Despite another march in rain from dozens of students in front of the Admin building Wednesday morning, that evening the Kennwick School Board decided not to move forward with hybrid learning for middle and high school students.

Unlike in October, when the BFHD (Benton Franklin Health District) gave them a green light but 3 of the five board members voted it down, this time BFHD officials said they were not inclined to agree to hybrid due to rising cases.

From KSD email released to media and parents:

"We received updated guidance yesterday from the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) regarding in-person learning in middle and high schools due to the increasing transmission of COVID-19 in our community.

The guidance specifically recommends that school districts:

  • Do not yet move forward with transitioning to hybrid at middle and high school.
     
  • Continue with the current elementary hybrid and small group (e.g. special education, remote learning assistance) in-person learning at middle and high school."

The email went on to say:

"At last night’s school board meeting, the school board reviewed the new BFHD guidance, a newly modified hybrid schedule for middle and high school, and results from a secondary school readiness evaluation by a third-party safety consultant.

The results from the readiness evaluation indicate that the school district has all of the safety measures in place that align with the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Washington State Department of Health and the BFHD. 

No formal actions on school reopening were taken at the school board meeting and there are no changes to the current status of hybrid learning at elementary and remote learning at middle and high school. The board will continue to monitor the situation. As BFHD guidance is updated, the board will convene to discuss and take action as determined."

Board member Michael Connors strongly voiced an opinion, though, that when cases go down (to acceptable levels) and he said he believes they will, the Board needs to schedule an immediate special meeting to examine and get the hybrid process going.

The board indicated verbally they will likely look at it again in early January at least.