Several students from Rainier Jr./Sr. High School conducted an early morning rally Monday, Jan. 11 at the school district campus entrance urging the Rainier School District to resume in-person instruction.
"On behalf of the majority of the district students, we are urging the school board and administrators to find a sense of urgency to get us back into the classrooms, we can't just keep waiting," Rainier Jr//Sr. High School Body President Reese Schimmel said. "I believe our students need a voice in what happens for the rest of the year. We want to be back in the building. Open up."
Interim Superintendent Joseph Hattrick and a team of district administrators met the students at the rally.
"We fully support the students," he said. "One of our goals as educators is to help students take part in the process and navigate life and this is great self-advocacy. Our message to the students is that we are completely on their side and we support them."
Hattrick said he would be presenting his proposed roll outs to resume in-person instruction to the Rainier School Board during a special meeting Monday night, Jan. 11.
"In that I hope to get a message out to the public about some of the un-shared information from the governor's office," Hattrick said. "There is some information that I want to clarify."
According to Hattrick, one of the main pieces of that un-shared information is a misconception of the school districts' local control.
"While the governor has said the districts have local control in re-opening, that is not necessarily the case," he said. "The biggest piece is with the House bill that was passed for liability coverage. That goes away if we don't follow the metrics, so it is a mixed message."
Getting the district staff vaccinated to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is also needed, Hattrick said.
Hattrick said he is encouraging district residents to contact elected officials.
"To get everybody working together to get kids back into the school buildings," he said.