IN-PERSON LEARNING: Middle- and high-school return set for April 19th, after district, union reach tentative agreement

In last night’s pandemic-news roundup, we mentioned the Seattle Education Association had told its members that an agreement about middle- and high-school in-person learning was close. Now, it’s official – a tentative agreement was just announced. From the news release:

Seattle Education Association and Seattle Public Schools have now reached a tentative agreement to provide in-person learning for grades 6-12 that meets the guidelines of the Governor’s proclamation. The agreed-to schedule does its best to finish this year strong keeping educators and students connected.

Students — in-person and remote learners — begin April 5 for 6-12th grade Special Education Intensive Service Pathways students and April 19 for all other secondary students….

The tentative agreement strives to keep students with their current educators and provides four full days of instruction for all students. Students in secondary schools regardless of learning model will receive synchronous remote classes in the morning four days a week.

In the afternoons, middle and high schools will offer all students both remote and in-person small group and individual instruction and support. Students that select the in-person instructional model will attend class two (2) half days per week. Students enrolled in an intensive service pathway will receive four (4) half days of in-person instruction. K-8 schools will determine whether secondary students receive in-person instruction in the morning or afternoon. Wednesdays will continue to be remote for all students.

More information will be distributed to families by email and on the SPS website. …

This tentative agreement is subject to approval by both SEA members and the school board. SPS will send families an intent to return survey. Families will be asked to select the 100% remote model or hybrid, in-person model for the remainder of the year.

The week of April 12th is the district’s spring break.

13 Replies to "IN-PERSON LEARNING: Middle- and high-school return set for April 19th, after district, union reach tentative agreement"

  • Kram April 1, 2021 (3:25 pm)

    Well this is good news!

    • Frog April 1, 2021 (4:34 pm)

      On the contrary, I am guessing this will be seen as a huge disappointment.  Currently middle school students do their primary instruction in the morning, and do semi-necessary, not always fully attended check-in sessions in the afternoon.  The afternoon sessions seem to be mostly viewed as something to check into, get checked, and check out as quickly as possible.   So the core instruction is remaining 100% remote for everyone.  Only the afternoon sessions of uncertain value are offered in person, and only for about five hours a week apparently.  File this under how to say you are offering in-person instruction without really.  Interesting to see how many students will think it’s worth the bother.

      • S April 1, 2021 (5:50 pm)

        Agreed. I’m really disappointed. No in-person instruction this year. Going to the physical school for asynchronous learning will let the kids see some other kids and their teachers. But this is far short of actual in-person learning, which other districts have managed to provide. How much of an advantage is it to watch the pre-recorded video or work on homework at the school instead of at home? It sounds similar to study hall, not an actual class.

        • J.S. April 1, 2021 (7:04 pm)

          I totally agree. This is NOT a return to in-person instruction, this is supervised study hall. I was hoping they would simply live-stream the morning classes so all of the kids, at school or at home, would be getting the same instruction at the same time. A complete and utter disappointment.

      • J.S. April 1, 2021 (7:06 pm)

        I can honestly say I don’t think this parent will bother now.

  • vee April 1, 2021 (3:59 pm)

    only 2 half days why not 4 or 2 full days and mornings seem like they would be better than afternoon

    • AMD April 1, 2021 (4:11 pm)

      Half days mean lunch is not an issue, and which half of the day probably has to do with bus schedules.

  • ElementaryMom April 1, 2021 (6:44 pm)

    Wow. A year to come up with a plan and they add two afternoons a week. If I had a middle schooler I’d be livid. This is not the best the district can do, even this district. 

    • S April 1, 2021 (8:12 pm)

      This time it actually isn’t the fault of the district. Their proposal was 2 full days a week. SEA has responsibility for this one. I am supportive of the teachers, and they have done a great job during this difficult year, but whoever is bargaining for them did a true disservice to the kids (and probably the teachers too–do they really want to sit and watch asynchronous learning?).

    • support teachers April 2, 2021 (2:23 pm)

      Your expectations of schools planning to reopen during a pandemic – a public health and societal crisis not experienced in our lifetime, a dynamic, shifting situation with many variables and unknowns, including no known timeline – is not fair.

      School buildings should have just remained closed for the rest of this year.

      Would have been better to continue with the established new learning protocols, and rather a focus from leaders on how families/communities/individuals can better cope and support each other through this changed and difficult time.

      The constant exhausting and rushed efforts to restore things to ‘normal’ while things are still very not normal, is a big point of failure in managing the pandemic.

  • teacher April 1, 2021 (8:55 pm)

    This really disappoints me. I am betting this schedule is due to the size of the middle school enrollment. I wish the government would just mandate vaccinations for everyone it is approved for so we can just get back to our old lives. 

  • Greg April 2, 2021 (5:36 am)

    Think you know better? The state needs teachers — you’re welcome to come show people how it’s done. 

  • Harmonic April 3, 2021 (8:07 am)

    What a joke!  Do better SPS. This is glorified study hall and pointless.  My children were so looking forward to return to school and this plan is a half brained attempt to meet Inslee’s latest mandate.  I guess the walk with be a nice excuse to get outside.  Fortunately we have that option,

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