While schools remain closed to encourage students and families to practice self quarantining and social distancing, Edmonds School District officials said they are working to accommodate the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
In response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s proclamation to close all public and private schools in the state until April 27, district officials have assured families that they will continue to prioritize food service, child care and educational resources.
However, families will have to wait until next week to receive educational resources to continue students’ education at home. Due to school buildings undergoing “deep cleaning” through March 20, the district has reduced the number of staff allowed in schools to prepare materials to be sent to students, said district spokesperson Harmony Weinberg.
“Following the decision for only specific staff members to work the rest of the week, we had to shift our plan to distribute learning resources to families,” she said. “Our goal is to begin distribution of these again next week. Many resources were provided via email to families last week.”
District leaders are conducting additional planning and are working with employee groups — like the teachers union — to form an idea of what staffing and actual work will look like for employees in the coming weeks, Weinberg said.
“Our district leaders are using this time to plan and be as proactive as possible during these rapidly changing times,” she said.
With the changes made Monday for most district staff to remain home, the project to provide Chromebooks and mobile hotspots is also on hold.
Another concern the district has been facing is ensuring students who rely on school meals continue to receive them. The district previously announced that it would prioritize providing meals for children up to 18 years old, and children are required to be at the location to receive them. No paperwork is required to receive a meal and adults can also purchase them for $5.
According to a statement from Superintendent Kris McDuffy’s office Tuesday, more than 1,000 students were served meals at one of the 22 locations.
Additionally, the district is offering free meal delivery service for families unable to access one of the pick-up locations. Families in need of meal delivery services are encouraged to take a survey on the district website.
“Some of our families are not able to get to our meal pick-up sites for various reasons,” McDuffy said. “We want to make sure we are able to deliver meals to those who need them.”
For the latest times and meal distribution locations, visit the district’s Family Support website. A virtual map has been added to help families find the location that best serves their needs.
The district is also continuing its efforts to provide free child care for health care staff and first responders.
According to the statement Tuesday, the district is working with Gov. Jay Inslee’s office, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, school superintendents across the state, public health advisers and local community leaders to provide childcare options.
District officials are planning to share more information regarding child care Monday, March 23.
For more information, families are encouraged to check the district’s website.
–By Cody Sexton