CLARKSTON - At its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, November 23, the Clarkston School board discussed future educational plans and a schedule for the week following Thanksgiving Break. Given the anticipated spike in COVID-19 cases following the holiday, the board decided to move secondary students (grades 7-12) in the Clarkston School District to distance learning for eight days following Thanksgiving Break.
From November 30 to December 9, 7-12 grade students will move online and return to in-person learning on December 10, pending favorable data for the week of November 30.
Some secondary students will be allowed for instruction based on criteria set up by the school during this time (i.e., students with special needs, unique circumstances, etc.). Secondary students identified for in-person support days will be notified by their school of those times and dates.
Elementary students (K-6) will stay in school for that same time-period; there will be no change to their schedule during the same timeframe.
For the meeting, the School Board invited two guests to offer public health guidance: Dr. Bob Lutz, the Asotin County Health Officer, and Brady Woodbury, the Asotin County Health Administrator. The general consensus among experts and educators across the state and specifically the region is a dramatic spike in the virus through Thanksgiving.
Although the decision was not easy, the board and administrators all expressed support. Some of the factors that reportedly went in to the decision are as follows:
- Dramatic increases in COVID numbers in Asotin County
- New recent increases in COVID cases in the school district
- Research findings surrounding minimal spread from students under 10 years-old
- Thanksgiving travel concerns
- Families getting together over Thanksgiving
- The academic needs of students
- The health and safety of staff
- The desire of families keeping children in school
- The desire to have students participate in spring sports and other extra-curricular activities when the time comes
- The mental and emotional health of our students
- And a variety of other related issues
LMS and CHS will continue to provide drive-thru breakfast and lunch pick-up. Meals are free and available to all kids ages 1-18.