In-person learning starts Monday in NKSD

Pre-School through second grade students will be returning to in-person education Monday in the North Kitsap School District.

NKSD’s return to learn plans established in August closely align with the plans developed by Gov. Jay Inslee and state Superintendent Chris Reykdahl that were announced in December to get as many students back in school as possible after being in distance learning for the last year.

“We will start by having our youngest learners, PreK-2nd grade students, back on campus in our hybrid half-day model. We will continue to add additional grades slowly over time in the following weeks,” NKSD Superintendent Laurynn Evans said.

In the half-day models, students will be split into morning and afternoon cohorts and will attend school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with Wednesday being a distance-learning and a deep-cleaning day for schools. The morning cohorts will attend school from 8:30 to 11 a.m. while the afternoon cohorts will attend from 1 to 3 p.m., allowing time for teachers and students to have lunch and for the cleaning of classrooms and other shared areas in schools.

“We know that our youngest and highest need learners benefit the most from a classroom setting. The Department of Health also states that bringing in the youngest and highest need learners must be a school district’s first priority,” Evans said.

NKSD has developed a playbook for parents and families that outlines the protocols for returning to school as required by the DOH. The playbooks are available as PDF documents on the district website in English and Spanish.

During the first week, staff at each elementary school will provide additional guidance as it pertains to their individual school.

Grade 3-5 will be phased in over time if COVID-19 case trends stay within the guidelines outlined by DOH.

As of Dec. 29 there have been 150 per 100,000 positive cases within the North Kitsap region within a 14 day period, placing the north end of the county in the “moderate” level of COVID activity.

If case levels continue to lower, NKSD can continue to phase in other grades into the schools. Middle and high school students will remain in remote learning until at least the end of January, however high school athletes will be welcomed back for limited outdoor conditioning Jan. 11.