Reopening Decision Making Framework

  • Gov. Jay Inslee, Superintendent Chris Reykdal, and the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH) released guidance for the phased reopening of schools for in-person instruction. This guidance included a tool for county health departments, local school boards, and superintendents to use in deciding when to transition from remote learning to a hybrid schedule and eventually to 100% in-person school.

    In this decision tree, state officials ask school district leaders and county health officers to consider three key elements when making a decision about resuming in-person instruction:

    • The level of community spread of the COVID-19 virus over 14 days.
    • The school district’s ability to implement health and safety measures.
    • The ability of the school district and local public health officials to monitor and respond to suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

    There are three categories of COVID-19 activity levels defined, with recommendations for remote, hybrid, or in-person instruction for each category.

    • If the transmission rate is high, defined as greater than 75 cases per 100K over 14 days, the recommendation is 100% remote learning.
    • If the transmission rate is moderate, defined as 25-75 cases per 100K over 14 days, then the recommendation is a mix of in-person and remote learning.
    • If the transmission rate is low, defined as less than 25 cases per 100K over 14 days, then schools may begin full time in-person instruction.

    Currently, our region is experiencing high levels of COVID-19 transmission, as defined by this guidance. This means the decision of most districts in the region, including Federal Way Public Schools, to begin the school year with 100% remote instruction is in line with this new state guidance.

    The decision tree can be found below and on the WSDOH's website at

Decision Tree Graphic