The Kent School District on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 announced that it will remain in remote learning for the first semester of this, year through Jan. 28, 2021.

“We made this decision primarily based on the data that the COVID activity rates in the KSD community remain higher than King County overall and continue to stay above the maximum level the Department of Health has set for when schools may safely reopen for in-person learning,” Superintendent Dr. Calvin J. Watts said in a statement.

“I know this is not the news many wanted to hear,” Watts added. “Each choice remaining in remote learning or move to hybrid learning presents particular challenges in its own right. Where I believe we can find common ground is the health and safety of all KSD students, staff, and families must remain the driving force behind our decisions during this health crisis.”

The district plans to eventually transition to hybrid learning, which they say will be another monumental shift for everyone involved. There is no firm date set for when the district will begin slowly bringing students back to campus for in-person learning, but it will start with elementary students.

“We will continue to follow the Department of Health guidelines. If COVID rates are at an acceptable level at the beginning of the second semester, we will slowly begin bringing students back according to the DOH decision-making guidelines.”

While this decision was not easy, the district says that it will allow students, staff, and families to focus on remote learning. Officials will also use this time to continue fine-tuning their hybrid plan, “so we are prepared to welcome back students when it is safe to do so.”

“This pandemic continues to challenge all of us in so many ways. Remaining in remote learning will be difficult for some of our students and families, like everything else about this pandemic. Please continue reaching out to your school if your student needs support academically or emotionally. We remain committed to reopening our school buildings when it is considered safe for all students and staff by making data-based decisions.”

“We look forward to the day when we can safely welcome our students and staff back into our buildings. Until then, please stay safe, and stay healthy,” Watts added.

Here’s a video of Watts’ statement:

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