Riverview Announces Update on Phased-In Reopening Plans
September 25, 2020
Dear Riverview Community,
As we continue to work through the constraints of COVID-19, we want to take a moment and thank everyone - from our students and families, our teachers and classified staff, and our administrative team - for all their hard work during these first few weeks of Remote Learning. Remote Learning, overall, has been a success! The feedback we have received thus far has been quite positive.
The Riverview School District has been looking at the planning of next steps for a reopening. We have continued to engage in conversations with regional superintendents and reviewing guidance from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the Governor’s Office, and Public Health - Seattle & King County (PHSKC). This week, the Riverview Reopening Advisory Committee, consisting of students, staff, and parents will hold their first meeting, to help guide the process. Thanks to those that volunteered to serve on the committee.
The decision on returning students to in-person learning is a complex one, which requires weighing many factors. PHSKC has recently provided updates indicating that COVID-19 data shows significant decline in the number of cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. Additionally, on September 16, 2020, King County reported a transmission rate of 0.6. To slow the spread of COVID-19, a community needs a transmission rate of less than 1.0. In that same report, King County reported 55 cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days. This number showed a decline from 65 cases the previous week. This means King County is no longer in the “high-risk” classification and has moved to the “moderate-risk” classification.
With data trending in a positive way, Riverview School District will be focusing on phasing students back to school for in-person instruction. This phased-in approach and will require numerous complex decisions on how best to accommodate student return.
Beginning with elementary-aged students and families, we will need to confirm the number of students who will return to an in-person model or opt to remain in Remote Learning. To return students to school, we must follow COVID-19 safety measures, including wearing face coverings, engaging in physical distancing, conducting temperature checks, health attestations, increased handwashing and utilizing appropriate building cleaning protocols. These safety provisions have been in place for students and staff in our Special Education programs, and those attending all-day childcare.
The first step in this process will be bringing back our kindergarten and first grade students for in-person learning, at a date yet to be determined. Following a successful transition of our kindergarten and first grade students, we will return our second and third grade students. Our fourth and fifth grade students will follow. Our middle school and high school students will also transition back to in-person learning, at a date still to be determined.
We recognize the above timeline will be too slow for some and too fast for others. If at any time, students and staff are not able to return safely, or guidelines change, per direction from any of the agencies listed above, we will communicate plans for how learning will be provided to our students.
We will be sending out surveys to elementary school families and staff. This will provide us data on the number of students and staff members planning to return to in-person learning, and those that will remain in our Remote Learning model. Middle school and high school families and staff will be completing surveys soon.
Families opting for their student to stay in a Remote Learning model may experience a change in assigned classroom teachers, as many teachers will return to in-person learning with some remaining in a Remote Learning model.
We will continue to provide updates on return dates for students, share summaries of the work being done by the Reopening Advisory Committee, and communicate any additional information as needed.
Our guiding words this year in Riverview are “Grace,” “Gratitude,” and “Hope.” We thank everyone in our Riverview Community for modeling those words, as we continue to support student learning and help all our students and families find success in these challenging times.
The Riverview School District Leadership Team