Thursday, December 17, 2020
Dear Woodland Public Schools families,
Woodland Public Schools proudly announces that our elementary students in grades K-4 will return to in-person learning on a hybrid schedule beginning Tuesday, January 5, 2021.
The Superintendent, in consultation with the Board of Directors made the decision for our youngest students to return following revisions to Department of Health guidance and revised, science-based metrics based current research on COVID-19 transmission rates among children; presented by Governor Jay Inslee and his health team during a press conference on Wednesday, December 16.
Research studies demonstrate that the transmission of the virus remains incredibly low with young children. Accordingly, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) along with health professionals throughout the scientific community now believe that in-person schooling for elementary students in groups of 15 or smaller can safely take place, even with higher community COVID-19 infection rates.
The safety protocols we have followed will continue to remain with all students and staff wearing masks (Personal Protective Equipment or PPE), practicing proper physical distancing guidelines, and remaining in strict cohorts to limit any potential of spread.
These revised metrics also show a pathway for the return of students attending our secondary schools – Woodland Middle School, Woodland High School, and TEAM High School – if the county’s case loads decrease to more reasonable levels of less than 350 cases per 100,000 people. Unfortunately, the same studies used for our younger students show that middle school and high school aged students transmit the disease at rates more similar to adults which means we need to limit the spread before bringing them back to in-person learning.
Accordingly, our older students will not return to in-person learning until case counts fall. Our principals and school teams will continue to diligently plan for the return of our older students, and we hope to begin phasing grades 5-8 and 9-12 to hybrid learning as soon as the start of the second semester in 2021.
We once again thank you for your patience, support and understanding during this truly unprecedented year. Please reach out to us if you have any questions. Together, we can continue to conquer these challenging times and emerge as a stronger, united community.
Remember, by wearing masks, consistently physically distancing, and limiting contact to only those in our households, we will be able to flatten the spread of the virus and get ourselves that much closer to full in-person learning.
To keep up with the latest updates from your schools, we recommend you visit our website and the COVID HQ at www.woodlandschools.org/covid-hq.
We wish you and yours a very happy holiday season!
Michael Z. GreenSuperintendent