Serving Franklin County, WA

Kahlotus students will be on campus

School year begins Aug. 31

KAHLOTUS — The School Board voted unanimously Aug. 6 to reopen the school campus this fall despite concerns over the Wuhan coronavirus.

Students will return to daily on-campus classes Aug. 31, the first day of the 2020-21 school year, the board decided. Students will have to wear masks and stay at least 6 feet apart.

Parents not wanting to send their student to school will have an online public school education option.

The decision is similar to neighboring district Washtucna, which is in Adams County. Students there will also return to campus Aug. 31.

So far, Kahlotus is the only public school district in Franklin County to announce that students will return to campus.

Pasco and North Franklin schools, so far, have said they will begin the school year with students learning via computer from home.

North Franklin’s move to begin the school year with students at home follows the district’s survey earlier this summer in which 78% of Connell-area parents said they would not send their children to school in masks.

Franklin County remains in a "modified" Phase 1 of Gov. Jay Inslee's virus-related quarantine and reopening orders.

In Phase 1 counties, the local health department is required to provide a recommendation on reopening schools this fall.

Benton Franklin Health District Health Officer Dr. Amy Person previously released a letter recommending no schools in Benton or Franklin counties reopen campuses.

Parental concerns about masks and home-based public school digital learning programs, in part, have contributed to a rapid increase in homeschooling interest, according to the Washington Homeschool Organization.

Parental contacts regarding homeschooling have quadrupled this summer, spokeswoman Jen Garrison said previously.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

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Roger Harnack is the co-owner/publisher of Free Press Publishing. Having grown up Benton City, Roger is an award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher. He's one of only two editorial/commentary writers from Washington state to ever receive the international Golden Quill. Roger is dedicated to the preservation of local media, and the voice it retains for Eastern Washington.


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