On Friday, July 3, 2020, the Kent School District announced that its Back to School Task Force is preparing for three possible scenarios for school this fall.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still quite active in the city, with 42 deaths reported as of July 3, 2020, along with 931 positives/10.2 percent of all tested.

“What is not yet clear is if all students will be able to start the 2020-21 school year with in-person classes in our school buildings,” the district said. “Since February, we have experienced how quickly this pandemic can change, and together we continue adapting each time new guidance is issued.”

The district said that the final decision on how they will start the new school year – set for Aug. 27 – will be announced after the School Board adopts its Back to School plan on or before Aug. 13.

Here’s more from the district:

“Together we, the KSD community, must be prepared for three scenarios in the 2020-21 school year:

    1. All students back in school buildings with elevated precautionary measures in place
    2. Virtual learning with the possibility that school buildings will open again sometime in late fall or winter
    3. A hybrid model of both in-class and virtual learning

“Our Back to School Task Force is preparing for each scenario in alignment with local, state, and federal guidelines. The Task Force workgroups are creating plans that include general information, best practices, checklists, and resources. All KSD principals and leaders will use these plans to support the health and safety of all students and staff, as well as student learning.

“As our Back to School Task Force works through each scenario, we will share a general overview each week sharing our progress. Our first overview focuses on what you can expect if students and staff are back in schools in the 2020-21 school year, consistent with health and safety needs.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and take guidance from the Department of Health and the CDC. We continue providing regular updates and additional information as the situation changes through all KSD Platforms. We all can positively influence how soon students return to school buildings by being mindful of key preventive measures, including wearing masks and washing your hands thoroughly.

“Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have dealt with this unprecedented situation. We appreciate and value the time, expertise, and commitment of our more than 100 KSD community members and staff who are coming together to support all KSD students through our Back to School Task Force.

“We hope to welcome our students and staff back into our buildings soon.”

Scott Schaefer

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