The Edmonds School District Wednesday night announced that it will close schools starting Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 10 due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
Here’s the letter from Superintendent Dr. Kristine McDuffy:
Dear Edmonds School District families,
I know the past two weeks have been stressful for many in our community because of the continued spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We’ve now come to the point, with the guidance of local and state health officials, county executives and the governor, that we must close our schools starting Monday, March 16, 2020. We plan to keep schools closed until at least Friday, April 10, 2020. We expect to hear from Gov. Jay Inslee tomorrow with more information, which could further extend the timeline of closing our schools.
Why is the district waiting until Monday, March 16, to close all schools?
We want to give our students, families and staff a day to prepare as best they can for this extended closure. This will allow students to take home essential personal items they need to have with them while schools are closed (i.e. medications). This will also allow teachers to make sure students take home educational resource tools, such as computers and textbooks.
The decision to close the district starting Monday was extremely difficult. We know that closing our schools will impact our most vulnerable families and we recognize that working families depend on the consistency and predictability of supports and services our schools offer. We also understand many daycares follow school district closures and may now implement a similar long-term closure. We are working with our community partners to determine how to best mitigate the impact closing schools will have on families in need of childcare. We will continue to update you with details as soon as we can.
What will the next two days look like for our district?
- Thursday, March 12, 2020
- The district will operate as a regular school day. That means Right At School and all other before and after-school programs will be open.
- Elementary schools are on an early release schedule.
- Elementary parent-teacher conferences are now CANCELED. This will allow our teachers time to prepare for critical planning that will take place on Friday.
- Friday, March 13, 2020
- This is already a scheduled non-student day.
- Staff will report to their buildings as planned for this non-student day. We will use the day for critical planning time to provide educational resources for our students during the long-term closure.
- Right At School will operate as planned.
We understand that each family’s circumstance is unique, and we respect the decisions made by each family when it comes to their student attending school.
Continuing to serve our students, families, and staff
As I mentioned in an earlier communication today, we are focusing on three priorities during this extended school closure:
- Food services
- Educational resources and support
Teams have been meeting for the past several days to address these needs. We will provide more details in the coming days on our plans to support these priorities.
Why is the district taking such drastic measures?
The reason why we must take such drastic measures is to do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and practice social distancing. These are unprecedented times and we want to make sure we as a school community are helping to keep our students, staff and families safe and healthy.
Additional information will be coming to staff and families in the coming days and I appreciate your attention to our communications. We will share information via email, as well as posting on our website and social media channels.
Please take care!
Dr. Kristine McDuffy