On August 25, 2021, all Wenatchee schools will reopen for full-day in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year. All PreK-12 grade students will resume a normal school daily schedule. The District will also continue to offer a full-time online learning option through the Wenatchee Internet Academy for families that feel that learning model is most suitable for their student(s).
OSPI, the Department of Health (DOH), and the Governor's Office expect all K–12 students to have the opportunity to attend school in-person full-time in the 2021–22 school year. On May 13, DOH published the guidance K–12 COVID-19 Requirements for Summer 2021 and the 2021–22 School Year.
Also on May 13, State Superintendent Reykdal published the press statement "Reykdal: We are Returning to School Buildings Next Year" following the release of the DOH guidance. On May 14, OSPI published an FAQ document answering top questions about returning to school in Fall 2021.
Some key takeaways from DOH's guidance include:
- The following mandatory mitigation measures continue to be in place: face coverings, ventilation, cleaning and disinfecting, and responding to and reporting COVID-19 cases.
- Physical distancing is recommended by DOH – 3 feet in classrooms, and 6 feet elsewhere – to the greatest extent possible.
- Flexible language in the guidance related to physical distancing (i.e., “to the greatest extent possible” and “to the degree possible and reasonable”) ensures you are able to provide full-time in-person instruction to every student and family who wants it.
- Schools should have a contingency plan for the 2021–22 school year that does not include physical distancing.
- School-related and sponsored extracurricular activities, including field trips, performing arts, and sports, must follow all relevant Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery
During the 2020-2021 school year Wenatchee K-5 schools successfully returned for full-time daily instruction in January 2021. Grades 6-12 remained in the hybrid model through June. District administrators have been working to ensure the smooth transition to full-time in-person learning for secondary schools in the fall and the continuation of full-time instruction at the elementary level according to current state and federal requirements.
WSD anticipates additional guidance changes from DOH, OSPI, and the state regarding COVID-19 requirements for schools for the 2021-2022 school year over the summer. The District will continue to keep parents and guardians informed of these updates as they become available.