ASD moves to remote learning; spectators restricted from sporting events

The Aberdeen School District made the announcement that all Aberdeen schools will transition into remote learning. As part of this change, Athletic Director Jon Crabb told KXRO that this also means sporting events will be without spectators during this change.

In the notice from ASD, it was said that Superintendent Alicia Henderson made the decision after nearly 30% of the student body was out absent due to illness or quarantined as close contacts due to COVID-19, as well as high numbers of staff absences.

As of Tuesday, January 11 Aberdeen schools will transition to remote learning, with a return to in-person instruction scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 25.

ASD tells KXRO that the decision was made in consultation with the Grays Harbor Department of Public Health “out of concern for the wellbeing of our staff and students,” Dr. Henderson said. “In addition, we have reached the tipping point on being able to operate school safely with the remaining staff.”

As of the Monday attendance report, ASD said that out of the eight schools and over 3,000 students, there was a district-wide absence rate of 27.95%, and 38.22% Aberdeen High School alone.

“While those percentages are from today, we can expect it to stay high for the near future,” Superintendent Henderson said. “And that is simply not tenable for operating schools safely or providing quality education.”

During the remote learning, devices will be sent home with students – Chromebooks in PreK-8 and laptops in Grades 9-12. Students who were absent as of Monday will have an opportunity to pick up their devices this week.

School lunch will be still be served. Starting Tuesday, Jan. 11, students may come to school for lunch and the next day’s breakfast from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day.

Athletics will continue following WIAA regulations, although without spectators.

Superintendent Henderson added that this change to said remote learning is not a return to the “hybrid” model. Schools will follow their regular bell schedule and teachers will be online and available to students at least 70% of the school day.

“The decision to transition to remote learning was not made lightly,” Dr. Henderson said. “Our schools have been working above and beyond since Day One to operate under extremely difficult circumstances and staffing shortages. We’ve reached the tipping point and at this time, we simply cannot fill the gaps in classrooms and offices. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in person on Jan. 25.”