State recommendations on reopening schools in the fall released Thursday

UPDATE: The 55-page report was released Thursday morning.

SEATTLE -- The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is revealing its recommendations for schools reopening this fall on Thursday morning.

The state’s guidelines take into account quality of learning and the health and well-being of students and staff during the pandemic.

There have been at least a couple of large work sessions to discuss various models of learning. The models that have been popular include a mixture of classroom learning and distance learning.

Stephanie Layson is a special education math teacher who is transitioning to a brand new charter school in Bremerton this fall.

“Are we way better prepared if we’re in distance learning in the fall? Absolutely. I think the beauty of this is that we’ve had so much practice with what the systems look like,” said Layson. “We are not saying this is the best. We are not celebrating teaching from a computer screen because it is not the same.”

Ultimately, each school district will adopt a policy that works for them. The state recognizes it’ll look different county-by-county based on Safe Start Washington and the phased approach to reopening the state.

Shawna Murphy is a parent in South Seattle with two daughters, one in the fourth grade and the other in 10th grade.

“Remote learning has been really challenging for us. I have a 4th grader and a 10th grader and they both receive special education services,” said Murphy. “It’s not at all anywhere near what she was getting at school and she misses out on all of her speech and learning pathology, therapy, her social skills therapy.”

Murphy said she works from home, so even with distance learning in the fall, she has it easier than other families. School administrators recognize that parents may transition back to attending work in-person, which could be challenging if schools adopt a rotating classroom schedule.

Q13 News will bring you updates out of a news conference scheduled for Thursday morning with OSPI.