin.  All of these behavior management techniques are subtle and done in person.  Physical means are reserved for very rare occasions and only used by admin and special education teachers, who have been trained in restraint.

  • Bananas July 22, 2020 (1:41 pm)

    Tough decision and our kids will be sad.   My household is privileged thus far in that we are able to work from home (for now) but even with that good fortune it has been TOUGH to work full time and homeschool the kids.  The SPS online learning March-June was sporadic and the quality reflected the individual teacher.  Some teachers met the minimum requirements of 1-2 hours of “instruction” a week.   We had one teacher who took time to set up a daily schedule and was available 3-4 hours per day.  She represented the best of the best. Our local Catholic school is able to resume classes because of resources they have available to them (staff/space/funds).  Glad for them that they can make it work. 

  • Yma July 22, 2020 (2:33 pm)

    Damneven 1 rotated day per week would help the kids/teens. Distanced.the total online… my teen tanked. I can’t imagine the situation for parents of younger children that have jobs that won’t let work from home.Ill support our teachers & classrooms. This is hard.

  • Fauntleroy Fairy July 22, 2020 (2:34 pm)

    This is one of the most self serving decisions ever because it will impact lower income families the most. People with means will have no trouble keeping their kids up on their school work,  but families without access to computers, etc will fall behind. The education gap will widen and that is unacceptable.  Restaurants, grocery stores, airlines, transit, public utilities, hair salons, and more, have all figured out a way to do their job while safely social distancing. Are teachers not essential? This is a social justice issue and this time it IS for the children!

    • psps July 22, 2020 (3:04 pm)

      This is not a “social justice” issue. It’s a public health issue.  True, it exacerbates everything unfair in society, but it’s still a public health issue and there’s no way around it. Getting stuck in the ‘denial’ stage and insisting that life could be ‘normal’ if only there were no ‘self-serving decisions’ just makes this drag on longer. Yes, it’s frustrating, but that’s the reality of the situation. We have to recognize and deal with realities.

      • Fauntleroy Fairy July 22, 2020 (6:17 pm)

         Ok. You want to talk about public health? Take a look at the rising suicide rate among young kids, the climbing rate at which children are being abused, depression, I could go on. I know teachers that are begging to go back because they understand this better than most people commenting here. They have brought solutions to the school board and the WNEA. They literally told them to go away. 

        • AMD July 22, 2020 (9:21 pm)

          As someone pointed out upthread, having a teacher they love or a classmate, or a friend’s parent (or all of the above) die of COVID they contracted at school would also be traumatizing.  I think we all recognize that this impacts the kids and no one wants anything bad for the kids, but there is no winning here, only degrees of losing.  Killing teachers as a solution to stop kids from killing themselves just seems like the kind of thing there’s a better way to handle.

    • Erin98126 July 22, 2020 (3:09 pm)

      The district has distributed 25,000 devices amongst 15,000 kids and set up 2000 wi-fi hotspots. If I do the “math,” it seems every student should have the means to join their class…

      • me July 22, 2020 (9:44 pm)

        Erin, I have no idea if your numbers are accurate but there are over 53,000 students in SPS.

    • Anw July 22, 2020 (3:31 pm)

      Teachers may know how to practice their profession safely, although we know at least one news story about teachers who shared a classroom, took precautions, and one died. I don’t have any confidence that children will be able to keep masks on correctly, wash hands, and keep distant throughout the school day. Kids will fall behind. Parents will have a hard time working, if they can at all. But this is a health care crisis. We will need to put in place measures to help catch up and cover economic losses but I think that is preferred over more illness and death. 

    • zcam July 22, 2020 (3:32 pm)

      If we open up schools again to in person learning, those same lower income families (particularly Black and Brown families) are the least likely to survive if they get sick.

    • WS Parent July 22, 2020 (3:40 pm)

      In the SPS school district any child that needed an internet hotspot driven by cellular and a device to connect online was offered one through a survey.
      The survey was available to anyone that has a child attending school and didn’t ask any questions based around income qualifications just around need and all devices and hotspot connections are offered free of charge based on that need.
      I just hope they improve the online learning and make it less reliant on the parent to do the actual teaching part. My daughter has been in online classes/camps all summer and the teachers are available the entire time and she can see all the other kids in the class.
      The remote learning at the end of the year was sub par with barely present teachers and a half hour classroom once or twice a week.

      While this is not ideal for everyone I support the SPS decision and I think children will survive and be ok in the long run.  I personally was not feeling comfortable sending my 7 year old back for even part time. I’m not sure how they could keep the surfaces clean at all times and follow kids around to clean up after every bathroom usage or touched surface or guarantee they would keep masks on. 
      More and more kids and young adults are developing long term symptoms and issues from Covid-19 even if it is not sending them all to a hospital and many parents are in vulnerable age groups not just those immune compromised and asymptomatic children could be bringing that all home.

      I’m for safety and science first.

      Please wear a mask and have a nice day!

    • Yma July 22, 2020 (4:00 pm)

      I do believe that the school system has tried very hard to ensure each student has access to a laptop & internet connection. That was my understanding from West Seattle High School. If I am wrong, my apologies.if we’re gonna do this remote, let’s make sur ALL kids can do this remote.

    • onion July 22, 2020 (6:04 pm)

      I agree with the decision, both for the health of the teachers and students alike. At the same time, as a community we need to ensure that students are educated and parents are able to work to provide for their families and the community.  As others have noted, out-of-the-box thinking is needed to help make that happen. It can’t be just on the teachers and parents. Before I say more, I think it should be obvious that remote learning was a failure during the last months of the -19-20 school year. We were asking teachers and students to adapt to the online solution from one day to the next. An impossible request for many, and no fault of their own by teachers or students who came up short.  To correct these shortcomings SPS administrators have had time to come up with training and infrastructure to better support online learning during the first half of the 20-21 school year (and perhaps for the second half as well). Parents and employers have had more time to adapt and figure out acceptable strategies as well. 
      But I think more is going to be needed — more support for teachers, and more support for students. That’s where the community comes in. I don’t have kids and I am retired. I am somewhat technical and have a communications background. I’d like to think that individuals such as me can help support our teachers and students in the community to make this incredibly difficult situation work. It shouldn’t just be on teachers, on the school administrators, the government, or the students. The whole community needs to find ways to pitch in.

      I will be contacting my local PTAs to see how I can help.

      • Patience July 24, 2020 (6:51 am)

        ONION, you brought tears to my eyes.  During our current health crisis, it will take the whole community to get us thru this tough time.  I shop early in the morning every two weeks and offer to pick things up for neighbors.    Being retired as well, I love your idea of contacting my local PTAs to offer my service (not in the school building though, I have many years of volunteering in schools and know that they are one big Petri dish).  There are many kids on my block as well –  I am going to offer time to all of their families: offering to read and practice writing their letters/numbers with the young ones, working out math problems with older ones.  If anyone is having computer issues, I will offer to get them connected/up and running.  

  • WS Parent July 22, 2020 (2:40 pm)

    I understand this is a lose/lose. But, lets look a bit further down the road. SPS is concerned about equity. Great. What do you think is going to happen when public school kids are essentially homeschooled (our experience with elementary level distance learning was that our kids were left to whatever effort the parent puts in) and those that can afford it like Holy Rosary go back to every day in person learning? The gap when we come out of this will be insane and will have societal implications beyond what we can imagine. You will have some kids that have had little to no instruction in 1.5 years (if we are all online this year), and other kids that have been home schooled by parents fortunate enough to make that choice, while still others are on track and in the classroom at private school. When we go back kids will be the same age but be grades apart in learning. Who do you think SPS will cater to? There is no long term plan and that is what will impact so many of our kids in their lives. Teachers are essential, learning is essential. I truly hope that SPS realizes if they don’t do in person they need a drastically different model for distance learning. 

  • Smarty Pants July 22, 2020 (2:41 pm)

    SPS online learning March through June was an absolute joke.  Summer school has been a complete waste of time.  Can’t wait to see what the fall schooling looks like.  I expect a lot more from SPS.

    • wsres July 22, 2020 (9:20 pm)

      Teachers (who were originally told they would only be out of their buildings for 2 weeks in the Spring, and who are not trained in online learning and had to piece it all together without training or supplies) are supposed to get some training this time and knowing this now, they can plan for it. Hopefully they will be allowed into the buildings where all their teaching materials are too. 

  • Beepee July 22, 2020 (3:17 pm)

    If our education system is ranked 27th in the world yet our infection rate from coronavirus/covid 19 is ranked one maybe we should take this time to work out a better system be is remote learning or something , and not trivialize the current state of our nation.

  • FrustratedParent July 22, 2020 (3:23 pm)

    One thing the district needs to come to grips with is live streamed remote learning at least 2-3 hours per day. If we are going remote, this is not an option if we don’t want it to all be a meaningless exercise. It was set up and running fine with some teachers in the Seattle schools within the first week of the COVID-19 shut down. Then the district came in and shut it down in the name of “equity” – which apparently means having everyone fail and lose out on an education.In short, if it’s going to be remote (which in my opinion, it should be) it has got to have daily, live-streamed instruction for a couple of hours. The one, one hour per week session from the end of last year is just pathetic. SPS you have got to do better – because you failed us all last year (despite patting yourself on the back repeatedly).

    • Tony July 22, 2020 (8:28 pm)

      My son had three, one hour zoom classes a day within a week of his school shutting down. He was in the fourth grade, private school for dyslexia. SPS could do the same if they wanted to ($$)

      • wsres July 22, 2020 (9:24 pm)

        Hamlin Robinson? Private school that costs $20000 a year. 

    • Mrs. A July 23, 2020 (11:04 am)

       I agree – live stream 2-3 hours a day, recorded for those who cannot participate at the exact time.  We are doing summer camp this way and it works – even with my flighty 7-year-old.BUT – Teachers need training and resources if we are to do this right. SPS remote learning for my 1st grader was HARD.  The teachers had little/no direction from SPS and had to make it up on the fly.  Her teacher had to navigate tech with no training, and her students had to use 8 different websites.  Our daughter had 1 Zoom meeting per day – consisting of 3 general “classroom” meetings, and 2 small-group reading meetings.  The rest of the time was choosing learning activities from a list, and then posting a video to the classroom.   LOTS of parental intervention/assistance.  And, this was so much better than other parents I talked to – who got 2-3 Zoom meetings for the months schools were closed.Please, give our teachers training and support.  They want to help our kids, they want to teach.

  • WS Guy July 22, 2020 (3:42 pm)

    To MR J: Thusfar there have been zero WA deaths under age 20.  Zero.  Stop spreading hysteria.

    • This July 22, 2020 (11:08 pm)

      The closure of schools is thought to have reduced the spread of the virus among kids which has helped that 0 deaths total. Not that there may have been many, but there may have been some. Some children have died from covid around the world but it is a small number. I would bet though that their loss was not insignificant to their parents.

      I do not agree that Mr. J was spreading hysteria. Maybe some people just have a different perspective from you and that is okay.

    • Mr J July 22, 2020 (11:19 pm)

      Cool. A graph. Case closed. No deaths under 20 in WA so everything is safe. This disease is new and they don’t know enough on how it effects younger people. Don’t peddle bs at me with a graph. I’ve know several people that have had this and are dealing with the long term effects and an acquaintance that died in her sleep (she was 32). Just because we don’t have the full picture doesn’t mean we should put children’s lives at risk, or teachers, bus drivers, school administrators etc etc. I’ll leave it at that since my real feelings wouldn’t get published.

    • S - in West Seattle July 23, 2020 (8:48 am)

      Thank you for being a voice of reason. You are correct 0 deaths, so then why did we shut down, we shouldnt have. 

      • BelMom July 23, 2020 (11:19 pm)

        I’m curious why people think teachers “aren’t working” or “not required to work” if learning is 100% online. It only makes their job harder. The very first comment, from AMD is spot on. It doesn’t take many absent teachers (or custodians,  bus drivers, office managers, administrators or IAs) before the whole machine comes to a grinding halt. There are not enough substitutes. Period. Teachers are essential, and online school is the only way to ensure they can do their job.

  • HP2girl July 22, 2020 (4:21 pm)

    Really John your comment constitutes discrimination in so many ways, ageism health wise etc , Older teachers have a right to keep their jobs and stay safe just like any vulnerable people.Teachers want to do what is best for everyone Maybe you should take you arrogant selfish entitled self to private school ,

    • John July 22, 2020 (6:16 pm)

      Wow I’m not really sure where to begin with that one… I didn’t say they couldn’t keep their jobs I proposed a way that they could stay safe and still teach. Some of the best teachers I’ve ever had had been older ones. There must be some solution where students can be in class It’s important for development as well as quality learning.

      • Fauntleroy Fairy July 22, 2020 (7:30 pm)

        Hey John, trust me it wasn’t anything you said. No one else read anything like that into your original comment.

        • Will July 22, 2020 (9:24 pm)

          Yeah John your comment was fine. Just someone else relentlessly searching for something else to be outraged about.  This insta-venomous judgement and insta-outrage needs to stop.  Along with everyone’s blind acceptance of any municipal decision regardless of the facts.  Why are so many so instantly accepting of any sps or sdot decision without even thinking about it for themselves.  Think for yourselves for once.  Don’t just declare any and all decisions that are made perfect just so you don’t have to think. Sometimes they get it wrong. 

  • J July 22, 2020 (4:25 pm)

    This is insanely simplistic and lacking in creativity. I will donate several thousand dollars for a few big tents and PPE for our school. Set them up outside, kids learn in fresh air, everyone wins. Probably no one would want to return indoors. We live in a climate where this is possible. This is not a new idea. Wake up, bureaucrat drones! 

    • Will July 22, 2020 (9:25 pm)

      Spot on J and well said. Thank you. 

    • wsres July 22, 2020 (9:28 pm)

      There are over 600 students at genesee hill elementary, and they have a small playground. Where do all the outdoor learning sessions take place? 

      • J July 22, 2020 (11:06 pm)

        Send me a site plan and I’ll draw it up for you. This is not rocket science. 

        • Math teacher July 23, 2020 (11:41 am)

          @J – As a teacher who is eager to get back to teaching, I am excited to learn more about your plan! Does your “not rocket science” site plan include a 3D maze of separated, socially-distanced pathways between each outdoor tent-classroom and assigned indoor restroom facilities, or are will you be installing portable restroom facilities adjacent to each tent? 

  • Kathy July 22, 2020 (4:38 pm)

    I would think outside the box. Outdoors is safer. Start with summer school immediately and hold it outdoors or in highly ventilated (carport style?) locations. Use those athletic fields and playgrounds. Outdoor education is still an education, even if it doesn’t come up to the standards of a normal school year.  Require masks and encourage distancing but at least there would be some social learning experience. We are fortunate in having a milder climate than most places. As the winter weather sets in, wear raingear or adjust activities/shelter to keep warm/safe. We might as well face it, this generation of school age children will be unique from what they are experiencing. It wouldn’t hurt to study what is happening in other countries around the world where their cohorts are facing similar challenges. Granted, our kids are facing more serious challenges since we are near the top in not keeping the virus under control. Full disclosure: my kid is no longer school age.

    • ej July 22, 2020 (5:35 pm)

      I actually love this idea.  I am a former teacher for Special Education and can see lots of problems in this kind of model but at the same time I think there’s a lot of ways it could be made to work.  Too bad you and I weren’t on the committee… :/   

  • West Seattle Lady July 22, 2020 (5:32 pm)

    This is awful. It is all awful. Sending them to school would be awful, keeping them home is awful. Missing vacations, weddings, funerals. It’s all awful. There is no easy way around it. We need to support each other and get through it. And stop thinking there will be some easy way out or easy solution. We can’t just expect to spread kids out, or wash hands and go back to school as it was before. It just won’t work. Everytime a teacher, child, family member gets sick they will have to close. It would be so disruptive. We have to wear masks, social distance and get through this. Stay home if you can and take care of your children. It will be long and hard but there is no other way. 

  • WSHS student July 22, 2020 (5:45 pm)

    As a wshs student going into my last year of high school, I’m really disappointed by this. The online “learning” we received was honestly terrible. I don’t blame my teachers as many of them were adjusting to the situation and tried their best ( even though  some never even came in contact with us personally unless we reached out, and there was no required zoom sessions at all). I’ve always been a hard working/driven student and did everything my teachers asked of me, yet I still barely learned anything at home. Classes like math and social studies are essential to our future success in higher education and push us to think critically. It’s impossible to receive the same knowledge and enrichment from our rooms at home. I’d like to mention that I’m privileged enough to have my own bedroom and a quiet space to work. What about my peers with less privilege? What about the kids in abusive households, or the kids without homes? (Let’s not forget the 4,368 homeless SPS students). I mean, this school district prides itself on diversity and equity, yet these policies disproportionately affect their students of color. For many of us, school is a place of refuge and community, even safety. It’s painful to think about the negative consequences we’ll face if we spend yet another quarter at home. SPS had an awful response to the pandemic. Their motto is “every student achieving, everyone accountable”, yet they aren’t ensuring that every student has the same resources to achieve. The initial response was that students wouldn’t get any work because not everyone had internet access or computers at home. Shouldn’t we question why not every student had a computer at home before the pandemic? It shouldn’t take a disaster like covid-19 to make sure each student has a computer and hot spot, especially when teachers assign homework online almost every day. I understand the threat of this virus, and it’s scary for all of us. Like a lot of other students, I don’t want to get my parents sick, but I also don’t want to lose even more knowledge that is essential to my future success. My dad is a doctor ( the same age as many of my teachers) and has worked in a covid clinic since March without contracting the virus. They can’t social distance perfectly in a clinic, but they can wear masks and use sanitation methods. I think seattle public schools should do the same. Make masks mandatory, spread out the desks, sanitize everything, and maybe even take temperatures of each student in the classroom. We could do half online and half in person learning with great precaution. I hope seattle public schools takes responsibility and does better for the sake of their students’ mental health and well-being. They should find the necessary resources to make half in person learning possible. If not, the least they can do is make sure their online learning is a viable option this time around. They certainly failed both students and teachers last time. 

    • CM July 22, 2020 (8:49 pm)

      Yes. This makes a lot of sense.

    • Mrs. A July 23, 2020 (11:14 am)

      @WSHS student – your suggestions make a lot of sense and would work if everyone would follow them.  Unfortunately, there are too many people out in the community who are not following safe distancing guidelines.  We also squandered the last 4 months on failing to test and  contact trace everyone.  Cases are rising, and there is no indication of when this will end.  Even if young people don’t die from this, they may have long term health issues and may spread it to others.  Even colleges are grappling with this issue (my husband works at a university and they still have not figured out what to do for fall).I am so very, very sorry that our society is failing so many students, including yourself.    I am grateful that there are young people like you who are thoughtful, reasonable and empathetic, and who understand that a lot of this comes down to equity.  After we get through this, we will need people like you to push for equitable change.  Kids need to be in the classroom – for many of them it is the safest place to be.

  • Julia July 22, 2020 (5:49 pm)

    Aren’t they just starting the year remotely? Perhaps with a little more time they’ll be able to figure out a better way to manage things. Plus, we may get a handle on the pandemic with treatments and vaccines. I think a little more patience is required.

    • MercyMoi July 22, 2020 (8:36 pm)

      Thank you, Julia! I agree. I feel much more hopeful about the fall not being a repeat of the spring. We had to respond quickly to a crisis, and now we’re planning to school through the crisis. The situation is not ideal, we’re damned if we open and damned if we don’t, but it is temporary. It may shake things up enough that we rethink how we do school! Whether it be outdoors or year round or always hybrid, we’re seeing new possibilities. We’ll get through this, and there will be a blip in our kids’ school years that they didn’t get enough math or language arts or orchestra or Spanish, but I trust in the grand scheme of things they will be okay. My biggest concern is for the young people who come to school because there they can eat and be safe and have consistency and predictability and shelter. We have to rethink how we connect to these young people and get them what they need – because holding a traditional school day with potential Covid exposure could make things worse. We have to be open to new ways to support. Back to Julia’s point, remote learning is a starting point in the year. We’re just putting one foot in front of the other. 

      • This July 22, 2020 (9:38 pm)


        And I think what will really have the biggest impact on our kids is how we adults respond to this crisis, our attitude, our priorities, our resilience and creativity, and the way we frame and communicate things.

    • Jonathan July 22, 2020 (9:12 pm)

      That is complete bull.  How long does it take to plan a zoom meeting?  The rest of the world has managed to adjust to business in the covid world within a week or two.  They (the teachers) have had 5 months already,  to prepare, why do we need to give them anymore time.  We are paying the teachers well,  they need to work for their pay!

  • Heshee July 22, 2020 (5:49 pm)

    I’ve worked as a school teacher, as a bartender, and a server in a restaurant. I absolutely believe schools being open should be considered more “essential” than a restaurant or bar, or a hair salon, or a tattoo parlor. Certainly restaurants/bars are risky considering masks need to be taken off and numerous, different customers daily are spending a significant amount of time in these establishments. I feel for teachers, and if they are NOT going to non-essential businesses, than I support their desire to school remotely. I know this is hard for families but does seem safer for all concerned. What burns me are the teachers getting manicures and dining in restaurants while complaining about in school teaching. I feel so bad for employees in places that TRULY must stay open, such as grocery stores and hospitals. I do not feel that dine in restaurants should be open. I fully support restaurants doing to go business but will not support a restaurant that is risking their employees lives by doing dine in. I really hope at the end of all this we find a way to reward grocery employees that have been working through this. They sure deserve something! They have been heroes, same as our medical workers. 

    • Mrs. A July 23, 2020 (11:19 am)

      @Heshee – what burns me is seeing my neighbors have weekly parties in their backyards, and then complain that schools will not be open.  Honestly, one neighbor’s daughter turned 16 and they invited all her friends over for pizza and an outdoor movie.  The pizza was shared, at the same table, and the teens all huddled together for the outdoor movie.  Only 1 teen wore a mask.  Many refuse to wear masks because the are “uncomfortable”, and they feel better just using “common sense.”  There are way too many people who feel the same, and THIS is what is spreading the virus in our community.

  • flimflam July 22, 2020 (6:40 pm)

    please, lets not pretend grocery workers and other service industry “essential” jobs are in any less danger than a teacher would be….at least schools are dealing with mostly the same groups of people everyday. grocery stores have an unending stream of different, diverse customers all day long. lots of unmasked kids (and adults) among them. i guess some people are more important than others.

  • M July 22, 2020 (7:14 pm)

    How many marriages will be destroyed by this? 

    • This July 22, 2020 (9:26 pm)

      If marriages are destroyed by this, maybe a change was due and it’s for the best?

  • V in west Sea July 22, 2020 (7:44 pm)

    Schools are not hospitals. Students are not patients. Teachers are not doctors.  Please stop comparing these things. No student, teacher, administrator or support  staff should die because you think your child might “fall behind in their education “.As parents we are responsible for the mental & physical health & education of our children.  No one else. YOU the parent. Teachers are not here to raise your child. 

    • This July 22, 2020 (9:23 pm)


    • Duffy July 22, 2020 (10:28 pm)

      This is all that needs to be said, really. We are grown ups. It is time everyone starts acting like it and be a bit more mature than these kids you speak of. COVID and the health risks associated with is our reality right now and it is time we start dealing with it like adults.

  • Mj July 22, 2020 (8:06 pm)

    And the City talks about social and economic equity, closing schools does not help achieve this at all.  

  • Scott July 22, 2020 (9:19 pm)

    Let us be honest with ourselves.  We Americans brought this collectively on ourselves.  Other countries have shown that near universal mask wearing, testing, social distancing and contact tracing are effective measures.  Those places (E.g. Japan) have reopened schools with some modifications.  Modifications that may require help funding by state & federal agencies.The sooner we act as a whole community in a way that prevents transmission and pressure lawmakers to adequately support the common sense measures above the sooner kids will be physically back in schools. 

  • Will July 22, 2020 (9:35 pm)

    BTW. I do sincerely hope there‘s no one on here making highly judge-mental or attacking comments and they don’t have kids.  No one without kids knows exactly what the no school has been like, and how destructive it’s been.

    • PotKettleBlack July 22, 2020 (11:08 pm)

      Actually, knowing EXACTLY how destructive a situation like this would be is why I chose to not have children. Procreating doesn’t give you magical knowledge that the rest of us don’t have. You’re the same person you were before, but now there’s a smaller version of you running around without pants. Does it change you? Sure. But so does peyote. I get so tired of parenthood being held up as some sort of sign that you are a better, smarter, more wholesome person. Idi Amin was a parent. Saddam Hussein was a parent. Dick Cheney is a parent. The fact that I decided that the world didn’t need any little versions of me doesn’t mean that I can’t see how insanely lazy and self centered our response to this emergency has been. 

      • Mrs. A July 23, 2020 (11:32 am)

        @potkettleblack – Where the hell are we supposed to get our future doctors, nurses, nursing home care providers, grocers, farmers, librarians, technicians if we don’t have kids – if we don’t have a future generation.  I don’t think parents hold themselves out as martyrs – but it is HARD raising kids well (and to make sure they don’t grow up to be little sh–s – pardon my language).  We don’t want/need a generation of miserable, uneducated, disengaged adults.  And, investing in children and families is linked to overall societal well-being.  Just look at the Netherlands – they invest a LOT in their families, and it’s one of the happiest places on the earth to live.   You don’t have to have kids to reap the rewards of living there.  BTW – we have a biological child and an adopted child.  We don’t expect anyone else to raise them for us – but at a minimum they should receive a good education (it’s even guaranteed in the Washington Constitution as a “paramount” obligation of the state).  Our youngest wants to be a doctor – let’s make sure she has the educational opportunity to be a good one.

  • Cera July 22, 2020 (10:30 pm)

    Elementary school teacher here. I was really hoping to be back in the classroom and am so disappointed by this decision. I was mentally preparing for a hybrid model and hoping to see the kids at least a few days a week. I know other teachers at my school were hoping for the same. However, there was a survey given and I can only assume a lot of teachers indicated they weren’t comfortable going back. I completely get this from a health standpoint, but I’m bummed nonetheless. That being said, I think parents can absolutely expect more robust online learning this fall. There was a lot going on behind the scenes in the spring, including weekly meetings, trainings, setting up Schoology, planning, etc. Plus, there were definitely faculty members who needed more help with setting up remote learning, so I think everyone did the best they could. There was a lot of pressure for teachers to be aligned, and some teachers went rogue and did much more than expected, but I think everyone was generally trying to abide by the SPS guidelines so I encourage you to have an open mind regarding your experience last year. However, my understanding is that there will be an expectation for more live teaching this year. (As an FYI, I had parents in the spring tell me they’d love more face time with me, and I also had parents telling me they were overwhelmed or busy and couldn’t get their kid to meetings, so one man’s live teaching is another man’s missed lesson. Some parents preferred the SPS videos that were available at any time. I guess my point being that remote learning is not ideal for anyone, and it is hard finding a model that appeals to everyone.  Things should definitely be better this school year, though, and if you do have any concerns once things get underway, make sure to email your child’s teacher. We want you and your kids to have a good experience!) 

    • Scott July 23, 2020 (8:56 am)

      Schoology was garbage. We hated it software. The other thing that was garbage was the Microsoft Team meetings. It never worked right and we always struggled to get it to work. Never had a problem with Zoom. That being said I hope they do a better job at this. You are correct that its different for everyone, as some people work or some people can sit there and teach there kids each day. 

    • Mrs. A July 23, 2020 (11:38 am)

      Live Zoom meetings could be recorded for those who want to participate later.  Our 7-year-old is doing Zoom summer camp and it works REALLY well with small groups.  She loves seeing the same teachers/people every day.  Schoology was cumbersome and IMPOSSIBLE for younger kids, and often for parents.  Our 7th grader had to help his 1st grade sister (because we didn’t know how to navigate it).  Zoom worked, Microsoft Teams did not.  Our 1st grader had 8 apps/websites to navigate – 2-3 would be much, much better.

    • Mrs. A July 23, 2020 (11:44 am)

      @Cera – So sad you are not back in the classroom at least part time.  Teachers really do “get” that kids need each other – especially the younger kids.  And, teachers know which kids need to be in school, where the school is safer than home.  I heard from  a kindergarten teacher that all her students were so sad, and it was so emotionally draining not to even be able to hug the most needy.  On a personal note, our 1st grader was alternately angry, miserable and depressed.  She cried when she learned school was cancelled in March (and we haven’t even told her about the fall yet).  She needs the social/emotional interaction with her teacher and kids.  Hopefully, teachers will be able to do more live Zoom meetings (2-3 hours a day).  She’s doing summer camp this way and her mental health has increased dramatically just over the past 2 weeks.

      • Concerned for kids July 23, 2020 (5:32 pm)

        I’m finding it kind of disturbing hearing from parents how reliant some children’s health and mental stability is on attending school. What the heck? If the thought of being home more for a period without going to school is causing kids to have mental breakdowns, what does that say about families and home life? I think as a society we need to pay attention to this and question what is happening. Or could it be that the way you are communicating about it to your kids is causing them to feel upset? If you are stressed and angry about it, maybe that affects how they internalize it.

        • Mrs. A July 25, 2020 (10:53 pm)

          @concernedforkids – I’m going to assume you meant your comments kindly and try to answer your questions.  People (including young children) are social creatures.  If a crisis cuts off their interactions with their friends and extended family, they are sad.  It’s not just that they are observing their parents’ responses to the crisis – they have feelings of their own.  My daughter is the extrovert of our family.  For her to abruptly  lose contact with her friends, classmates and teacher was devastating.  As her parents, we can explain why we are social distancing, and why she wears a mask – and she understands.  We can give her extra attention and love.  But, she is a person and she is angry and sad, and rightly so.  Kids’ brains develop better with social and emotional contact and when they are suddenly cut off from those they love, they feel the loss acutely.  Many teachers and parents can anecdotally tell you that their students and children are sad or miserable because of this – it’s not just because home life is bad or parents are stressed.  I would guess that after this is “over”, there is going to be a generation of kids who remember this as a traumatic period in their lives.

  • AP July 22, 2020 (10:39 pm)

    So the best part of all this is that kids are going to daycare, and summer camp and the PTA is demanding childcare in lieu of school. So what we are saying is daycare providers and summer camp counselors can be exposed and kids can congregate together as long as they are not being educated and as long as teachers aren’t exposed. Hmmm….

  • Jkk July 23, 2020 (12:34 am)

    Teachers are not medical professionals.  Teachers should never have to take fun training and carry a gun to protect their children in class from school shootings.  Children are not capable of NOT touching their masks all day.  There is. I good solution to this.  Just as everyone needs the economy to keep going.   You ask, at what cost?!?   Peoples lives.  Children’s lives?!   It’s all horrible and I think people are making decisions as new Information comes forward and I think people are scared and trying to stay safe and then there are other people going completely the other way.   I think people think this is real and are being cautious and I think people think this is no big deal and are not being cautious.  I don’t think there is a middle ground with this virus.   So sad.  The solutions are limited.  

    • Person July 23, 2020 (8:44 am)

      I think it’s possible and do think most people (well maybe not younger people) are both taking the virus seriously and being cautious, but also seeing that it’s possible to start getting out there while taking precautions. 

      • This July 23, 2020 (10:01 am)

        Person, please watch the latest state briefing, linked from the latest ‘Coronavirus Roundup’ post by WSB, or here:https://www.tvw.org/watch/?clientID=9375922947&eventID=2020071124According to our department of health, they are trying to prevent runaway transmission of this virus and currently have concern regarding seeing some increases in transmission, and are encouraging people to once again try to stay home more, limit interactions with others, etc, to prevent that from happening. They have pressed pause on allowing more things to open, and the governor has recently said there is consideration for another stay home order.So no, according to experts and leaders at this time, this isn’t the time to be encouraging people to get out there more and just take precautions.It’s about prevention folks.

  • julie a hall July 23, 2020 (8:20 am)

    What exactly is the online version of learning going to be? Is the district relying on the teachers to implement thier own versions of learning like the last months of school? Or will there be something like K-12 online but through the district? What are parents of high school age kids doing alternatively?  

  • Person July 23, 2020 (8:38 am)

    The daycare on Alki is hoppin’, at least two summer camps going on at Alki, large groups protesting nightly. I think it’s time to slowly open schools.I totally understand the anxiety that comes with opening schools, but think fear and anxiety is driving a lot of decisions.

  • Cera July 23, 2020 (10:26 pm)

    @Scott @Mrs. A Yes, I also hated Teams (and I won’t even get into Schoology!) and complained about it quite a bit with colleagues (I even spoke to someone from district about my issues with it). I much prefer Zoom and am keeping my fingers crossed we are allowed to use it this school year. I would love to be able to record live Zoom lessons and post them for students who can’t attend at the scheduled time, though it’ll depend on all those parents giving permission for recording and unfortunately something like that will probably have to be kept behind the Schoology “firewall” for safety. I know Zoom got nixed last year because the district was worried about Zoom-bombing, but I believe the platform has since addressed those security issues. I absolutely think that kids need to be around other kids in a school setting. I especially think K-2 kids need this time to learn about HOW to interact with others and how to build relationships. It breaks my heart to hear about your 1st grader @Mrs.A. I know I had students who cried last year and until recently I thought I might be able to have a class reunion play date on the playground this summer but that’s clearly not going to be possible. I am eagerly awaiting the district’s plan so I know what we’re working with this year. But the district is indicating more live lessons so all teachers should be providing more than in the spring. 

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