Spokane Public Schools outlines phased approach for bringing kindergarteners into classrooms

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BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 21: Classrooms are being reconfigures to allow for social distancing at Boston Preparatory Charter School in Boston, MA on August 21, 2020. Boston's independently run charter schools are planning to start the school year remotely, although most intend to offer in-person learning for small groups of high needs students. (Photo by Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Public Schools are one week away from bringing kindergarteners into the classroom for in-person learning.

Kindergarteners will be the first students to return to in-person instruction, starting on October 7.

The SPS School Board, in partnership with the Spokane Regional Health District, has released plans for a phased approach that includes COVID-19 safety protocols.

Kindergarteners will be divided into two groups, which will alternate days of attending in-person class before transitioning to all kindergarten students attending every day. Group A will start first on Wednesday, October 7, with Group B starting on Thursday, October 8. The alternating schedule will continue through Friday, October 16 before all kindergarteners attend together on Monday, October 19.

“The purpose of phasing is based on guidance from public health officials to transition slowly, and utilize ample opportunities to carefully train and acclimate students to safety protocols in smalls groups,” an email from SPS said.

District staff will provide facilitated learning activities for kindergarteners on the days they are not attending school in person. This will include a combination of live and independent activities.

Teachers will also reach out to parents to let them know which group their student has been placed in.

Just as safety protocols are being put in place in school buildings, families will also be expected to do daily health checks at home. These must be completed 30 minutes prior to the start of school. SPS has made a video for families, as well as written instructions to help with these health checks.

Kindergarteners attending in-person will be provided safe and nutritious meals, including breakfast and lunch. These will be provided daily or students can bring food from home. They will eat in their classroom in order to maintain safe social distancing practices.

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