Gov. Jay Inslee joined presidents of Washington colleges and universities on June 24 to unveil guidance for reopening in-person instruction at the state’s postsecondary institutions this fall. The Campus Reopening Guide details guidelines for Washington higher education institutions as they create back-to-school plans. The guide has checklists with baseline recommendations for campus safety, student/personnel support, and visitor expectations; additional considerations for campus safety and support; and protocols for campus food services, transportation, and residences. The announcement from Gov. Inslee came with a proclamation providing specific health guidance for four-year public and private institutions, as well as two-year community and technical colleges, apprenticeships, and private career schools.
The Washington Roundtable was proud to join Challenge Seattle in supporting development of the reopening guide, which was put forward by leaders representing 50 postsecondary institutions across the state. The guide builds upon the state’s reopening plans and checklists developed this spring to support the safe reopening of businesses across the state. Like those checklists, this guide is rooted in an effort to ensure students, faculty, and staff can return safely and with confidence.
The Washington Roundtable is one of 15 state business leadership organizations that are requesting liability protection for employers making reasonable, good faith efforts to follow health and safety guidelines to protect customers and employees. In addition, the organizations urged lawmakers to prioritize significant federal aid for state and local governments in a fourth federal stimulus package. This will allow state and local governments to safely reopen their economies while continuing to respond to the pandemic. Read the full public letter here.
The Washington Roundtable and Challenge Seattle partnered with social impact consulting firm Kinetic West to conduct a scan of the approaches schools and school systems are taking, nationally and internationally, to return students to rigorous learning models during the COVID-19 crisis. The findings are based on research and interviews with education leaders and researchers from around the world conducted through May 22. These findings were presented to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal and his reopening workgroup on June 2.
Download the study from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction web site:
Best Practices for Reopening Washington Schools
We want to thank the many Washington Roundtable members who have stepped up to create resources or support educational initiatives for students, families, and educators during this time. See below for just a handful of examples.
- For families searching for at-home activities, the Seahawks launch a fun new challenge every week from a player or staff member. Past challenges for Junior 12s include meditation, cooking, poetry, and acts of kindness.
- Educational nonprofit Khan Academy – which offers free, standards-aligned learning materials for K-12 students and free tools for teachers and parents – has expanded its offerings with support from Bank of America. Khan Academy’s new initiatives to help families and teachers through school building closures include detailed daily schedules for students, webinars to support parents and teachers, and more.
- FUTURE U., a collaboration between Boeing and Discovery Education, provides free online videos and standards-aligned STEM lessons for students and tools for educators. Students can learn about topics like welding and space ergonomics and take virtual field trips to learn about aerospace innovation, sustainability, and more.
- Every school day in May through June 12, students can explore companies and industries in Washington through CareerConnect@Home, which connects Washington students to employers in the state, including Avista, Alaska Airlines, Microsoft, Boeing, and Puget Sound Energy.
- Microsoft provides numerous resources, tools, and training to help ease the transition to remote learning. Free tools to support students’ wellbeing include a template for teachers to use for student check-ins, a course on teacher-student connections, and a podcast series on social and emotional learning.