Community News

The Anacortes School District is continuing to plan for elementary school students to returin to in-classroom instruction on January 11 and middle and high school students to return on February 8, according to a new statement from the school district.

The State of Washington has revised their guidance to schools and in-person learning related to the coronavirus. The State Department of Health (DOH) revised the metrics to inform local decisions around the provision of in-person learning and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in school environments. These revisions were based on emerging research and data gathered by state and national officials. 

New metrics recommend that schools can now move to hybrid (some in-person) learning when community cases are between 50-350 cases per 100,000. This is an increase of the previous recommended metric of 25-75 cases per 100,000. Governor Inslee’s press conference from December 16 can be viewed here: 

The Anacortes School District continues its plan to return Pre-K-5th grade students to in-person learning on January 11, and 6th-12th grade students on February 8. Elementary students will continue on a morning/ afternoon split schedule Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday as a full remote learning day. 6th-12th grade students will attend full days on a rotating schedule. 

“We have been working on the logistics for our students to return to in-person learning,” said Superintendent Justin Irish. “This new state guidance gives us further confidence that we can continue with our plans. We look forward to welcoming students back into our buildings.”

The state’s guidance was revised based on research and data, particularly related to transmission rates in schools when all safety and health protocols are followed. The district continues to work closely with the Skagit County Health Department on its return to in-person learning. 

“Students will continue to wear masks, follow social distancing, remain in small groups in classrooms, and complete daily health attestations,” said District Nurse Emily Wade. “As we’ve seen throughout the state, these measures are helping contain the transmission of the virus, and we need everyone to continue to be vigilant in following all health protocols.” 

The district continues to work closely with its employee labor groups in planning a safe return to schools. The district’s pool of substitutes also continues to grow in order to respond to staff that may need to quarantine. Anyone interested in subbing for the district should visit our Human Resources website:

“We are all hands on deck,” said Dr. Irish. “Our staff are cross-training where they can in order to cover staff absences, and I remain incredibly impressed by the teamwork across the district.” 

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