Central Valley School District to begin phasing in middle and high schoolers

SPOKANE, Wash. – Middle and high schoolers in Central Valley will soon be returning to the classroom. Those who choose to do so can attend classes in person starting February 1st.

That doesn’t mean things will just go back to how they were before the pandemic.

“It’s definitely been tough,” said Brian Caldera, Senior at University High School.

This pandemic has been hard on all of us, especially students.

“It’s much harder to learn the online way, too,” said Caldera.

Not only has Caldera spent most of his senior year learning from home, but he also hasn’t been able to do the one thing he loves most – play basketball.

“We’re on the brink of possibly getting our season canceled and that also has never happened,” said Caldera.

Neither has a pandemic, at least in most of our lifetimes. On Monday night, board members with the Central Valley School District voted on a plan Caldera hopes will help make things feel a little more normal.

“If I get to be in person I feel like it will help a lot,” he said.

Starting Feburary 1st, 7th-12th grade students will be back to in person learning, starting in a phased-in hybrid approach. Students would be placed into 4 cohorts, with each cohort attending school one day per week.

While it may be exciting for some, others I spoke with say one day just isn’t enough.

“Other countries, other districts, other states have done this and made it work. We should have been doing this from the very beginning,” said Shannon Castelda.

Castelda’s daughter Italia is a freshman at Central Valley High School. She says although the situation isn’t ideal, she’ll take what she can get.

“I’m a little disappointed that it’s just one day a week, but I’m glad that we’re getting to go back to school,” said Italia Bradford.

“Whatever it takes to get us back moving. I think we deserve it and I think Spokane deserves it,” said Caldera.

The Board is also working on moving onto the next phase of in-person learning as of March 1. However, the date has not yet been finalized.