What Spokane Schools is suggesting for when students return in the fall

SPOKANE, Wash. — The clock is ticking for school districts, trying to figure out the safest way to bring students back to the classroom this fall. 

President Trump says students need to be back in schools. The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees, saying some students have suffered academically and emotionally with distanced learning at home. 

A lot of parents are also planning, and that’s hard when everything is so uncertain. As it stands, Spokane Public Schools is planning to have students back in class September 3. 

No matter what, things will look different. 

Back to school means students back on the bus, filling classrooms and hallways during a pandemic that’s expected to last into fall. 

While COVID-19 poses a low risk to children and teens, they can spread the virus to teachers and older adults without knowing it. 

SPS is exploring plans to keep remote learning available to families that aren’t comfortable sending their kids to school. 

The district’s Safe School Reopening Task Force is coming up with a plan to get other students back in the classroom and keep them safe. 

Some options being considered include lowering class sizes to between 18 and 21 students, closing cafeterias and serving bagged lunches in classrooms, and spacing desks 3-6 feet apart. 

Those recommendations echo the advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which also recommends having middle and high school students wear masks when they can’t stay at least six feet away from another person. 

SPS needs to have plans ready by August 12 to present to the state superintendent. 

This Thursday, Idaho Governor Brad Little will be sharing plans detailing how the state will reopen k-12 schools in the fall. 

READ: No cafeterias, alternating high school schedules: Spokane Schools working through back-to-school plans 

PAST COVERAGE: In-person instruction expected to resume in Washington schools this fall