Serving Franklin County, WA

Pasco students to study from home

Board unanimously agrees to follow lead of Kennewick, Richland schools

PASCO — The School Board voted unanimously Tuesday evening, Aug. 5, to leave students home and conduct digital classes this fall.

The School District becomes joins a list of growing educational centers planning to teach most students remotely because of the Wuhan coronavirus.

The vote to stay home comes a week after the board heard a litany of letters from teachers union members calling on continued shutdown of school campuses.

Last week, Richland and Kennewick schools made the same decision.

The decisions follow a July 28 letter from Benton Franklin Health District's Dr. Amy Person, who recommended students stay home.

Her letter gave schools a thumbs up for special needs students to be taught on-campus, in groups of less than five.

Because Benton and Franklin counties remain in a "modified Phase 1" of reopening, schools would have to secure the health officer's approval to reopen.

Outside of the Tri-Cities, several other districts are preparing students to study at home.

Weeks ago, the Kent School District was the first to announce students would remain home.

Spokane schools were originally planning to open, but reversed that decision last week. Cheney schools made the announcement Tuesday morning, Aug. 4, that those classrooms will remain closed, as well.

Meanwhile, some rural schools are planning to open, Colfax and Washtucna among them.

Parents, fed up with mask requirements, are also turning to homeschool in greater numbers.

The Washington Homeschool Organization reported last week that parental interest in teaching their own children has quadrupled since schools were shutdown in March.


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