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June 12, 2020

Yesterday OSPI released initial guidance for all school districts across Washington state on reopening schools this fall. Schools that meet in person will be required to follow the Department of Health’s health and safety guidelines, including requirements around physical distancing, face coverings, and personal protective equipment (PPE). 
OSPI’s top priority is to get schools opened back up in the fall in a way that protects student and staff health and safety. How this new guidance will be carried out by each school and district will vary widely across our state. Safety requirements set by state and local health authorities for reopening schools this fall include face coverings, temperature checks, physical distancing, proper hygiene practices, and cleaning/disinfecting procedures. 
Kent School District is continuing our work on a reopening plan focusing on implementing the required health and hygiene practices announced on June 11, 2020. While there are many details still to determine, additional communication and opportunities for our KSD community to provide feedback will occur throughout our planning process. In the coming weeks, we will continue collaborating with our labor partners, Reopening Committee, and be reaching out to representatives from our schools, community, and parent associations for additional input.  
While face-to-face learning is also our goal, we want nothing more than to welcome back all students and staff safely. The state’s guidance also includes three concepts for all school districts to adapt and build from should face-to-face learning be limited in the fall due to the coronavirus: 

  1. Split or rotating schedules with distance learning,  
  2. Phased-in opening with continuous learning, and  
  3. “Continuous learning 2.0” – a more effective remote learning system.   

Additionally, school districts are required to adopt a reopening plan through a local school board resolution. They must file those plans with OSPI and the State Board of Education within two weeks of their fall start date. And school districts that are wholly or partially contained within counties in Phase 1 or Modified Phase 1 of the Governor’s Safe Start Plan must receive approval to reopen from their local health authority. 
We know this is weighing heavily on the minds of students, families, and staff. We see the planning that it takes for families to schedule around work, school, childcare, and activities. We remain committed to our vision of producing globally competitive graduates through equitable access to high quality academic, social, and applied learning, ready to excel in college, careers, and in life. 
Thank you for your continued support and patience as we process this new guidance. As this pandemic evolves, we will continue to make decisions in the best interest of our students, staff, and community.  
We hope you and your family remain safe and healthy. We will continue to provide updates in the coming weeks.