Districts differ in how they approach in-person learning

South Whidbey School District wants to bring 150 “at-risk” kids back to school.

The South Whidbey School District has formulated a plan to bring 150 students who are at risk of not being successful in school back to in-person learning.

Superintendent Jo Moccia said teachers will be reviewing the status of children in grades K-12 to determine if they are struggling academically or emotionally, or whether they are experiencing homelessness or food insecurity.

Parents can contact their child’s principal if they feel their child needs more support.

“We will be doing this on an ongoing basis and we have already begun the process,” Moccia said in an email.

“We hope to have students in school for periods of time each week so we can support them in person.”

The South Whidbey School Board met for a workshop meeting on Oct. 14 to discuss its reopening plan that was approved in August.

Moccia said there was a wide range of opinions presented at the meeting from participants. Some encouraged staying with the school district’s reopening plan and others called for opening up more in-person classes.

The Coupeville School District is continuing to have preschool, kindergarten and special education students meeting for some in-person services, Superintendent Steve King said.

The school district will be re-evaluating any changes to its reopening plan on or before Nov. 9.

The Oak Harbor School District is in Phase 3 of its reopening plan, meaning preschool through sixth grade students are spending part of the time at home and part of the time at school.

This past week, fifth- and sixth-grade students began their “Hybrid Rotation” classes.

“Being the first district our size in Western Washington to offer in-person options has been challenging since we didn’t have models to work from,” Conor Laffey, a spokesperson for the school district, said in an email. “However, other districts are now visiting our schools and borrowing our plans and materials to support their reopening efforts.”

Laffey added that with the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Island County, it seems unlikely that Oak Harbor Schools will be able to move into Phase 4, which would bring back seventh- and eighth-grade students to the school premises.

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