The main entrance of Bowman Creek elementary school, under construction in May. Courtesy photo

The main entrance of Bowman Creek elementary school, under construction in May. Courtesy photo

There will be school this fall in Auburn

The district is working on answering the question: What will it look like?

The Auburn School District is at work on getting students back to school in the fall.

But the question on everyone’s mind is just what “back to school” will mean during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some days a week at home and virtual, with a couple of days at school?

“Based on what we know today, we will have school in the fall, but it will look significantly different,” said Dr. Alan Spicciati, Auburn School District Superintendent. “The biggest factor out of our control is the virus. We need all Washingtonians to act responsibly and use common sense so we can get our kids back to school in the fall.

“Beyond that, OSPI and the Department of Health really determine a lot of the parameters for reopening, and from there we design the details. So, we don’t have a lot of flexibility, but we do have ways to do things that will make this work best for Auburn families and staff,” Spicciati said.

Guided by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the state Department of Health, and state Department of Labor and Industries, Spicciati said in a letter to district parents last week that five work groups composed of students, teachers, custodians, child nutrition personnel, transportation personnel, parents, school board members, principals, nurses and others are working on recommendations for an executive committee that is overseeing plans for next year.

The work groups are at work on five areas:

■ Inclusive teaching and learning practices

■ Teaching and learning logistics

■ Student and staff wellness

■ Student and family engagement

■ Health and safety

The workgroups plan to make their preliminary recommendations next week, and the executive committee and district administrators will then evaluate the feasibility and logistics of the recommendations that will address different scenarios for the 2020-21 school year.

Already settled is that the school district will have a fully online option for families who want that choice for their student, and that the state requirement to keep a 6-foot distance between students will limit classroom sizes.

“We are examining all options to maximize in-person education, including a hybrid model for students to attend in-person part-time and do part-time work online,” Spicciati said.

The district is likewise planning for the possibility of having to switch from part-time in-person to full-time online, should Gov. Jay Inslee close schools again. The district also is in regular contact with the state health department.

“This work is of paramount importance as we prepare to reopen schools safely to serve our students, families, staff and the community of Auburn,” Spicciati said. “Our target is to provide the community with an opportunity to review the plans for the 2020-21 school year by mid-July. We created a website to update the community on the planning process.”

Spicciati added that the new Bowman Creek elementary School on Kersey Way and the rebuilt Dick Scobee elementary school on 14th Street Northeast will be ready in September, “and if the virus lets us be back in school in September, we will have students in both of those buildings.”

The district will continue to provide updates in the coming weeks.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

Courtesy of the Auburn School District

Courtesy of the Auburn School District

More in News

West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Ecology.
EPA loans King County $96.8 million to prevent untreated water from spilling into Puget Sound

Loan comes a week after an over 10 million gallon overflow into the Puget Sound and Lake Washington.

Courtesy photo
Survey shows rent debt to be disproportionately distributed among minorities

More than half of Black renters surveyed said they owed rent money from previous months.

Photo courtesy of South Sound News
2-year-old child, woman rescued from Auburn house fire

Fire started in the garage around 11:40 p.m. Jan. 20 near the 30100 block of 50th Lane S. in Auburn.

File photo
Toy thief uses pepper spray at Auburn grocery store

Typically, the daily log of police activities the Auburn Police Department forwards… Continue reading

Kent Hay, Auburn’s Outreach Program Administrator, explores homeless encampments last fall in Auburn. File photo
Auburn to continue agreement over day and night homeless shelters

In mid-2018, the City of Auburn began a partnership with the Auburn… Continue reading

File photo
Kid blows up power transformer with bow and arrow | Auburn police blotter

Auburn police responded to the following calls for service, among many others,… Continue reading

Firefighters give aid to a cat while responding to an apartment fire Jan. 15 in the 1200 block of Auburn Way South. Photo courtesy of Valley Regional Fire Authority
Firefighters respond to Auburn apartment fire | Fire blotter

Between Jan. 11 and Jan. 17, the Valley Regional Fire Authority responded… Continue reading

File photo
Mayor to negotiate leases for land at Auburn airport

City has long-term goal of attracting private development to the airport.

National Guard troops, pictured Jan. 11 at the state Capitol in Olympia, have been on standby in case of violent protests. (Photo by Roger Harnack, Cheney Free Press)
At the state Capitol, a quiet day amid heightened security

There were no protests or arrests as troopers patrolled and the National Guard assumed a lower profile.

Most Read