MOSES LAKE - The Moses Lake Education Association (MLEA) is encouraging the school board to begin the year with remote learning only.
In a letter to the board on Thursday, MLEA President Jay Mather writes that the board should follow the guidelines and recommendations of the Grant County Health District and state Department of Education, both of which have stated COVID-19 rates are too high to reopen schools to begin the year.
“This recommendation comes after a great amount of thought and consideration and is not made lightly,” Mather stated. “We understand that this may not be a popular recommendation but with the current COVID incidence rate in Grant County, we believe that it is the only way that we can provide for the health and safety for all. As teachers we would all like to be back in our classrooms and be able to safely deliver in-person instruction to our students. Unfortunately we don’t see in-person instruction in any model as a safe option at this time.”
As of Aug. 11, Grant County had 442 cases per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days. Both the health district and state health authority have recommended a case rate of 75 per 100,000 residents over the two week period before any in-person learning can occur.
“We believe that if the district begins the year with in-person instruction that we will quickly and repeatedly have to change to remote learning due to outbreaks of COVID in the school buildings thus disrupting the continuity of instruction,” Mather added. “It makes more sense to begin the year with remote learning and then move to in-person models when numbers allow. This provides for the least amount of interruption and provides for the greatest amount of continuity of instruction. Our own Safe Schools Training that we are required to do warns against meeting in person and if doing so be in small groups (of) 3-6 people, and limit the minutes of exposure even when wearing masks and observing the other safety protocols. It is ironic that the training we have to complete recommends the opposite of what the school district is planning to do.”
“We want to teach. We want to keep our students and their families safe and healthy. Starting with remote learning for all — allows us the best opportunity to do that,” Mather ended his letter.