MEAD, Wash. — The Mead School District Board voted unanimously on Monday night to delay the start of the school year by two weeks to Sept.14.
The move comes as districts around the area are deciding how to carry out instruction amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Mead School District previously approved a plan that calls for in-person classes for preschool through fifth grade, and a hybrid learning model for grades six through 12.
Families that are uncomfortable with returning to in-person classes can opt to go fully virtual.
The postponement of the first day of school was instituted to give district staff more time to work out the specifics of how to implement the plan. It will also give students, teachers, and families more time to prepare and weigh their options.
Whether and how to make up the lost two weeks will be decided later by the board and district leadership.
Mead also released a list of safety protocols for in-person learning:
- Face coverings required for students and staff on buses.
- Intensified cleaning protocols for transportation services.
- Expanded entry and exit options for buildings, assigning specific and consistent access points in order to limit the number of students going in or out at the same time.
- Face coverings required for all students and staff on school campuses.
- Required daily reported temperature and health checks.
- Physical distancing measures.
- Group students to minimize exposure, allow for contact tracing.
- Designate handwashing breaks throughout the school day.
- Provide self-contained “grab-and-go” meals.
- Staggered meal schedules to limit students picking up lunch in the cafeteria at one time.
- Repurpose spaces such as gyms, libraries and underused building space for instructional use to allow for more space between students.
- Optimize ventilation and airflow in each building.
- Establish protocols for reporting symptoms and initiate contact investigation and tracing in collaboration with the Spokane Regional Health District.