In a letter emailed to the Lakeside community on Oct. 16, Head of School Bernie Noe shared that Lakeside will delay the reopening of campus. His email is included below.
Today, Lakeside’s administrative team made the tough decision to delay the reopening of Lakeside’s campus. This means we no longer plan to open for blended learning on Oct. 26.
I regret that we had to make this decision but given the increasing rate of infection in King County and throughout the state, we felt it was prudent to delay having in-person learning at school. I know that this decision will disrupt many families’ plans. Please know that we made this decision after much discussion.
- Infection rates in the county. Public Health — Seattle & King County has reported infection numbers for the county are on the rise and trending upwards.
- Infection rates in ZIP codes where Lakeside families and employees live. These numbers have also increased over the past four weeks, and we also expect them to trend upwards, similar to the rest of the county.
- Compliance with daily health screenings. Few families are filling out the Magnus daily health screenings and few students have downloaded the Trace app for contact tracing. We recognize that this has been a time for families to practice entering in information, but it is still a data point we have to consider.
Additionally, the school looks to guidelines and advice from Public Health — Seattle & King County and the Washington State Department of Health. Tuesday, we received updated guidance from Public Health — Seattle & King County Schools and Childcare Task Force. They reported that King County is currently in a high COVID-19 activity level range according to the Department of Health’s Decision Tree for Provision of In Person Learning among K-12 Students at Public and Private Schools during the COVID-19 Pandemic. As shared in this Public Health update, with our current level of COVID-19 transmission, the Department of Health guidance recommends “distance learning for the vast majority of students, with limited in-person instruction to be considered only for those with the highest need, such as students with disabilities, students living homeless, those farthest from educational justice and younger learners.”
Based on these data points and public health guidance, the administrative group had a vigorous conversation about whether we should continue with our reopening plans. With our primary goal of ensuring a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and employees, we decided to delay reopening.
We will share more information about our plans next week, but we wanted to let all of you know today because we recognize that some students and families may be making decisions about non-bubble activities starting today. If you were planning to stop activities today based on your desire to be part of the Lakeside bubble, you do not need to stop those activities at this time. We will share more information about the bubble in our next communication.
I recognize that this is deeply disappointing to many of you. It is deeply disappointing to me as well. All of us here continue to believe, as we state in the school’s reopening goals, that it is critical to create opportunities for in-person learning whenever possible. We believe that when students are engaged in meaningful dialogue with their teachers and classmates — exchanging ideas and growing as learners — they are in an ideal learning environment.
I ask for your understanding as we navigate this time of rapid change, and I will be back in touch with all of you next week regarding our plans for moving ahead. Thank you, everyone!