Letter from the Superintendent - Reopening School

Letter from the Superintendent - Reopening School
Posted on 12/18/2020
Reopening School

December 18, 2020


Dear Pioneer School District Families:

Our district has started preparing for the beginning of in-person learning.  Our first stage of returning students to school will be in a Hybrid Model (a combination of in-person learning and remote learning) which was first shared with you in our August 2020 reopening plan. We will be defining the details for the Hybrid Model when we return students to school in 2021 and although it may look slightly different than what was defined in August, it will include and begin with:

  • Students attend part of the week in person and part of the week at home in remote learning (enrollment at each grade level will determine weekly schedule and days of onsite attendance).
  • Students attending in cohort groups with a maximum of 13 -15 students per class to maintain social distancing in the classroom.
  • Students attending half days in a scheduled time frame similar to their current synchronous schedule.  As details are defined at each grade level, parents will get specific information for their child’s schedule.

Parents will have the option of keeping their child in our current model of distance/remote learning or having their children attend school in person.  A form was sent to families yesterday so they could indicate the preference for their child (Hybrid vs. Remote Learning) so we can identify the number of students who will be attending in person each week.  The district would like to have this information on your child by January 4th to help determine class size by grade level, specific weekly schedules, and transportation needs. A link to the form can be reached here: https://www.psd402.org/for_parents/reopening_schools_surveys

On Wednesday afternoon, Governor Inslee held a press conference regarding pre K-12 schools and bringing more students back for in-person instruction. You can watch the press conference on TVW’s website.  The governor encouraged districts to continue bringing students back to school and highlighted the  revised guidelines from the Washington State Department of Health. The new guidelines state that districts may bring back additional students for in-person learning, even with higher rates of COVID-19 transmission, as long as health and safety protocols can be successfully followed. Data shared by the governor provided evidence that schools with in-person learning models that are practicing health and safety protocols have experienced minimal virus spread. 

Our district has already started the process of planning for students to return to in-person learning and as we continue to move forward with this process, we will ensure that all required health and safety standards are firmly in place. As indicated in our November and December newsletters, students will return in small groups starting with our pre-school – 2nd grade, after fourteen days our 3rd through 5th grade and after an additional fourteen days, our 6th – 8th grade.  As the schedule is finalized for each of these groups, families will be provided with detailed schedules for their students and the district will conduct parent/guardian forums with each group to address questions, prior to students returning to school. 

I appreciate your patience as we work out the details for each grade level and please know the health and safety of our students and staff continues to be our highest priority. We are excitedly looking forward to the opportunity to see your children safely return to school and learn in our classrooms again!  Thank you for your patience and support, as we welcome the new year we have great hope that positivity will prevail in 2021.  


Jill Diehl, Superintendent