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Mead School district will begin classes next week after smoke disrupts plans

Seven-thousand laptops are being distributed in preparation for a switch to full-time virtual learning if air quality doesn't improve soon.

MEAD, Wash. — The Mead School District was prepared for in-person and virtual learning before wildfire smoke disrupted their plans.

“You know, when we got the call Sunday night that there wasn't going to be school in the morning everyone was super bummed but we understand,” said parent Jessica Folsom. “These are things we can't control.”

A spokesperson for the school district says classes will start on Monday at the latest, but it may not be in-person.

Hazardous air quality meant pushing back the first day of school.

They were prepared for the hybrid model to start this week. They were not prepared for all students to do class virtually.

In the meantime, schools are handing out materials so all students are prepared for remote learning if necessary. That includes Chromebooks going out to all students this week.

“If school doesn't start tomorrow because of the smoke, that's OK. We will be ready to go on Monday,” explained Folsom.

Schools handed out 7,000 laptops at pickup locations across the district.

Parents like Jessica Folsom arrived at Prairie View Elementary where a faculty member would bring out their child's computer.

“My girls are excited,” she said. “The Mead school district is prepared, they've got everybody wearing a mask, washing hands, and hand sanitizer. I feel safe sending my kids back to school.”

Even if classes start virtually, the district plans to return to the hybrid and in-person classes as soon as possible.

For students with limited access to the internet, Mead is offering hotspot options they can use during school hours.