First week of school comes to a close across the Inland Northwest

SPOKANE, Wash. – Whether your kid is learning in person or from home, things are a lot different.

It’s been a busy summer prepping for fall semester. For some schools, the hard work is already paying off.

“Things are going amazing. We’ve heard nothing but positive news from our families and our teachers,” said Sandra Jarrard, spokesperson for Spokane Public Schools.

Jarrard says teachers saw high student engagement at 85%.

“I think students were very excited to sign on and were very happy to learn,” she said.

Just because students are learning from home, doesn’t mean they won’t be served lunch.

Jarrard says in just the last week, the district provided over 13,000 meals to families and students.

“That is just such a positive thing that we can do for the community,” she said.

That doesn’t mean everything has been perfect.

“Obviously we’ve had some technical difficulties,” said Jarrard.

One district even had to postpone their first week of school because of the air quality.

“I know the teachers and students were really excited, but having to push it back day by day wasn’t really what we wanted to be doing,” said Todd Zeidler, Public Information Officer for the Mead School District.

However, Zeidler says they had no other option.

“We didn’t want to start that remote learning option when we knew most of our students wouldn’t have that technology piece they needed to get started that day,” he said.

Meaning both students learning in person and at home were out of luck. Thankfully, this gave the district enough time to come up with a plan.

“Later in the week when the smoke didn’t clear, we shifted gears and made plans to distribute all those Chromebooks,” he said.

School administrators and volunteers were able to drop off 7,000 Chromebooks to students learning remotely.

It may not look like previous years, but both districts say they’re ready for whatever lies ahead.

“The goal is to be ready for Monday no matter what,” said Zeidler.

“That parent, student and teacher engagement is a really important aspect that we’re focusing on at the end of the day,” said Jarrard.