Edmonds School District provides update on coronavirus response; student petition circulates to close all schools

As a student-led Change.org petition circulates to close all Edmonds School District schools due to coronavirus concerns, the district says it is doing everything it can to keep the school community safe.

“We have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools,” the district said in its regularly distributed newsletter, emailed to families and community members Tuesday. “The entire Edmonds School District Emergency Management Team is meeting daily, often multiple times a day, to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our students, staff and families healthy.”

The district says it has modified its influenza pandemic plan for COVID-19 “and is ready when the Snohomish Health District, the Department of Health and/or the Center for Disease Control indicate the need for school social distancing, dismissal or closures,”

“Our district will continue to ensure equitable access to education for all students,” the newsletter message said. “If we are directed by public health to close school we will make up for missed days at the end of the school year.”

Since Gov. Jay Insless has declared a State of Emergency, the message noted, it could allow the district to waive school makeup days if schools are closed.

“At this time, the district is not going forward with a distance learning plan, as 20 percent of our students would not have access to that type of technology,” the message said.

Meanwhile, based on recent information from health officials that the virus stays on surfaces for just a few hours, the district said it is “adding custodial staff in buildings to help clean high- volume surfaces and door handles several times a day. Masks are being deployed to schools for those presenting with flu-like symptoms and we are encouraging frequent handwashing.”

You can check the ESD webpage or FAQ page for the latest information, or visit the state Department of Health’s website.

The change.org petition, started by an unnamed Edmonds School District student, was signed by 4,350 people as of Tuesday night. It says that although the virus may not be particularly lethal to many of the district’s students, “who are young and healthy,” it could affect those students who are medically fragile, as well as students who “go home to vulnerable adults, such as disabled parents, grandparents and infant siblings.”

“We do not write this petition to get out of our school work,” the petition states. “We expect our teacher to provide us with assignments at home, and we resolve to work hard to complete those assignments while school is closed.

“We also do not want to put ourselves and our parents in the position of choosing between our education and our health.”


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