In-Person and Remote Learning Updates

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In-Person and Remote Learning Updates 

Hybrid learning level 4

The Olympia School District started the 2020-21 school year with a 100% distance learning model, with plans for a leveled approach to in-person learning. 


With the approval of the Thurston County Health Officer, and adhering to all health and safety guidelines, the district began serving small groups of students in person in mid-September 2020. In February 2021, the district transitioned its youngest learners to hybrid in-person learning.


Transition to Hybrid In-Person Learning

Updated April 16, 2021


Elementary, middle and high school students currently attending hybrid in-person learning two days a week will attend school in person four days a week starting on Monday, May 3, provided COVID-19 transmission rates continue to support additional students on campus.


Effectively, the number of students on school campuses will double when the district combines two cohort student groups (Groups A and B) that have been meeting for in-person learning two separate days each week.


The ability to combine the two groups and move to four days a week of in-person learning is possible since the state recently adopted the new federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for schools. Health officials recently decreased separation between students to at least 3 feet (reduced from 6 feet), which allows for more students to be present in the classroom and thus increase the number of days in-person students can attend each week.


Students learning in-person will attend school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will continue to be remote learning days. Depending on the school and/or grade level, this day may include time set aside for student advisory groups, social-emotional learning, elementary specialists, and staff professional learning communities.


School start and end times will remain the same in all grade levels. Full-time distance learning will continue for families that have chosen to have their students learn remotely. 


Specifics about the shift to four days of in-person learning, including information for families who wish to switch from full-time remote to in-person learning, are included in an email sent to all OSD families on April 16. A copy of that message is included on the "Messaging to Families" webpage.


The expansion to four days a week of in-person learning will follow several months of hybrid in-person learning in which students have attended school on campus two days a week and spent other days learning remotely.

In-person hybrid learning expanded on March 29 to include grades 10, 11 and 12. This completed the district's transition to hybrid learning for all grade levels, preschool through grade 12.


The grade levels above followed the transition to hybrid in-person learning for grades 7, 8 and 9 on March 22; grade 6 on March 15; grades 3, 4 and 5 on March 8; grades 1 and 2 on February 22; and preschool and kindergarten on February 1.


Learn more about safety/mitigation protocols, attendance, protocol for lunch and/or recess, grading, and sample elementary and secondary remote and hybrid learning schedules in a Hybrid Learning Plan 1.0 document. This document will be updated to reflect any future changes in local or state guidance pertaining to in-person learning.


The Olympia School District has also produced two COVID-19 training videos for families:




2020-21 District Reopening Plan




COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols

The Olympia School District is committed to supporting learning environments that protect student and staff health and safety.


To learn how the district has prepared its schools, support buildings and school buses to welcome students, staff and visitors in accordance with established health and safety requirements, view the following:



Note: The Olympia School District invited consultants this year from the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS), and Infection Prevention & Antimicrobial Consultants, LLC (IPAC) to inspect the district’s sites, policies, processes and best practices regarding our pandemic response plan. Since then, the district has reviewed and implemented best practices and recommendations from the three agencies that align with local, state and federal regulatory agencies.


Current Learning Model Status - Stage 2 Hybrid, Learning Level 3


Understanding the 5 levels shown on dial

There are 5 levels in three stages pictured on the learning model dial posted at the top of this webpage. Learn more about each of the 5 levels. Helpful resources in the decision-making process include:



Thurston County Public Health and Social Services




Washington State Department of Health




Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction




Gov. Jay Inslee Messages

On December 16, 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee recommended new state guidance that would effectively accelerate the ability for schools statewide to serve more students in person.






  • COVID-19 Community Testing Sites (Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, February 4, 2021)
  • Washington Exposure Notification - WA Notify (Washington State Department of Health)
  • COVID-19 Risk Assessment Dashboard - Washington State Department of Health. Data source to identify COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population over 14 days. Used as the basis for state's decision tree for determining provision of in-person learning.
  • COVID-19 Data Dashboard - Washington State Department of Health. Several key indicators searchable by county.
  • History of Guidance and Resources, including links to OSD workgroups formed last spring to plan for the start of the 2020-21 school year (membership, meeting agendas and meeting summaries); video recordings of virtual town hall meetings held in July to gather feedback from students, staff and community members; Academic and Operational Fall Contingency Planning Committees (membership, meeting agendas and meeting summaries); OSD survey results; and information shared by local, regional and state agencies.