Seattle elementary students return to class

SEATTLE — Students in grades kindergarten through 5 will return to class in Seattle Monday as part of a hybrid learning plan.

The move comes after months of negotiations with the teacher’s union and a mandate from Gov. Jay Inslee to get kids back into school buildings.

Teachers masked up and social distancing markers were laid on floors two weeks ago, when 500 to 600 preschool and special education students made their return in phase 1 of the Seattle Public Schools plan to get students back into classrooms.

Safety protocols are in place. Parents must conduct daily health screenings on their children. Students must wear masks, have assigned seats that are six feet apart, and all classrooms have 15 students or less. Students have their own materials that are not shared, and hand-washing will be prioritized throughout the day.

KIRO 7 spoke with an assistant principal about the adjustments.

“We’ve been doing multiple walkthroughs and just prepping the building to make sure it’s safe, that it’s healthy and ready for students to return,” said South Shore Elementary assistant principal Tia Yarborough.

Students will have in-person learning four days a week on a half-day schedule, either in the morning or afternoon. Wednesdays are remote learning only.

Starting Monday, the district is in phase 2 of its plan to get students back in classrooms. Phase 3, which will happen in two weeks, includes grades 6 through 12.

Parents still have the option of keeping their children home for all-remote learning for the rest of the school year.