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Inslee: Reopening schools could mean rolling back 'Safe Start' phases

Gov. Jay Inslee hopes for in-class instruction in the fall. Still, districts are being required to make plans for online options.

TACOMA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he wants to see “as much in-class education as possible" this fall.

The Democrat said helping that happen could mean rolling back some of the state’s reopening efforts as the state's number of coronavirus cases continues to climb.

School districts across the state have until mid-August to come up with options for reopening schools, according to the State Superintendent’s office.

In Tacoma, later this month board members are expected to approve two options: fulltime online classes and a combination of online and in-person instruction.

RELATED: Edmonds parents prepare for school district's hybrid learning plan this fall

“It seems like these are the best options that work best for the most people,” said Tacoma Public Schools spokesperson Nora Doyle.

Doyle said the district surveyed parents before coming up with the two options. She said plans could easily change ahead of the scheduled start of school on Sept. 9.

Doyle said the district is still working on how to handle students or staff who test positive, how students might switch from in-class to online learning, and if enough teachers will be willing to return to the classroom.

RELATED: Seattle schools superintendent hopes to improve online learning in fall

There are a lot of pieces to the district's reopening puzzle, Doyle said.

“We’re all trying to figure this out together.” 

State Superintendent Chris Reykdal is scheduled to meet with Inslee Wednesday to discuss school reopenings.

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