SEATTLE — This school year is looking very different across the country. Some students are learning virtually, some are physically in school and some are doing both.
So how does Washington state compare?
"I think we are way ahead of other states when it comes to remote learning," said Chris Reykdal, superintendent of public instruction in Washington. "And we are light years ahead of where we were in the spring."
Reykdal said around 90% of students in Washington are learning remotely. There are some rural counties and private schools allowing students to return in person.
Without a national standard, reopening plans are inconsistent across the country.
According to research by Education Week, four states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have statewide closures in effect. In some states, in-person learning is encouraged, while in others, state leaders are leaving it up to individual districts to decide.
Districts that are reopening for in-person instruction are already facing challenges. In rural Georgia, a student tested positive for COVID-19 one day after classes resumed in the Cherokee County School District. Approximately 1,200 students and staff were ordered to quarantine. Two high schools decided to close their doors until at least August 31.
"What we are seeing in Georgia and other states is not functional," Reykdal said. "We can't have kids being back for a week, out for two weeks, and going back and forth. No one wants that."
Reykdal says he wants to see counties report no more than 75 new COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 residents before districts can consider returning kids to the classroom.