The Marysville School Board approved a plan to bring kindergarten and first grade students back to school beginning on Feb. 17.
Students will return with a hybrid model so they will be still be doing a combination of online learning and in-person learning.
The measure to return students passed 4-0 during the Feb. 3 school board meeting, with board member Chris Nation absent from the meeting.
“At this point we’re directing you to open our schools,” said Vanessa Edwards, school board president. “There is nothing more important."
The school board approved a Feb. 8 return for kindergarten and first grade students during a January school board meeting, however some of the final details still needed to be worked out with the Marysville teachers union and that date was pushed back.
“There are a lot of very intricate things moving to get students back on campus,” said Edwards.
The school board approved the plan to work with the union during the Feb. 3 meeting, while the union approved the plan during their Feb. 2 meeting.
“It was a quick turnaround,” said Jason Thompson, superintendent for the district.
That approval was one of the final steps for the district to begin moving toward bringing students back to in-person learning.
“Hopefully we can get things rolling here, sooner rather than later,” said Thompson. “It’s time to get kids back in school."
Board members said they appreciated the work that went into the plan.
“Thank you for everyone who put in the work to reach the agreement to reopen our schools,” said school board member Pete Lundberg.
School board members also said they take student safety seriously.
Board member Paul Galovin said his nephew was recently in the ICU with COVID-19 because of school returning.
“It’s a rare case,” he said, but added he understands how necessary safety measures are.
“We’re not going to put anybody at risk,” he said, noting he has students in the district as well.
The social and emotional side of transitioning will also be something the district has to work on, said Edwards.
“We do address it as best as we can emotionally, but it’s going to be a whole new training when these kids get back,” she said. “We’re social creatures and we need to be around each other."
Also, since late January, the Tulalip Tribes have been providing vaccines to all Marysville School District teachers and staff who want them and the Marysville School Board also passed a resolution honoring them for that contribution at the Feb. 3 meeting.
“I would like to thank the Tulalip Tribes for their generous gift,” said Lundberg. “I know the opening of schools is paramount and the teachers are feeling a little more comfortable about us pushing for that now."
The sudden availability of vaccines for teachers has helped ease many concerns from staff.
School board members were glad that the district has begun movement toward reopening.
“I very much appreciate we are getting to a result that is going to get those students back into their seats,” said school board member Jake Murray.