Source: King 5; Posted: Feb 22 at 5:25 PM

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) delayed the start date to resume in-person learning for some students because the district has not yet reached an agreement with teachers on COVID-19 safety conditions.

Students in preschool, kindergarten, first grade, and those enrolled in intensive special education pathways were supposed to resume in-person instruction on March 1, but that date has now been pushed back to March 8, SPS said in a statement. released Monday.

SPS continues to negotiate with the Seattle Education Association (SEA), which represents the district’s teachers, classified staff, and instructional assistants.

In December of last year, SPS began implementing plans for a gradual increase in in-person learning for students. According to the district, for several months its staff has been preparing buildings for the return of students and teachers.

“The buildings are ready with personal protective equipment (PPE); there are health and safety protocols; There are plans for student transportation and meals, ”the district said in its statement.
However, teachers continue to express concerns about the safety of in-person learning.

“Educators currently in person with students continue to express concern about the lack of necessary PPE and non-compliance with health and safety protocols,” the SEA said in a statement Monday. “The district’s inability to implement the necessary health and safety protocols is delaying the return to in-person learning.”

The SEA said its negotiating team is working “tirelessly” to reach an agreement with SPS, “but we are not willing to cut corners in security precautions to meet arbitrary deadlines.”

The SPS Board of Directors will hold a special board business session on Thursday, February 25 at 4 pm to discuss the next steps of the plan.

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