SCHOOL UPDATES: Virus case; cohorts merge; graduation dates

Three notes about West Seattle schools:

COVID CASE: Genesee Hill Elementary families received email sent by principal Gerrit Kischner on Friday afternoon announcing a student had tested positive:

… I am writing to let you know that one of our students is confirmed to have COVID-19. The student was last in the building April 19th after exposure during Spring Break. Students and adults who came in close contact with this student have been identified, notified, and are following Public Health guidelines to isolate and/or quarantine for 10 days.

With sports and other activities restarting, several families have notified us this week that they have kept their children home for testing \because of possible exposure in the home or community. We are glad that this appears to be a single positive case at this time, with no transmission in the building. Please continue to notify us of possible concerns so that we can remain vigilant. …

Thanks to the reader who forwarded that email. They also noted that the district is keeping a public dashboard of cases, by region rather than by school; it shows the Southwest region – West Seattle and South Park – with 19 cases reported this school year, 12 students and 7 staffers.

COHORTS MERGE: Last weekend we noted that Chief Sealth International High School principal Aida Fraser-Hammer had told families that if more students didn’t sign up for the hybrid option, they would merge cohorts, instead of one group having in-person classes Monday/Tuesday afternoons and another having them Thursday/Friday afternoons. This weekend, she notified families that the merger is indeed on, so the only days with in-person learning at Sealth will be Mondays/Tuesdays.

GRADUATION DATES: As first reported here two weeks ago, the district will have in-person graduation ceremonies after all. The dates/times are now set – Chief Sealth IHS and West Seattle HS will both have ceremonies on Saturday, June 12th – WSHS at 11 am, CSIHS at 5 pm. Interagency Academy, which includes two West Seattle locations, will graduate at 5:30 pm Thursday, June 17. Those and most other Seattle Public Schools graduations this year will be at Memorial Stadium downtown.

15 Replies to "SCHOOL UPDATES: Virus case; cohorts merge; graduation dates"

  • ACG April 25, 2021 (9:36 pm)

    Why not let the kids who want to go in person at Chief Sealth go 4 days a week?  The teachers were obviously planning on being there M/T and Th/F anyway. And the cohort size is small enough that if they can all go M/T, they should all have room to go on Th/F

    • Kami April 25, 2021 (10:08 pm)

      That’s exactly what was thinking! You said it perfectly. My son is only in middle school but he loved in person and wishes it was 4 days a week! 

    • Rara April 26, 2021 (7:24 am)

      I think they’re only two days to alternate kids to keep those class sizes small. My boys would also love 4 days. We’ll take what we can for now. Bummer though. 

      • ACG April 26, 2021 (10:47 am)

        Rara-That’s not what is happening here, from my understanding. The number of students in the cohort going M/T was very small. The number of students going in the Th/F cohort was small. So they combined those two groups together and are having them all go on M/T. And now no one goes on Th/F. My question is, why can’t that group get to go to school on Th/F also?  Teachers were planning on being there anyway, and the cohort size is acceptable for them to be there M/T together, so that size should work the same for Th/F. 

        • Jess April 26, 2021 (12:24 pm)

          Maybe it’s like that because a bunch of people think it’s stupid to go to school 2 says a week, and are more likely to send their kids if it’s 4 days a week. That would increase class sizes above the recommended amount. 

        • Wren April 26, 2021 (6:19 pm)

          Because teaching kids in person and then also teaching kids online in the same day is exhausting and teachers cannot be expected to do both if they are teaching in person 4 days… Our teachers are only human people! They are not robots!  Right now they are doing double the work because they have to create in person AND online lessons!  Just because you feel safe to send your kids to in person doesn’t mean your kid should get more time than the kids who elect not to or can’t go to in person due to whatever life factor makes that so.  Be nice to teachers giving their best to our kids…

          • Lina April 26, 2021 (7:14 pm)

            Amen Wren, thank you.  My spouse is a teacher, and I’ve got a son in 4th grade.  Teachers have a monumental job in the best of times.  In Covid times it’s turned into an untenable situation.  I really do think that folks that are not teachers right now cannot grasp what it feels like.

  • Yeah April 26, 2021 (11:26 am)

    Most of the “in person” classes throughout SPS are classrooms full of computers students are using to access their classes–which are still being taught online–from the school building instead of their home.  Most teachers are still teaching remotely, and the classes contain students who are both learning from home, and going back “in person” because they are all in the same online class.  There are some schools where this is not strictly the case because such a high percentage of parents opted to send their kids back for in-person learning.  These are predominantly white/affluent schools.  Sealth is not one of those schools.  I think there are some well-intentioned posters on here, who genuinely have NO CLUE what the current “in person” learning situation is for teachers and students in most of the district.

    • Bmc April 26, 2021 (2:31 pm)

      Soooo / you are implying that non-white not affluent families are less interested in going back in person – why is that?

    • Wren April 26, 2021 (6:25 pm)

      Really? Former teacher myself and also a family member of an SPS teacher here. That is definitely NOT happening in my family members classroom of 6 in person young ones.  Probably depends on the grade and school and personality of the teacher but I would report that if that’s really what’s happening. That’s just lazy and un-engaging. My family member is working her a$$ off to crate a fun and engaging in person day for her in person kids then trying to keep the online kids engaged in the afternoons and it’s so tough!  

      • Yes2WS April 26, 2021 (8:44 pm)

        Wren, did you read the part that says, “Most teachers are still teaching remotely, and the classes contain students who are both learning from home, and going back “in person” because they are all in the same online class”? I happen to be a teacher in that very situation and to hear you say “lazy and un-engaging” when, trust me, we’re all working our a$$e$ off too is quite a pill to swallow. Kudos to your family member who gets the morning/afternoon set up that our school won’t allow. 

    • skeeter April 27, 2021 (8:34 am)

      Yeah – what school are you talking about?  My child at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 public school opted for in-person.  That means the teacher is in the classroom, the students are in the classroom, and no laptops.  For 2.75 hours M,T,Th,F.  (The students who opted for remote, of course, are learning from home.)  

  • KEH April 26, 2021 (12:05 pm)

    I am wondering if the child with covid at Genessee Hill had traveled by plane out of state or country? Does anyone know? Does anyone know if hat child has spread it to other kids at school?  Trying to decide how safe it is for our child to be at school, if others are sending their children back to school after traveling without following CDC guidance to quarantine post travel.  

  • skeeter April 26, 2021 (12:45 pm)

    The student was last in the building April 19th after exposure during Spring Break.”  SPS parent here.  I thought children who left the state for spring break, or any other reason, were required to stay home from school for 10 days following out of state travel.  Please folks, lets play by the rules for a few more months until our kids can get vaccinated.  

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