Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Opinion >  Letters

Reopening schools safely

COVID-19 infection rates in Spokane County are shooting up like a SpaceX rocket.

The United Kingdom, faced with the same autumn spike, flattened their curve by prioritizing schools before business. Dr. Lutz’s recent firing — against the objections of nearly every school district superintendent in Spokane County — illustrates we’re taking a non-ideal approach. COVID-19 is not spreading while students are in our schools. COVID-19 spreads during extracurricular activities and events when participating in extended close contact with others. I would argue the more time students spend in school wearing masks, while separated and monitored by professionals, the safer we all are. This then frees parents/guardians to return to the workplace- resulting in a speedier economic recovery.

For students returning to in-school instruction; spaces might be made effectively safe by prioritizing subjects taught while better utilizing existing school spaces. For example: gyms, libraries, art, band/choir, weight, meeting and faculty rooms can be adapted to safely-spaced learning environments. We can all agree students learn better in school than through isolated online instruction. That said, prioritizing safety during in-school instruction may involve staggered classroom schedules, lunches, and breaks to minimize extended close contact between students.

This is a Band-aid solution, though. It requires more teachers and classified staff on duty to accommodate ideal smaller class sizes. Administrators will be stretched thin, so I encourage our substitutes, para-educators, student teachers, and former educators to step forward for our students. Our schools can be effectively and safely reopened- and each of us will benefit.

Blake Albretsen

Spokane Valley


Letters policy

The Spokesman-Review invites original letters on topics of public interest. Your letter must adhere to the following rules:

  • No more than 250 words
  • We reserve the right to reject letters that are not factually correct, racist or are written with malice.
  • We cannot accept more than one letter a month from the same writer.
  • With each letter, include your daytime phone number and street address.
  • The Spokesman-Review retains the nonexclusive right to archive and re-publish any material submitted for publication.
Unfortunately, we don’t have space to publish all letters received, nor are we able to acknowledge their receipt.
Click here to learn more.

Submit letters using any of the following:

Our online form

Mail: Letters to the Editor
The Spokesman-Review
999 W. Riverside Ave.
Spokane, WA 99201

Fax: (509) 459-3815
Questions?: (509) 459-5430