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Mead To Give Parents Option To Send Their Children To In-Person School

Mead School District


Parents in Spokane’s Mead School District now have the option of sending their children to school, at least part time, or to keep them at home and learn online.

The board made that decision at its Thursday meeting.

Mead’s board members considered several options, including one that keeps students at home. Some districts have chosen that as the best option to keep children, teachers and staff safe.

But board member Michael Cannon argued that what works for one family won’t necessarily work for all families.

“Flexibilty and options for parents would be preferable. I don’t think it has to be all or none. Stay closed altogether and do online learning or do open and mandate that everyone come to school. We can do both," Cannon said.

Board chair Carmen Green says parents have different risk tolerance levels. Some parents will be comfortable sending their children to school, others won’t. She says the district will be taking as many precautions as it can to keep the people within school walls safe.

“There is no workplace that’s free of risk, anywhere. Working in health care, we had a lot of people living in fear in health care too when this all started and we really learned to adjust in the clinic environment. Masking. Hand sanitizing. Doing all of those things. We’ve had very little transmission that was linked to the clinic environment. It was more linked from outside activities," Green said.

Ultimately, the board voted for the option that includes in-person school.

Children in kindergarten through fifth grade would go to school every day. Students in sixth through 12th grades would be split into two groups, one attending in-person Mondays, Wednesdays and every other Friday; the other in-person Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other Friday.

Superintendent Shawn Woodward guesses about 70% of parents will choose that hybrid model and 30% will choose full distance learning.

The district will hold two online webinars next week to explain the options to parents and give them a few days to decide which to choose.

Woodward asked the board to postpone the start of school by about two weeks to give the district more time to prepare. The board will consider that on Monday night.