REYKDAL: Mandatory School Closures Will Save Lives
Today, Governor Inslee announced mandatory six-week closures for all schools within King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. Below is Superintendent Chris Reykdal’s statement.
OLYMPIA — March 12, 2020 — Our state is experiencing a rapidly expanding outbreak of a novel coronavirus, COVID-19, which has already led to many school closures.
Today, Governor Inslee announced mandatory long-term school closures for all schools within King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties.
The situation today is vastly different than it was last week, or even two days ago.
The decision to require these closures was not made lightly. However, this sacrifice is one we must make. Health officials are encouraged these closures will slow the spread of the virus, ultimately saving lives.
We know our frontline health care workers and first responders are critical to slowing the spread of this virus within our communities. We also know they can’t always come to work if they do not have childcare. It is our expectation that districts will make accommodations to provide childcare for our health care and first responder families.
We also expect districts to work with their local associations to continue compensating staff and and ensuring that critical work and professional development will continue. In addition, districts will continue providing meals to students who need them.
Schools are expected to close no later than Tuesday, March 17. At this time, they will remain closed through Friday, April 24.
Schools and families throughout the rest of the state should be actively engaging in contingency planning now for potential closures in their region.
My office will provide additional guidance to school districts as soon as possible.
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