We are planning for a return to in-person instruction, beginning March 1. Our plan is to bring students back for hybrid instruction (part-time in classrooms, part-time in distance learning).
Our plan follows state and local public health guidance to phase in small numbers of students, starting with elementary grades and students with special needs.
Families may choose to continue in Distance Learning.
Why offer in-person instruction now?
- In a December 2020 survey, 67 percent of families responding said they want in-person learning for their student.
- The State Department of Health has updated its guidance, advising schools to begin reopening schools for elementary grades and students with special needs.
- Public Health - Seattle & King County has announced its support of efforts to reopen local schools.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to encourage schools to reopen.
- Schools in other areas that are offering hybrid instruction have found that virus transmission in schools is no higher than in the community.
data guiding our decision to return
Our primary guidance is the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Decision Tree for schools. Key data points are:
- Number of of positive cases/100,000 residents/14 days
- Test positivity rate
- Trend in cases or hospitalization rates
Highline’s current status on two of these key data points is found here and updated at least weekly. Note that while we are tracking COVID rates in all neighborhoods within Highline’s boundaries, we will make decisions based on the highest rates in Highline. We will open schools only when the neighborhood with the highest COVID rate is within the guidelines set by DOH. We will not open some schools and keep others closed.
We value our Highline employees, and the safety of our staff is a priority. We will follow public health guidelines for everyone’s health and safety.
All staff will receive training in COVID safety protocols and use of PPE. All required PPE will be provided to staff, based on their specific duties. All staff and students will be required to wear a mask or face covering.
We are following public health guidance to move forward with hybrid learning as vaccines are being rolled out. The state has prioritized school staff in its updated vaccine schedule.
Leaves and accommodations
Employees will be called back to work as their grade level or worksite reopens. If you have a health condition or other risk factor that limits your ability to return to your worksite, please contact HR to apply for an accommodation or a leave.
To learn about qualifying for an accommodation or leave, see Understanding Scenarios for Leave During COVID-19 Pandemic.
Hybrid Learning Model
|Model||AM/PM Cohort Model|
|Time at School||4 half days (AM or PM): Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri|
|Time at Home||4 half days (AM or PM): Students are at home on Wednesdays|
|In-person Instructional Focus||New learning and instruction|
|At-home Instructional Focus||Independent Learning|
|Teacher Assignment||Students may be with a different teacher since some teachers will be reassigned to students who opt to remain in full time distance learning.|