Highline Public Schools kicked off the first day of the 2021-22 school year on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, with masked and socially-distanced students, teachers and staff.

“As we prepare for students to return to our schools this week, I have been reflecting on what is most important, and that is us,” Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield said. “As a team and community, we remain united in adapting to the COVID-related challenges we continue to face.”

As part of the reopening and an effort to provide continued in-person learning without major COVID-related disruptions, on Aug. 18, Gov. Inslee announced a new requirement for all K–12 school employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or obtain a religious or medical exemption by Oct. 18, 2021.

Some of the requirements include:

    • All staff and students must wear face coverings/masks, regardless of vaccination status.
    • Physical distancing requirements have been updated to support provision of full time in-person instruction.
    • Information on how schools should “layer” mitigation strategies for the best outcome is provided.
    • Quarantine protocols have been updated to reduce student exclusions from instruction.
    • Expanded information on diagnostic and screening testing is provided.

Here’s a video from the district showing some of the first day activities:

First Day of School | 2021 from Highline Public Schools on Vimeo.

“This school year will not be easy, but I have tremendous faith in us and our ability to provide our students with a safe, joyful learning experience,” Enfield added. “It will be imperfect and frustrating and perhaps even a bit scary at times. And together we will get through it.

“Finally, let’s always remember why we do what we do: our students. If ever there were a time to double down on our Highline Promise to know them by name, strength and need it is now. Let’s keep them at the center, and at the same time take care of us. I am here with you, and for you.”

“Together we are #TeamHighline.”