Pathway Forward Update – January 10, 2022
Dear Lake Washington Community,
Last week, I sent out a message that addressed the tension that we were expecting between our requirement to offer in-person learning and the likely impacts on our ability to operate schools given the number of COVID-19 cases we would see on our campuses.
This past week, our staff have made incredible efforts to be able to keep our schools open while we saw a significant increase in cases that has exacerbated our staffing shortages and has led to more students being out of school.
Some Schools Shift to Remote Learning.
On Sunday night, we made the decision to shift Lake Washington High School temporarily to a remote learning model due to staffing shortages that we could no longer sustain. Tonight, after evaluating our staffing data, we determined that we will need to temporarily shift Juanita High School and Redmond High School to remote learning.
While we are experiencing staff challenges related to COVID in other schools, we are hopeful that we will be able to reallocate some resources and personnel over the next week to better support our remaining schools so that our students can have a safe and continuous in-person learning experience.
Transportation Challenges Result in some Cancelations.
On Friday, I updated you on our ongoing challenges with staffing shortages in our transportation department. Today we had to adjust 27 morning routes and 29 afternoon routes. Unfortunately, Transportation did have to cancel one bus route today that affected Wilder and Redmond Middle school.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 11, Transportation has had to cancel additional routes. Families affected have been notified this afternoon/evening of these changes. Specifically, 3 routes were canceled affecting some students at Redmond Middle School, Rose Hill Middle School, Evergreen Middle School, Kirkland Middle School, Franklin Elementary, Rockwell Elementary, Einstein Elementary and Lakeview Elementary. Not all buses at these schools were affected.
As a reminder, I have asked our Transportation department to develop an emergency plan should our staffing shortages last a longer period of time. Further communication will be sent out regarding transportation at a later date.
Reminder – Please do not send students to school that have symptoms.
As a reminder, please do not send your child to school if they are experiencing any symptoms, have tested positive or have been identified as a close contact and are not fully vaccinated. In these instances, keep your child at home and contact the school for further instructions for when it is okay to return to school.
Even in the light of shifting three high schools to remote learning our commitment continues to provide in-person learning for our students while implementing the health and safety protocols required by Public Health. Last week the Washington Department of Health, Governor Inslee and State Superintendent Reykdal all commented on schools being a very safe place for students. Our schools take their responsibility of implementing the Department of Health guidance seriously and it is one of the reasons we have limited the spread of the virus on our campuses.
Thank you again for your partnership as we get through this challenging period of time.
Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District