As we conclude our first week of Virtual ONLY instruction, I am reminded of how valuable and important in person instruction is to our students. I know that many families chose virtual instruction due to concerns about returning to school during a pandemic and we respect that choice. However, I do want to remind all those that are doing virtual due to a quarantine or by choice that there is far more commitment that is required by the student and family for virtual instruction to be effective. 

Our teachers will deliver instruction to virtual students no matter the circumstance, but it is the students responsibility to get online, watch the instruction, complete the assignments and join virtual meetings that are set up. It is not our teachers responsibility to spend additional time tracking down students to see if they have watched the video or turned in the work. 

Educators at West Washington are ready to return to teaching in the most effective environment, in person. We long for the pre-pandemic days where we had personal contact with our students daily. We do not know when those days will return. But we do know that we prefer our kids in school, even in a pandemic world. 

Through our contact tracing we have learned a lot. We have learned that no matter how safe we make the school and no matter how many protocols we put in place that what our kids and families do outside of school can destroy all that we have done. 

If we sanitize, social distance and wear masks at school that is great and it protects our teachers and our kids within our walls. If kids and families leave our school and travel outside of our community to restaurants, stores, etc and do NOT practice social distancing, sanitizing and mask wearing then our school is vulnerable to closure. Sleepovers, parties and large gatherings have been the biggest culprits of bringing Covid into schools across the state. 

If you are like us, and you want our schools to be open and stay open, then we need your help. We need our community to partner with us and practice safety measures, not just during school but outside of schools and on the weekends also. 

No matter what your opinion is about Covid-19, we are all subject to the same regulations from the state department of health. If we have cases we will be quarantining students. If we have several cases we will be closing and utilizing virtual instruction. Please take the same precautions outside of school that we do at school. Do it for our school, do it for our staff and do it for our children.