Washington schools find unique ways to adapt to in-person learning

As more public school students return to in-person instruction, families are getting a better idea of what that really looks like while trying to keep everyone safe from the virus.

Goodman Middle School in the Peninsula School District shared an online video with parents describing its plans for when children gather during lunch breaks.

"You’re going to receive a number from your teacher," explained a woman in the video shared with families.

The video goes on to describe how students will be asked to keep chit-chat to a minimum while they eat. Plus, each student will be asked to complete a health survey before stepping foot inside the campus.

Some parents worry the steps to keep our kids safe might distract from any in-person benefit they had hoped to achieve.

"The desks are lined up six feet apart," laughed parent Kacey Toctoquiza after seeing one video shared by Peninsula School District administrators.

Plus, band students in Central Washington will be able to gather for practice as long as they stick with guidelines. The principal from Wenatchee High School said local health officials worked with instructors to develop a plan that includes kids could play musical instruments only if they did so inside a small tent.

The tents separate and isolate students from each other. The principal says music instructors and health officials came up with the plan as an effort to ensure student musicians will be able to continue honing their craft.

But, the tents are not intended for use in all circumstances.

"We are not putting these in every classroom," said Principal Eric Anderson, adding the tents would not universally be adequate for use in every scenario. "I don’t want anybody to think out there this is the solution to more kids in the classroom. I don’t think that would work, but in this scenario, it’s worked really well."

The majority of students at Wenatchee High School have returned for in-person instruction, said the school’s principal.

About 80% of kids enrolled in the Peninsula School District in Pierce County are moving back to some kind of classroom instruction.

In Gig Harbor, the district said more students are scheduled to move into hybrid lesson plans in the coming weeks.