Bellevue teachers, school district reach tentative agreement on modified in-person expansion plan

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue teachers and the Bellevue School District have reached a tentative agreement Monday night allowing for a modified in-person expansion plan.

District parents are responding to the resolution. “Overall, I’d say its disappointing on both sides,” said second grade parent, Darren Koch. “The mission they have is to help kids learn and develop and clearly what happened over the last week didn’t help that.”

Koch tells KIRO 7 the dispute has been complicated for families to keep up with, so he’s glad common ground was reached. “It’s great that things are moving in the right direction or they have a solution. Now it just comes down to everybody kind of getting back to work.”

The Bellevue Education Association said the key terms of the agreement include building-based control over any further expansion services, health-based triggers for delaying expansion for returning to remote instruction, and clearer procedures for ensuring safety protocols are followed and violations are documented and reported.

Educators were calling on district leaders to resolve COVID-19 safety issues before returning kids to the classroom.

District parent, Aaron Blakeney said, “We just need to all agree on something now. If people aren’t feeling safe, then we just need to get everybody to a comfortable place where they do.”

Hundreds of schoolteachers, parents and other supporters converged on district headquarters Sunday morning — in long car parades.

The Bellevue School District canceled classes Monday to finalize the agreement.

“As we learn more about COVID-19, we also learn of new strains, new side effects, new impacts,” said Bellevue Education President Alison Snow. “In addition, we are confronting the deep seeds of racism throughout our systems and nation and have been forced to recognize the very inequitable impacts it has on the Black, Indigenous, and people of color in our community — staff, students, and families alike.”