In last Friday’s message to HSD parents, I promised to update families once our plan to reopen secondary schools in a full-day hybrid was completed and ratified. I am reaching out to you tonight to let you know that a tentative agreement for a secondary reopening plan was reached this past Monday by representatives from the HSD and Hockinson Education Association (HEA). This plan was voted down by HEA’s general membership today.
What does this mean?
The tentative agreement would have had Hockinson Middle and High Schools return in a full day hybrid model beginning the Week of March 1. However, this model cannot begin until it is ratified by the general membership. The current mode of operation for our students (K-5: Half-day hybrid; Grade 6: Home Base Intervention; and Grades 7-12: Remote Learning/HVA) will continue until an agreement is reached.
I realize that this news is likely disappointing for your student and family. Approximately 75% of our families have consistently expressed a preference for in-person learning in the parent surveys we have sent home this past year. So it would be understandable that, with infection rates dropping below our state’s guidelines required for reopening, our students’ return to Grades 6-12 would be imminent.
I remain optimistic that the HSD and HEA will reach an agreement that meets the needs of our teachers and enables us to bring back our students for in-person learning. Why am I optimistic? HSD and HEA leaders previously reached an agreement that brought K-5 students back to school, allowed Grade 6 students to return to a home base academic support model, and created other in-person academic interventions. Each of these models incorporated safety protocols, including quarantines, that to date have resulted in zero Covid transmissions. Most recently, the HSD and HEA collaborated over many hours to hammer out the details of a comprehensive secondary reopening plan that both parties felt confident in presenting to our School Board and HEA general membership, respectively. Although this plan was not approved, we will continue to bargain in good faith with the shared goal of returning our secondary teachers and students to in-person learning.
I will keep families updated as we work through this process.
Hockinson School District