State Calls for Getting 'Students of Color' Back to School First

The state of Washington is planning on reopening its schools for face-to-face instruction in the fall but will prioritize “students furthest from educational justice” if all students aren’t able to come back at once.
These students include “students with disabilities, students with 504 plans, English learners, students who are migratory, students experiencing homelessness, students who are in foster care, students of color, students experiencing poverty and students who were not equitably served through continuous remote learning in spring 2020.”
According to the guidelines, these students were impacted the most by the loss of in-person learning.
The guidelines also ask the districts to “attend to students who fit into one or more of these identified populations and then integrate supports.”
Frequently Asked Questions document associated with the reopening guidelines said that “students furthest from educational justice and those who require in-person services to fulfill their basic education needs should be districts’ highest priority.”
The school districts do not expect to be able to accommodate all students due to new health and safety requirements.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction released the guidelines in June, but Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee said they may need to reassess the guidelines if there is another coronavirus case spike in the state, KREM-TV reported.
“We cannot guarantee that school will open in fall. But for now, this guidance provides a path that schools, educators and families need to plan for the coming months and the fall,” Inslee said at the time.
“Kids need to be learning but they also need to be safe and healthy.”
The OSPI said that districts should continue to prioritize the identified student populations “furthest from educational justice.”
“The impacts of fear, hatred, and systemic and structural racism within institutions cannot be ignored, and they yield tragic outcomes,” the guidelines read.
“Washington’s public education system must engage in anti-racist capacity building, leadership, and resource allocation.”
The guidelines add that it is the duty of public schools to prepare students for their next education pathways, careers and civic engagement.
“Washington must create the conditions for each student to be educated in racially literate, culturally sustaining, positive, and predictable environments that intentionally prioritize the instruction and development of social-emotional skills, and mental health in addition to our primary focus on academic content,” the guidelines read.
The Washington Education Association, which represents teachers in the state, released a statement expressing concern over some of the new guideline’s safety measures, KREM reported.
“We question if social distancing guidelines can truly be met in many schools across our state, given typical class sizes,” the statement read.
Schools are also considering canceling field trips, staggering arrival and dismissal times, and limiting nonessential visitors.
State Calls for Getting 'Students of Color' Back to School First State Calls for Getting 'Students of Color' Back to School First Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:24 Rating: 5

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