Wenatchee elementary classes to go in-person starting April 19

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WENATCHEE —The Wenatchee School Board voted narrowly Monday night to allow its students in kindergarten through 5th grade to reenter classrooms full-time starting April 19 for the rest of the year, while sixth through 12th grades remain in a mix of in-person and remote learning.

The vote was 3-2, adopting recommendations made by Superintendent Paul Gordon. Board chair Laura Jaecks cast the tiebreaking vote, with boardmembers Martin Barron and Julie Norton voting in favor and Maria Iniguez and Michelle Sandberg voting no.

Gordon warned the board that the schools are already strained by staff shortages, and an ongoing increase in COVID-19 infections in the community could force the district to change direction in a hurry.  

“I understand that there will be frustration with me,” Gordon said. “I fully accept that. But I do believe this is the best decision for our organization.”

Wenatchee school have been in a “hybrid” mixture of remote and in-person classes for months, maintaining distance among students due to the COVID-19 pandemic.