SCHOOLS: Hope Lutheran’s reopening plan

Since the state has not issued a universal directive for what schools should do this fall, the plans vary. In addition to Seattle Public Schools – which finalized more details in a meeting this afternoon (followup to come) – other local schools are making their plans official too. So far this week, we’ve heard from Hope Lutheran School in The Junction, which “plans to begin the school year on September 2nd with an in-class learning model for grades preschool through fourth grade, and a hybrid model for fifth grade through eighth grade. … In addition, any K-8 student may choose to enroll instead in the virtual learning model.” Also from the webpage with full details about Hope’s plan is this explanation:

While we considered opening up with the in-class learning model in all grades, the reason for the difference in models is due to three factors: the ability of older students to manage their work with more independence, parent confidence in leaving older students home without supervision at times, and Hope’s overall higher class sizes in the upper grades. While we have the ability to move upper classrooms around to larger spaces, we feel the current class sizes in upper grades are higher than are safe to be together at one time. On the other hand, educational research tells us again and again of the importance of in-class learning for most students, particularly in younger grades where students’ reading skills are less developed and where students are not able to be as proficient in independent learning.

Hope is asking families who want to opt for the all-remote model to do so by next Monday.

23 Replies to "SCHOOLS: Hope Lutheran's reopening plan"

  • Jesus take the wheel August 12, 2020 (9:14 pm)

    But science tells us gatherings of people like what will happen in a school setting are considered super spreader events. I guarantee that this plan will backfire and the entire school will move  to remote learning. Too bad these teachers have no one in their corner supporting them and keeping them safe. Bad move Hope Lutheran. 

    • Kram August 13, 2020 (6:54 am)

      Why do you say the teachers have no one in their corner? How do you know they don’t support this? Teachers and students can opt out. There are ways to social distance in schools and if everyone is wearing a mask at all times correctly those two things will help keep a spread from happening. Also, you are not considering what science is saying about the side effects of children not being in school and especially isolation. It’s a lose – lose situation either way. It bothers me that people don’t get together and find a solution; instead of union against state like always. It’s possible to do a hybrid model. There is a way to protect teachers and have them be apart of the solution along with doctors to make it happen!  Instead we see the typical “well, nothing we can do about it” because that’s just how the NW is now I guess.

    • Anne August 13, 2020 (7:48 am)

      What a ridiculous speculative statement-that Hope Lutheran teachers have no one in their corner-supporting them & keeping them safe. Have your own opinion on Hopes decision-but there is no school more supportive of their teachers & staff. Knowing Hope school & it’s administration-I’d be very surprised if the teachers were not part of this decision

    • Sally Heit August 13, 2020 (1:05 pm)

      To “Jesus Take the Wheel”I appreciate your comment. There is certainly a lot of dialogue centered around the issues of schools opening or going remote. As an employee of Hope School rest assured that our staff was 100% a part of the process of determining if we would reopen and how. We had a reopening task force that worked through the summer looking at various learning models, the latest research, health recommendations as well as guidelines from our local health department and CDC. Our principal headed that task force and also took a 24 hour pandemic preparedness class . We have a health and safety protocol in place, which includes staggered start times, temperatures checks of each student, mandatory masks for all students and staff, social distancing with desks, classroom cohorts, and increased hygiene, and ventilation systems.  We certainly understand your concern for our staff and students, appreciate your comment. 

      • JTTW August 13, 2020 (2:46 pm)

        And you will be getting hazard pay and overtime pay for teaching in person and online? Who will sub for teachers when they get sick? Will they be paid more for putting their lives at risk? What happens when a staff member dies? Or a child? Or a child’s parent? I don’t care if your principal went to a training. A training won’t stop the virus. 

  • JPD August 13, 2020 (6:03 am)

    What about Seattle Lutheran High School? What is their plan?

    • Sally Heit August 13, 2020 (1:06 pm)

      I believe Seattle Lutheran High School will be releasing their reopening plan next week.

  • Parent August 13, 2020 (7:13 am)

    I commend them for opening. It is the first school in the area to take a real stance. I believe the latest cdc findings indicate that healthy people are not spreading this as once thought. They have the advantage of being private and parents have a online option too. Being a parent w a child in sps, I don’t even have a choice. Even “dr.?” Bill Gates said that the benefits of in person study greatly outweigh the risks. After close to 6 months of homeschooling our kids, many of us wish we had a choice, an option. I think this is one issue that should be up to parents and teachers. Take your paranoia and judgment elsewhere. We are all making risk vs reward choices right now. And I’m sure there will be protocols like temp checks and masks and distancing – though that is also hard on our kids.

  • WS resident August 13, 2020 (8:33 am)

    I’m curious to know what other local private schools are also planning on returning to in-person teaching.  You are right the teachers in private schools don’t have a union or anyone to support them or keep them safe and a lot of parents who pay tuition don’t want a virtual option.

    • Tony August 13, 2020 (11:32 am)

      Westside School and Hamlin Robinson are both doing 4 days online, 1 day in person per week….option to do 100% online. Subject to change at any moment. 

  • Junction Lady August 13, 2020 (9:07 am)

    I applaud your leadership for stating a plan with options for families.

  • YES2WS August 13, 2020 (9:23 am)

    From the article; “On the other hand, educational research tells us again and again of the importance of in-class learning for most students”Does this educational research also illustrate the importance of having live teachers & students? 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • Mj August 13, 2020 (9:49 am)

    I applaud HL for developing a plan and planning to open the school and hope it is successful.  

  • Mel August 13, 2020 (10:40 am)

    I also applaud them. Sounds like they will be taking the necessary precautions. Plenty of daycares are still open and you haven’t seen massive outbreaks there. I believe if we carefully open things up with safe practices (mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing) in place, it can be successful and will be better for the kids.

    • Neil August 13, 2020 (12:51 pm)

      I guess it depends on your definition of “massive” outbreaks. As of three weeks ago, there have been 18 total outbreaks in childcare and K12 settings in the state. Not nearly as many as in food processing and food services, but something to keep an eye on.

      • Mel August 13, 2020 (4:05 pm)

        Neil- I agree. Def something to keep an eye on. I just know of at least 4 daycares in WS alone with many kids who have remained open this whole time without any infections. Add that to all the daycares throughout the rest of seattle and the Eastside that have been able to successfully navigate this so far. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen at some point. But I think wearing masks and sanitizing constantly has proven to be fairly successful. As an essential worker, I’m so thankful to our daycare who had been taking all precautions necessary.

  • Steve August 13, 2020 (11:29 am)

    Frankly, anyone opening up in contradiction to what the DOH is saying is just putting kids, their families, and the community at risk.

  • Drew August 13, 2020 (1:15 pm)

    I wish we, as parents, could choose for our kids to receive their education in a classroom.  My son is way behind and benefits greatly with “human” guidance.  I called Hope Lutheran to inquire about enrolling him and they are getting swamped with calls.  There is a pretty long wait list.  The woman I talked to was kind, and helpful, and agreed with me when I mentioned that getting swamped with calls and having wait lists is a huge indicator for the necessity to allow “in house” education for those who need it.  As for teachers, I have spoken to a few that wish they could teach in the classroom.  And for those that don’t feel comfortable, that is your choice.  My son benefited from two years at Tiny Trees, and went to school, rain or shine.  Let us all make our own choices… the costs outweigh the risks.  I can’t afford a private school, but right now, not being able to work due to child-care costs etc… well, it is a wash at this point.  Both my parents are in their late seventies and want my kid to be in school.  We know the risks, and adjust accordingly.  My son always ask if I’m scared of the virus.  I tell him, No.  Do not ever be scared or fearful.  Be cautious, and respect others.  He is going into 2nd grade… his reading level is around 1st.  I have a tutor for him because I can’t compete with neighbor kids who have I-pads, and X-boxes, and mine-craft everything!  He doesn’t understand why he has to do classes while the other kids don’t.  And all you working parents know you (and me:), are guilty of using those gaming resources to finish a work project or just have a moment of peace.  My generation didn’t have the ever abundant availability of gaming, devices, cartoons all day, etc.  We were kicked out of the house to play (would look very downed upon today), and wanted to read books if we got bored.  My kid doesn’t have devices…but he knows which kids do… just like I knew which friends of mine were allowed candy.  Also- don’t be fooled that the kids aren’t playing with a bunch of kids already.  I live near Lowman Beach, and trust me, an outdoor school would harbor less “drop-lets”, than what I have witnessed in the last  6 months.

  • Cycleman August 13, 2020 (1:37 pm)

    How irresponsible of Hope. This system will fail and Guarantee you they will go to remote learning. A student or staff will be exposed and they will have to restructure their plan on the fly. Come on people, do better! 

  • ACG August 13, 2020 (3:14 pm)

    I just read through the all of the linked documents on their webpage that spell out the safety procedures they will be undertaking as far as student spacing, cleaning protocols, minimizing contact with other grades and classes, staggared start and release times, daily screening before entry by staff in PPE, and student/teacher behavior expectations. They have more safety protocols in place than I have at the place where I work!!!  Seems like they are also ready to switch fully online with no hesitation if need  be. This seems absolutely nothing like the not distanced, unregulated and unmasked mess in that school in Georgia. It seems like a lot of careful thought and preparation went into this. I wish them the best of luck. 

  • WS resident August 13, 2020 (6:14 pm)

    Just heard from a friend that West Seattle Montessori School is also going back to in-person classes this fall.  Parents can choose remote if they want.  They seem to have similar safety features set up like Hope Lutheran.

  • Blair Wyman August 13, 2020 (9:51 pm)

    Open the schools! 

  • Over it August 16, 2020 (6:53 pm)

    Does everyone not realize that kids that aren’t going to school are going to daycare?????  How is it ok for these kids to be with minimum wage workers who probably don’t have health care but its not ok for teachers who make 70-100k and have full benefits to work?  My son has been in child care with tons of other kids since this began and there have been no issues.  If we are all so in to science why dont we look at places that have kept schools open like Holland and Sweden????  They are all just fine.  Stop fear mongering!  If you don’t have kids keep out of it.

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