Seattle Public Faculties working to outline what college students should do to re-enroll of their present faculties


Seattle Public Faculties college students who haven’t attended courses in individual for the reason that begin of this college yr Sept. 1 haven’t but misplaced spots at their assigned faculties, district officers mentioned Tuesday.

That’s a change from what the district mentioned final week.  

On Thursday, the Seattle Public Faculties web site included a message that college students in grades first by means of twelfth who didn’t present as much as in-person courses by Friday can be unenrolled from the district, following steering from the Washington State Workplace of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The posted coverage was a shock to some mother and father, who mentioned they didn’t obtain any advance warning and had been nonetheless uneasy about sending their kids again into college buildings due to the rise in COVID-19 circumstances. On Monday, the district modified the deadline to Tuesday.

“College students who’ve been out as a result of publicity or signs of COVID-19, quarantine suggestions, or relations managing COVID-19, may have their absences marked as excused and proceed to remain enrolled,” the district’s web site mentioned on Tuesday. “College students who’re McKinney-Vento eligible or have a 504 plan or Individualized Schooling Program (IEP) will proceed to remain enrolled and college employees or case managers will contact households straight.” (The McKinney-Vento Act governs college entry for youngsters who’re experiencing homelessness.)

Seattle college board President Chandra Hampson confirmed households who’re ready to return again to in-person college can re-enroll within the college they had been beforehand attending. Spots are being held no matter whether or not a pupil was at their neighborhood college or an possibility college, she mentioned. 

“We must be higher subsequent time and supply extra readability as we pivot in actual time,” Hampson mentioned. “Directors are working very onerous to … make households really feel protected.”

Steven Walters, who has three kids underneath age 12, mentioned he didn’t wish to ship his youngsters again to in-person college till he noticed that security methods had been being adopted and had been working to stop the unfold of COVID-19. Though the optimistic circumstances faculties have reported are low, he mentioned, they’re nonetheless there. 

For the reason that begin of college, a whole bunch of Seattle-area college workers and college students have both examined optimistic or needed to quarantine as a result of they had been in shut contact with somebody who had COVID-19. As of Tuesday, Seattle Faculties was reporting 117 circumstances of coronavirus, together with 101 pupil circumstances.

“We acknowledge the worth [of in-person school] however we really feel if now we have to stability the danger of some training loss versus unknown well being impacts for us … I might really feel extra responsible if we despatched youngsters again they usually bought sick,” Walters mentioned. 

Seattle Public Faculties spokesperson Tim Robinson mentioned this wasn’t a brand new coverage, however some “particulars” had been totally different. He mentioned a letter outlining the coverage was within the works.

Nevertheless, Hampson mentioned a part of the change is as a result of Seattle Faculties can’t legally hold college students enrolled in the event that they aren’t coming to highschool.

There are state monetary and pupil reporting necessities that embrace steering on when to report a pupil as enrolled, mentioned Katy Payne, a spokesperson for the Washington State Workplace of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

“State funding is allotted based mostly on college students who’re enrolled and have participated in instruction supervised by certified college district employees,” Payne mentioned in an e-mail. “Understanding this, there’s a state of affairs the place a pupil may very well be enrolled however not generate any state or federal funding. That is one motive why there will not be specific directives to highschool districts concerning a requirement to disenroll a pupil.”

The state superintendent’s workplace requires college districts to supply outreach and engagement for college kids who’re unenrolled, Payne mentioned. The workplace is working with college districts to “make clear” unenrollment questions. 

Payne mentioned Seattle college students who aren’t enrolled within the district anymore can switch to a different college district to entry a distant or on-line studying program, enroll in a personal college or select home-based instruction.

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