Coronavirus District Update March 13, 2020
Skagit County public schools know that the past few weeks have been stressful for many in our communities because of the continued spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. We are grateful to all of our staff and families for navigating this situation with our school districts.
Following the guidance of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee this afternoon, all Skagit County public schools will be closed beginning next Tuesday, March 17 through at least April 24, 2020.
The reasons for this recommendation include the following:
● The state’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to expand
● Schools have a significant number of staff members and students who fall within the high-risk categories
All Skagit County public schools will be open Monday, March 16. Parents should retrieve any of their child’s medications and other essential personal items that they need to have with them while schools are closed.
Closing schools now will help to significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Although children are not likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19, they can spread it to others who are at high risk. We expect to receive further guidance from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in the coming days and will provide an update as soon as we are able.
We want to assure the community that this is not a decision we have made lightly or without considerable thought and consideration. As superintendents, we regularly make challenging decisions and this has been the most difficult in any of our careers. We recognize and understand the impact this will have on our families, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
Additionally, we are working on plans to determine what childcare options we may be able to offer for first responders and healthcare workers. Each school district will also be evaluating how we can best meet the nutritional needs of our students. We will be sharing more information about these items as soon as plans and details are finalized.
Additional information will be coming to staff and families in the coming days for each school district. We will share this information via email, as well as posting on school websites and social media channels as applicable. Please remember, this is an unprecedented event and is evolving rapidly.
The legislature is considering action to address graduation timelines and course credit. However, it is understood at this time that the school year will not continue past June 19, 2020. We will know more as time goes on. We are working with the Governor, OSPI, Superintendents across the state, public health advisors from across the state along with our local community leaders and administration to do what is best for our students, staff, families and community members. At this time, reducing the spread of this disease is the best strategy for all.
Carl Bruner, Superintendent