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    Hamilton In-Person FAQ 4.5.2021
    Posted on 04/05/2021

    The family decision to return to in-person school has happened suddenly and we realize that there are still many questions. We recognize that this is not an easy decision for families. We will continue to work towards as much clarity as we can and are committed to continuing to provide the best experience possible for our students be it in-person or remote. Here are some frequently asked questions that we are receiving that we hope will be helpful in making the decision that is best for your student and family.

    If you family did not receive the return to in-person learning survey, please use the link below:


    1) Will all students be staying with their current teachers regardless of model?

    The instructional model developed by SPS and the Seattle Education Association is designed so that as many students as possible stay with their current teachers. The model prioritizes keeping teachers with their current classes, whether students choose to stay 100% remote or return for hybrid in-person learning. Once families respond to the survey, we will be able to better know the final details of how we can build cohorts that have as little schedule change as possible.


    2) Will students be with their current teachers in person?

    The instructional model developed by SPS and the Seattle Education Association was designed so that as many students as possible can stay with their current teachers. The model prioritizes keeping teachers with their current classes, whether students choose to stay 100% remote or return for in-person learning.


    3) Will teachers be simulcasting with remote and in person students in the afternoons?

    We know that for students returning to in-person hybrid learning (two days per week live in the afternoon, two days per week remote in the afternoon) and students remaining 100% remote, this will be a transition in the learning year. Our first goal will be to ensure that students are able to continue learning throughout this transition.

    It is also critical that students and staff are as safe and healthy as possible in-person, and time will be spent initially establishing routines and procedures that reinforce safety at all times and in all places.

    While we don't have all the answers and details right now for how educators will balance in-person and remote learning in the afternoons, we are committed to updating you as plans take shape. We can tell you that morning instruction will be content that all students will receive together no matter what afternoon learning mode the family chooses for their student. The afternoon will provide an opportunity for activities that will reinforce, supplement, extend or enrich skills or content from the morning that students can participate in remotely or in-person. Because students will bring their laptops to school, they will still be able to work along-side their peers who are remote and collaborate in a blended model.

    Additionally, District guidance encourages small group, social emotional learning (SEL), and check-ins during afternoon hybrid learning time instead of simulcasting to allow more targeted supports. Sample schedules area available on the SPS website at


    4) How are "cohorts" defined? Are kids with 6 different groups of students across the 2 days in person?

    A “cohort” is a group of students who attend school together. The middle school Return to In-Person School model allows for Cohort A to attend class on Monday/Tuesday afternoon and Cohort B to attend class on Thursday/Friday afternoon. Students will attend their regularly assigned on-site classes for Periods 1 – 3 on the first day, and Periods 4 – 6 on the second day.

    Students will be with 6 different groups of students during the 2 days of onsite learning. Students from Cohort A will not attend class with students from Cohort B.


    5) How will contact tracing and isolation work?

    SPS has a robust contact tracing and isolation plan developed in conjunction with SPS Health Services team, SEA Nurses, the SEA/SPS Health and safety team and in coordination with Public Health and Labor and Industry. The plan was developed to keep students and staff safe as we return to in-person learning. The following flyer provides information on the 4-step process should a positive COVID-19 case be identified in our building. (PDF)

    • • Step 1: Family notifies School Main Office of infection
    • • Step 2: School Office notified COVID Site Supervisor who notifies centralized COVID contact tracing team to begin outreach
    • • Step 3: Cleaning & disinfecting following DOH and CDC guidelines
    • • Step 4: Confirmed case and close contacts receive guidance & return date


    Additional information related to SPS health and safety protocols, including the following can be found on the SPS website at

    FROM SPS WEBSITE: The DOH guidance for a COVID-19 outbreak in schools when grouping or cohorting students is, to dismiss the entire classroom for home quarantined for 14 days if two or more laboratory positive (PCR or antigen) COVID-19 cases occur within the group or cohort within a 14 day period.

    Further, a school will be closed and switch to remote learning for 14 days when one of the following occurs: two or more classrooms are dismissed due to outbreaks in schools with 10 or fewer classrooms; 10% or more of classrooms are dismissed due to outbreaks in schools with greater than 10 classrooms; or the school cannot function due to insufficient teaching or support staff.


    6) Will all students be required to login and be synchronous with the afternoon in-person cohort when they are at home?

    Students are expected to participate in online remote synchronous instruction in the morning when new course content will be provided. Students are encouraged to participate in afternoon learning, both remote and in-person, to gain access to supports necessary for success in the class.


    7) What school supplies will the kids need to bring to school? Will they be using lockers?

    Students should bring their laptop, texts, a water bottle, standard school supplies (pencils, pens, notebooks etc.) and course-specific materials recommended by the class teacher. Students will not be sharing materials with other students in the classroom. Students will not be using lockers, so they will be permitted to bring their backpacks into the classrooms.


    8) Will kids be bringing instruments to orchestra and band in their afternoon in-person session? Where will these instruments be stored when kids are not in class (my daughter plays the cello so she can’t carry it around all afternoon)?

    Students will be expected to bring their instruments to school. We are still working on additional guidance pertaining to transportation and use of instruments.


    9) Can I change my student’s decision once they start back in remote or hybrid learning?

    Families are asked to select the 100% remote model or hybrid, in-person model for the remainder of the year. There is an appeals process should a change be desired; however, appeals will be limited because of the impacts on staffing, meals, and transportation. Read more about our appeals process.


    10) What will in-person instruction look like?

    In-person afternoon instruction will focus on solidification of knowledge acquisition of materials covered during remote online synchronous learning. Staff may also embed SEL content during in-person learning for Periods 1 and 4. Students who satisfactorily complete the assigned tasks will be encouraged to independently delve deeper into the subject matter, work on other assignments or read. In-person instruction will not be a time for the presentation of new content.


    11) Will my student see all of their teachers on the days they attend school? This would entail switching classes/mixing with different groups?

    Students will be with 6 different groups of students during the 2 days of onsite learning (3 classes on the first day and 3 classes on the second day). Students from Cohort A will not attend class with students from Cohort B. There is a possibility that students will need to be assigned to work with another staff member based on the number of students opting to return to the building, classroom capacity based on health and safety protocols, and the number of staff members teaching onsite.


    12) How early can my student arrive at school? Can she play on the field with her friends?

    Because safety and health are our first priority, we cannot have students arriving prior to 11:45 on the days that they attend in person. When we have confirmed their health screening, they will go directly to their first class of the day.


    13) Can you tell me if my student’s teachers have been vaccinated?

    The simple answer is that getting vaccinated is not something we can require. The vaccine was granted emergency certification and as such is voluntary. We can’t require it nor can we ask the status of staff due to privacy regulations. Staff follow the same attestation process as students will when entering the building.


    14) How can my child get a lunch before reporting to class?

    Students should plan to eat lunch before arriving at school. We will have some grab and go meals available. Each bag will include a breakfast and lunch for the following day. On Tuesdays each bag will contain 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches. On Fridays each bag will contain 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches. If students need to eat a lunch or snack at school, there will be designated spaces provided that meet safety guidelines.

    Family Orientation and Q&A

    We will be holding our Q and A orientation with families this Wednesday, April 7 from 6pm to 7pm. This event will be recorded so we can share it with families that are not able to attend.

    Please use the link below:

    Live Event Link


    Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate this together.

    Dorian Manza (he/him)
    “A collaborative community of inspired and engaged learners.”
    Telephone: 206-252-5810