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  • harlang

Why doesn't Washington have a plan?

Our schools have been closed for almost 3 months and our state still does not have a plan to reopen. Why not? Please challenge your Legislators to push Governor Inslee and Superintendent Reykdal to map out a plan that is based on our state's data not some cutoff such as 10 cases per 100,000 that was not based on science or available health system resources.

I'd encourage you to review the plan that British Columbia put together weeks ago. Not only does it set expectations for parents and students, but more importantly it provides a road map for school districts so we would know what to plan for. The current target in British Columbia is for Stage 3. I believe that most of our districts could start at a stage somewhere between Stage 2 and Stage 3 based on an age cutoff that I suspect would make more sense to be K-5 attending 5 days a week, and something different for our middle and high school students because the risk profile for our children and (typically) older staff teaching the secondary grades.

In addition to mapping out a plan like this, our state needs to establish clear criteria for how school districts, counties, and regions can choose which stage is appropriate for their communities as many counties and school districts have had single-digits cases in children. I have asked for the Washington state Department of Health to provide COVID-19 data by county based on age bands (0-4, 5-9, 10-14, 15-19) that will help us make the best policy decisions, but still have not received that.

Our next school year is right around the corner. Our school districts need to be able to plan now, as do our families. Now is the time to speak up, otherwise our collective silence may be interpreted as we are okay with remote learning for our students.

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