Dear LWSD Staff and Families:
As many of you are aware, last week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) changed their physical distancing recommendations from 6 feet to at least 3 feet between students in classrooms and provided clearer guidance when a greater distance (such as 6 feet) is recommended. Today, Governor Inslee announced that the Washington State Department of Health has updated the K-12 Schools 2020-2021 Guidance so that school districts may shift their classroom spacing from 6 feet to 3 feet.
In anticipation of today’s announcement from Governor Inslee and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), LWSD has been preparing for next steps related to this action. Additionally, we are working to make adjustments based on the Governor’s earlier Emergency Order. Given the recent announcements from Governor Inslee, we are currently:
- Elementary: Finalizing our plans related to elementary taking into consideration the requirements of the Emergency Order and reduced classroom distancing. We anticipate being able to announce the updated elementary school day schedules prior to Spring Break.
- Secondary: Completing negotiations related to working conditions for secondary teachers in preparation for the return of secondary students to in-person learning. This will take into account the Governor’s Emergency Order and the change in parameters for reduced distancing in classrooms.
Following is a summary of the updated Department of Health K-12 Guidance related to distancing of students and staff in schools:
- In elementary schools, all students remain at least 3 feet apart in classrooms and continue other mitigating measures as required.
- Elementary distancing is recommended regardless of community transmission levels.
- In middle and high schools, students should be at least 3 feet apart in classrooms and continue other mitigating measures as required. When community transmission is over 200 cases per 100,000 and cohorting is not possible, middle and high school students should be at least 6 feet apart in classroom settings.
- All levels are required to maintain 6 feet apart during lunch and eating.
- Distancing between “adults and other adults” or “adults and students” remains 6 feet.
We are committed to ensuring that each of our schools and campuses maintains the highest health and safety standards. We look forward to seeing more of our students at school for in-person learning.
Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District