Sixth graders return in-person Nov 4

Sixth graders return in-person Nov 4
Posted on 10/16/2020
Stevenson-Carson School District proudly announces the entire sixth grade class will make their return to Wind River Middle School with full-time school starting on Wednesday, November 4. Stevenson-Carson School District announces grand reopening of Wind River Middle School with return of sixth grade to full-time school starting Wednesday, November 4

Stevenson-Carson School District proudly announces the entire sixth grade class will make their return to Wind River Middle School with full-time school starting on Wednesday, November 4. The district recently made the decision to reopen the school, which had been closed since 2012, after determining the need for additional space and a dedicated facility for sixth to eighth grade students far outweighed the negligible financial savings stemming from its closure. 

When sixth graders return to in-person schooling on November 4, Stevenson-Carson School District will be among the first in Washington State to see the return of all students in grades K-6 to full-time in-person learning. “Both our families and our teachers have wanted a return to full-time school where in-person teaching has the greatest impact on student learning,” said Superintendent Ingrid Colvard. “I am so proud of our staff for helping make this happen, and I am incredibly grateful for the ongoing support the Stevenson-Carson community shows their schools.”  

In order to accommodate sixth graders’ return to full-time in-person learning while still closely following the Skamania County Health Department’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the district staff designed a plan separating the middle school’s gymnasium into sixth grade class “pods” using dividers to allow for appropriate social distancing. "The administrative team will work closely with teaching staff to design the most effective approach to in-school learning while serving students continuing to learn remotely; we have collaborated frequently with county health officials to be certain our plan is as safe as possible." said Colvard. “While we know a gymnasium might not make an ideal classroom, we believe that our families will agree that many sixth graders who are struggling with remote learning need to return to school.” 

Wind River Middle School will reopen on a reduced daily schedule similar to the one planned for use by Carson Elementary School in order to provide custodial staff with additional time to ensure deep and thorough cleaning of the facility following each school day. Additionally, the district will continue to work closely with the county health department to ensure all appropriate protocols and procedures are in place to protect students and staff. “The health and safety of our students and staff in the building remains our paramount priority,” said Colvard. “We are taking every possible precaution so we can continue to offer full-time, in-person learning even during these unprecedented times, however, we must remain vigilant that the possibility of temporarily returning to remote learning in the event of increased cases does exist.” 

In order to prevent any significant additional costs to the district as a result of recreating a 6-8 middle school, the same administrative team currently overseeing high school and middle school students at Stevenson High School will remain in place, now supervising both school facilities. “Principal William Schwan and Assistant Principal Kelli Dizmang will continue to serve as the administrative team for all grades 6-12 with one administrator stationed at Stevenson High School and the other stationed at Wind River Middle School,” explained Colvard. “The district will remain fiscally responsible stewards of the funds provided by our taxpayer, particularly during these uncertain financial times.” 

Families with sixth grade students who prefer to remain with distance learning can opt to stay with Stevenson-Carson Learning Link, the district’s distance learning program, rather than returning to in-person school. “While many parents share their desire for a return to in-person learning, I also understand families who remain concerned about an in-person environment,” said Colvard. “In order to respect both outlooks, we offer parents the choice whether their students return for full-time, in-person school or continue to learn remotely from home.”