Superintendent of Peninsula School District apologizes after confusion over in-person learning for kindergartners, first graders

VIDEO: Confusion surfaces in Peninsula School District over in-person learning

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — On Thursday, the superintendent of the Peninsula School District apologized after confusion over kindergartners, first graders and other students with special needs continuation with in-person learning.

Dr. Art Jarvis said the school district would continue with in-person learning for those students because it had partnered with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, participating in a pilot COVID-19 rapid testing program for smaller schools.

However, the health department said the program had not been finalized and that it was securing funding.

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Last week, Jarvis had planned to return the students to remote learning, but the district changed course.

In a statement Thursday, Jarvis made clear what was intended, saying in part “…it would not be necessary to cease in-person attendance and return to remote learning on Monday, Nov. 2.”

He also expressed his appreciation to the health department for “opening the door” to a possible pilot program and that the district would form a planning group to explore the opportunity and prepare an application.

Jarvis said the district believes it is safe to continue their current method of delivering instruction to students through in-person and remote platforms for those select groups of students while the rapid testing pilot program is being developed as COVID-19 case levels in the district have remained in the moderate range.

Jarvis said the health department has asked some district leaders to attend a meeting Friday to discuss the pilot process.