Tahoma delays start of in-person learning

Tahoma delays start of in-person learning
Posted on 10/13/2020

The following message was sent to Tahoma families and staff on Oct. 13:


Dear Tahoma Community, 

We are disappointed to announce that rising rates of COVID-19 transmission in King County have led us to delay inviting Tahoma students in preschool through grade 2 back to classrooms on Oct. 19. For now, students will continue with remote learning in their current placements while the small number of students now using services on campus will continue, unless public health guidance indicates reconsideration.

The decision to pause is based on information from Public Health -- Seattle & King County and the state Department of Health guidelines for schools, known as the Decision Tree. Recent increases in the spread of COVID-19 in King County have grown from moderate to high levels, rising to 86 cases per 100,000 people over a 14-day period

The DOH Decision Tree recommends that schools use a remote learning model when COVID-19 cases are higher than 75 per 100,000 residents over two weeks. The rate in the greater Maple Valley area is higher than the county rate and has shown a continual upward trend. Health authorities also predict a surge of COVID-19 during the fall and winter, as people spend more time indoors.

We know that parents and students who chose the hybrid plan may be disappointed with this delay, but the safety of our students and staff must come first. We will continue to keep a close watch on COVID-19 cases, and will return more students to in-person learning when the data tells us that we can proceed.

Preparations for hybrid learning will not be wasted. All the reentry planning for hybrid, including student and teacher class assignments, will be useful when we see rates decrease. We will continue to provide training to our staff designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as we look toward increasing the numbers of students and staff in shared instructional spaces in our schools.

This isn’t the decision that we wanted to make today. We miss our students and can’t wait to have them back in school. 

We remain deeply committed to bringing more of our students back for face-to-face instruction. In the meantime, thank you for your ongoing partnership. We are so much stronger together.

Mike Hanson

Superintendent

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