Edmonds Kind of Play: Gearing up for next week’s return to school

Jennifer Marx

This has been a big week for back-to-school information in the Edmonds School District. We have had an Edmonds School District News email, many virtual school information presentations, and on Friday, a message from the Superintendent. If you missed your school’s virtual meeting, many are posted on YouTube.com/EdmondsSD. I checked the district site and there is also a direct link to the Superintendent’s message, which has a ton of information including vaccine clinics for COVID-19 and the flu, links to Skyward and other resources, plus the latest on learning plans for sick days. There is also a new app for bus routes and the latest on school volunteers and onsite COVID-19 testing, which we’ll cover here!

The message answers the questions about learning while a student is out sick, which I think a lot of us have been curious about. If a student is home sick or needs to isolate/quarantine due to COVID-19, they will receive assignments to complete at home. During our virtual school meeting, the sick day policy was compared to years past, which was to get the makeup work. But it seems that the concurrent remote option isn’t the same as the last school year, where your student would be well and able to participate but unable to attend school due to being quarantined. This will change if the Department of Health asks that an entire classroom or school quarantine, in which case the class or school will “revert to remote learning.” The district will again issue all K-12 students a district-owned Chromebook, which the message says the students will bring home each day, explaining that Chromebooks are “important should your student become ill or need to quarantine.”

The message also says that ESD will be “providing free in-school COVID-19 testing for students (with family permission) and staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 or have COVID-like symptoms.” It adds that along with mask wearing, testing — which they say will be available in all district schools — is a “key mitigation strategy.”

Recently, Gov. Jay Inslee mandated that all K-12 employees be fully vaccinated from COVID-19 by the middle of next month. Regardless of vaccination status, once the school year starts, campuses will be open to student and district staff only, which means no family or community volunteers. The main school offices will be open to family members with “urgent needs” and the message says that the office staff will be available via phone and email with any questions you have.

The district email explains that like many school districts around the country, ESD will be facing bus driver shortages. The buses will still run, but “will be full and could take longer to load and unload at the bus stops.” The email outlines ways to help the process run “as smoothly as possible,” including using the new Edulog Parent Portal App found at bit.ly/ESDParentPortal. The app allows families to track their student’s bus location in real time, access route information or updates, and planned pickup and drop off locations. I clicked the link and read the info and it says that you can configure notifications to alert you when the bus is nearing the stop, adding that the notifications can “keep parents informed about traffic delays or bus substitutions, etc.”

There are continuing resources for families this school year. The district is partnering with Care Solace to provide “mental health and substance abuse help.” The service, which the district says is a part of their “commitment to the health, safety, and the well-being of our students, families and staff,” is confidential and offers help finding a provider “around the clock.”

Also, meals for all students are free for the entire 2021-2022 school year, much like last school year, but this time around they will include hot lunch options. If your student is in need of a fee waiver, there is an application for additional benefits, including support for sports and course fees, as well as reduced-cost internet that can be found at bit.ly/ESDFinancialsupport. Printed copies are available by calling 425-431-7077.

City buildings in Edmonds are now closed to the public effective Friday, Sept. 3, and “all city recreation programming in the building and indoor facility rentals are canceled for the months of September and October.” With this closure affecting the Frances Anderson Center and the Meadowdale Clubhouse, I checked in with Recreation Supervisor Todd Cort. He let me know that Meadowdale Preschool would be in session and assured me Kidz Love Soccer is still up and running. He also said that they were able to move some of their offerings down to the Edmonds Waterfront Center. For questions, more information and registration for outdoor activities, you can visit RecZone.org or call 425-771-0230.

Recreation centers and their associated programming in the cities of Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace remain open, although some classes are being held remotely. Learn more about Lynnwood Recreation Center programs here and Mountlake Terrace programs here.

— By Jennifer Marx

Jen Marx, an Edmonds mom of two boys, is always looking for a fun place to take the kids that makes them tired enough to go to bed on time.

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