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WUESD to return to school in early August

The Wasco Union Elementary School District will have all students studying in-person for the next school year, Superintendent Kelly Richers reported during Tuesday's board meeting.

Richers said under the current guidance and rules in place, all students are expected to report to school and attend in person beginning Aug. 2.

"It has been 14 months since some students have been in school, and returning will be a transition that may take some effort," Richers stated. He was referring to the March 2020 orders that sent students home, and only a few have been able to return.

Of the students currently eligible to learn in-person, 50% are attending school and the other 50% is choosing to continue distance learning, Richers said. Overall whether in person or through distance learning, 94.65% of students are attending classes.

"There has been no report of any allowance for students staying home for the coming year, either from the state or the federal government," Richers stated. "Therefore, the only reason any student should not report to school would be a doctor's medical letter allowing it, where we would make special distance learning arrangements."

In order to facilitate the return to school, classes at the elementary district, grades T-K through 8 will begin Aug. 2, a week earlier than usual. School will be extended that extra week and will end as usual at the end of May.

Richers said the extra week will be needed for both students and teachers to work out the needed protocols as determined by the state and federal government.

"The best chance to have students begin to catch up is our extended day summer school," Richers explained. "Summer school will be for any learning loss mitigation, where we can see what the students missed or with which they struggled, and work a plan to catch the students back up to grade level for the grade they are leaving."

Grades T-K, 1 and 6, as well as special education classes, have returned to in-person instruction in the elementary district. The district has not had to shut down any classrooms since the return as there have been no reported covid-19 cases reported from the open classrooms.

Grade 8 will return the last week of school to prepare for graduation exercises, which will be held May 26. Very limited seating will be available, and those attending must pre-register under current covid-19 protocols. The middle schools are handling all graduation procedures.


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