Pasco students likely to remain home this fall
Health officer recommends not returning to classroom
Last updated 7/28/2020 at 8:58pm
PASCO -- Dr. Amy Person, the health officer for Benton and Franklin counties, may have just upended local students' return to the classroom this fall.
At 5:48 p.m. today, Tuesday, July 28, School District officials received her "recommendation" not to reopen campuses this fall, citing coronavirus.
The letter arrived as the School Board was discussing the issue during a digital workshop.
Since the county remains in "modified Phase 1" of Gov. Jay Inslee's quarantine orders, Person will have to approve of the board's plan for educating students.
During the ensuing regular meeting, board President Amy Phillips said she doesn't believe Person will support returning students to campus.
Her comment came after board member Steve Christianson called distance learning a poor substitute for in-classroom education.
Christianson said he believes the risk is minimal and called for schools to reopen.
Person said that's not likely.
Christiansons' comments followed a litany of letters from teacher union members wanting digital instead of face-to-face teaching this fall.
Those letters fell right in line with the state-level union officials' demand for digital-distance teaching this fall.
Not everyone agreed; several letter writers supported returning to class.
The board has not yet made any decisions; the meeting was continuing at the time of this posting.