Spokane Public Schools families must choose learning program by Aug. 16

SPOKANE, Wash. — Virtual learning for all grade levels is not how Spokane Public Schools wanted to start this school year, but now, parents face another hurdle as they have to choose a learning program for their students by Sunday, August 16.

They have two options to chose from, which include learning remotely until schools reopen, or learning remotely for the entire year in what the district calls a ‘virtual academy.’

If families pick Option 2, then they must let the district or school know by Sunday. Families who do not choose that will be automatically enrolled in remote learning until schools reopen.

“If they feel that the likelihood that they’re going to want to participate in any in-person learning this year is low, then that virtual academy is the best choice,” Superintendent Dr. Adam Swinyard said.

Some parents are worried about being locked into a program they don’t like.

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That’s why the district says they’ll work with families, even if they change their mind.

“We desperately want families and students to be where they think is gonna be the best fit, and we’ll do that on space available to the great extent possible after those guaranteed registration deadlines,” Swinyard said.

SPS said attendance will be taken for virtual learning.

And that virtual academy will also include a variety of options, allowing students to learn at a pace that works best for the family.

But, as we have all learned in quarantine over the last few months, home can offer a few distractions.

That’s why SPS suggested a little workspace to be made somewhere in your home.

“We encourage families to set up a little learning space for their kiddo,” Moran Prairie Principal Clint Price said. “Maybe it’s one side of their room, maybe it’s one part of the living room but a little section.”

The end goal remains the same; get a majority of the district’s 30,000 students back in classrooms once the health data in Spokane improves.

“In person instruction is unquestionably the most effective and the best way to provide our kids school experience,” Swinyard said.

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