Redmond High School extends remote learning due to COVID-19 and staffing shortages

RHS is one of a handful of schools within the district that has switched to remote learning.

After shifting to remote learning following staffing shortages and an increase in COVID-19 exposures, Redmond High School has decided to continue remote learning until Jan. 24.

RHS and other schools across the district, including Juanita High School, have been experiencing staffing shortages related to COVID-19 exposures and absences following the return from winter break.

Teachers and administrative staff have attempted to fill empty positions, although the school remains too understaffed to safely operate in-person learning.

“As we have analyzed the situation, we have determined to continue remote learning through this week and have our high schools return to in-person learning on Monday, January 24,” announced Lake Washington School District.

The announcement, which was made on Jan. 18, allows for students and staff to undergo necessary isolation and quarantine periods. By providing adequate time to isolate and quarantine, the school hopes more staff members will return to educate students.

Additionally, the temporary remote learning period allows for a change in the ways in which contract tracing is conducted, as well as COVID-19 response protocols.

In the announcement, the school district stated they have actively been working with King County Public Health and the school’s COVID-19 response team. Their goal is to come up with a plan for adopting the Washington Department of Health’s guidance relating to COVID-19 positive case response and contact tracing.

“This will increase testing at our secondary schools and streamline the identification of close contacts. It will also require specific training and changes in protocols,” said the announcement.

From the week of Jan. 8-14, the number of new positive COVID-19 cases in the previous 14 days for RHS was 32. For that time frame, the number of close contacts within the prior 14 days was 405.

RHS plans to have new protocols in place for when students return to in-person learning.