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July 26, 2021

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Battle Ground primary schools to reopen for classes Feb. 1

Five-hour, twice a week in-person school days to begin

By , Columbian staff writer

All primary students in Battle Ground Public Schools will return to the classroom for in-person instruction on Feb. 1.

Superintendent Mark Ross shared the district’s reopening plans for its primary schools, which serve students in kindergarten through fourth grade, during a special board meeting Monday.

All primary school students will be in the classroom twice a week, five hours per day starting Feb. 1 to align with the district’s academic calendar. First semester ends in the district Jan. 29.

“For us, it makes sense to transition to this hybrid learning at the end of a grading period and give teachers the ability to start fresh with their students Feb. 1,” Ross said Monday night.

Ross also said the Feb. 1 date allows for families to adjust their schedules, and provides extra time for the district to implement safety protocols in buildings, if needed, and to hire and train classified staff. Furloughed classified staff members also will be recalled, Ross said.

The reopening plan was part of a three-phase outline shared with school board members, which also included a tentative timeline for middle and high school students’ transition to hybrid learning in February and March. Dates remain fluid, but also based on Clark County’s COVID-19 rates.

First- and second-graders at La Center School School District will begin twice-a-week hybrid learning starting Jan. 19, the district said, followed by third-graders Jan. 21. The dates for fourth- and fifth-graders to return will be determined at a later date.

The districts join Camas, Evergreen, Ridgefield, Washougal and Woodland as local districts to recently announce phase-in plans following new state guidance for reopening schools released by Gov. Jay Inslee last month. Hockinson School District leaders were scheduled to present their reopening plan to board members Tuesday night.