Stevenson-Carson students return to in-person classes

Rural Skamania County district reopened elementary, middle schools on Jan. 19

Stevenson-Carson School District students in elementary and middle school returned to full-time, in-person classes on Jan. 19. 

The district administrative team said in a news release the district worked closely with county health professionals to determine that Skamania County’s new COVID-19 case numbers had dropped to a point where in-person learning was possible. 

“We understand how difficult taking a step back from in-person learning was for both our families and our staff before the holiday break given the sharp increase in case numbers we had seen,” said Superintendent Ingrid Colvard. “Thanks to the hard work of our community to help reduce the spread of the virus, we are excited to bring our students back in-person where studies show more effective learning takes place.” 

The district will take advantage of Wind River Middle School, which reopened in the fall, and students and staff will use cohorting, social distancing and mask-wearing, and all three reopened schools – Wind River, as well as Stevenson and Carson Elementary Schools – will be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day. 

“The health and safety of our students and staff in the building remains our top priority above all else,” said Colvard. “We continue to take every possible precaution so that we can continue offering in-person learning while also remaining vigilant in the event of a spike in new virus cases.” 

In addition to the return of K-8 students, Superintendent Colvard, Stevenson High School Principal William Schwan, Vice-Principal Kelli Dizmang, and the district’s board of directors continues to develop plans for the return of high school students as well as restarting the district’s athletic program in collaboration with the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association (WIAA). 

“We know our high school families anxiously await a safe return to in-person learning so developing a plan to safely accommodate our older students drives a lot of the work our team has been performing,” said Colvard. “In addition, we’re working closely with the WIAA to allow our athletes to return to the sports they love as soon as possible.” 

Families with sixth grade students who prefer to remain remote can opt to stay with Stevenson-Carson Learning Link, the district’s distance-learning program, rather than returning to in-person school. 

“Some families may continue to remain concerned about their students returning to an in-person environment,” said Colvard. “In order to accommodate all of our families, we offer parents the choice whether their students return for full-time, in-person school or continue to learn remotely from home.” 

To learn more about the Stevenson-Carson School District, visit scsd303.org