After looking at COVID-19 trend data, the Bainbridge Island School District plans to slowly begin in-person learning.
Superindendent Peter Bang-Knudsen said students signed up for the Hybrid Learning Model will begin Nov. 9 with kindergarten and first-graders.
Second- through fourth-graders will return Nov. 23, with fifth- and sixth-graders starting Dec. 7.
The plan has seventh- and eighth-graders starting in January or second semester. Grades 9-12 would not start until second semester.
“Bringing students back for in-person learning is a polarizing topic — undoubtedly, some of you are pleased with the decision, while others are disappointed. This was not an easy decision to make and one that weighs heavily on me,” Bang-Knudsen said.
However, staff has worked hard to create a safe learning environment.
“Students greatly benefit from in-person instruction,” he added.
The superindent said, of course, that the plan could change depending future coronavirus trends.
“The above dates are not set in stone. I will continue to closely monitor the health data and consult with the Kitsap County Health District. If there are significant changes, we will hit pause on the return date,” he said.
Another factor is teacher availability. Bang-Knudsen said staffing levels are fine now, but that has to be maintained, including the availability of substitute teachers.
He said, “This is a fluid situation, and things may drastically change over the coming days or weeks.”