Cowlitz County Department of Health recommended that all Cowlitz County school districts open the school year utilizing distance learning
WOODLAND — The Woodland Public Schools Board of Directors will review recommendations from the Cowlitz County Department of Health and District Superintendent Michael Green that the upcoming 2020-2021 school year start with full-time distance learning during a board meeting on Wed., Aug. 12.
With an increasing number of COVID-19 infections affecting the community, the Cowlitz County Department of Health recommended to area superintendents Friday evening that all Cowlitz County school districts open the school year utilizing distance learning. In addition, the Institute of Disease Modeling released a report on July 13, 2020 outlining how in-person instruction, even with safeguards in place, risks significantly worsening COVID-19 transmission rates in the community.
“While we were hopeful we would be able to begin the school year with in-person instruction, the current spread of the coronavirus makes this no longer a safe option,” explained Superintendent Michael Green.
Work teams including Woodland Public Schools staff and administrators have spent the summer developing techniques and approaches for distance-learning in order to provide a higher level of fidelity to in-class instruction. “We are committed to supporting the educational needs of students and their families with high-quality distance education,” said Superintendent Green. “While we know it is impossible to fully replace the quality of education received in-person, we will strive to replicate the classroom experience as closely as possible using distance learning methods to provide the very best support possible for our students.”
The district’s leadership team, in collaboration with public health officials, continues to monitor the progression of the pandemic throughout the region using specific metrics including the rate of newly-diagnosed cases over a two-week timeline; the rate of COVID-19 testing in the region; and the percentage of positive results to tests on a one-week timeline. “We have hope for a gradual return to face-to-face instruction as the school year proceeds,” said Green. “As members of our community increase their use of face masks; consistently observe physical distancing guidelines; and avoid large social gatherings, the data are showing improvement in a reduction of the rate of newly-diagnosed infections in our region.”
For the most up-to-date information on the status of Woodland Public Schools during the global pandemic, visit the district’s COVID-19 webpage at: www.woodlandschools.org/covid-hq
Information provided by Woodland Public Schools.