Washougal to expand K-5 hybrid learning April 12

In-person instruction will increase from two to four days a week at area elementary schools

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The Washougal School District will expand its hybrid education program for elementary school students on Monday, April 12, increasing in-person instruction to four days per week. 

“We are working with teachers, staff and public health officials to plan this change, focusing on the capacity of classrooms with our younger learners and arranging classrooms to ensure social distancing when students are seated as required by health metrics,” a March 15 post on the district’s website stated. “Our small average class sizes in grades K-5 make this possible, along with some creative thinking and flexibility on the part of our staff and building leadership who are making a number of changes to safely accommodate the larger groups of students who would be in-person at a time.”

The district’s four elementary school buildings opened for in-person instruction in January, dividing students into two groups to reduce the number of learners in each classroom and allow for social distancing. 

Currently, one group gathers for in-person education on Mondays and Tuesdays while the remaining learners go to the school buildings on Thursdays and Fridays. Students in both cohorts participate in remote learning on the days they are not in the buildings. 

All students will continue to receive remote instruction every Wednesday in the new model.

District leaders will now try to implement the expanded hybrid program at their secondary schools. 

“As we study grades 6-12, we are still trying to figure out how to accommodate the number of students (up to 28 or 29) that are in class together while ensuring space for social distancing,” the post stated. “We will continue to monitor any changing guidance from the Department of Health, but for now, the hybrid two-day per week program will continue to serve students in grades 6-12.”