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March 17, 2020
For Immediate Release
Washtucna School District Providing Sack Lunch “Grab and Go” Breakfast and Lunches
While School Closed
All children age 18 and younger may receive free “Grab and Go” sack lunch meals at the front entrance of the school building.
Beginning Monday, March 23rd.
This is in response to the novel Coronavirus Covid-19.
The meals will be bagged and include breakfast and lunch items and be provided each weekday during closure. No identification is required though meals must be handed to a child and not to a parent. The district will not have the lunchroom open for seating and children will be encouraged to take the meals home.
Meals will be available for pickup from 10:45 a.m. to 11: 45 a.m. Students may walk up or drive up to be served. Pickup will only be available at the front entrance to the facility.
In response to the spread of corona virus in Washington State, Washtucna School District will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 though at least Friday, April 24, 2020. This closure was announced by Governor Jay Inslee today, March 13th,2020. All school activities including FBLA pizza sales and the Easter Egg Hunt will also be cancelled during this time frame. We will have regularly scheduled classes this Monday, March 16th. Further information will be availble to the students at that time.
Earlier this morning the school district superintendents and other school leaders in our ESD101 region met together to discuss a variety of issues related to COVID-19 and its impact in our state, nation and the world. We also, of course, discussed its impact on, and implications for, K-12 education in Washington state.
As you are well aware, earlier this week our Governor, Jay Inslee, announced a proclamation that required the closure of all school districts in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties – to take effect as of midnight on Monday, March 16 and continuing through at least midnight on Friday, April 24.
Quickly on the heels of that proclamation, school districts in numerous other counties in the state (Skagit, Whatcom, Clark, Thurston) reached the same decision to close. These decisions are made out of an abundance of caution, and are based on scientific recommendations that indicate the reduction of social interactions – or said another way, increasing social distancing – can ultimately have a beneficial impact on slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
During the time the superintendents and leaders were together, we had communication with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and, through OSPI, with the Governor’s office. With the number of counties in which school districts are now set to close – which, combined, include almost 70% of Washington’s K-12 enrollment – the Governor is being pressured to do what a neighboring state has done, which is to close ALL school districts in the state.
As of the time I am sharing this with you, I do not have specific details as to when that decision might be finalized nor when it will go into effect, but you deserve to be aware of this strong possibility. When and if our school district is required to close (the authority to make such broad decisions rests with both the Governor’s emergency powers and with the local regional health district), we will work closely with all of you as we chart a path forward.
As superintendents, we did request that we be given some amount of lead time to prepare for an extended closure, and we are committed to working together to the extent possible to determine how we can best attend to the nutritional needs of students; to child care needs for students and families who will need that; and whether we will be able to provide any continued educational opportunities in a way that is equitable for all the students and families we serve.
As COVID-19 evolves, it affects all of us. We are all learning about it, and we appreciate that we all come together to do that in collaborative and respectful ways – respecting that disruptions that may occur in the short term will have a beneficial effect in the longer term – for everyone. I will assuredly keep you updated with all relevant information and, while I recognize that many questions will occur, we are committed to addressing each of those to the best of our ability and resources.
In advance, thank you for always giving one another grace – and especially for doing so during an unprecedented challenge such as this public health issue.
Vance Alan Wing
Dear Parents and Community Members,
With recent events and serious concerns regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) front of mind for citizens
across our globe, nation and communities, we, as a school district recognize, and take very seriously, our
responsibility to be as informed as possible, and as prepared as possible, as this circumstance evolves. Of our
many commitments and priorities, the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff are paramount.
Over the past number of weeks we have been working closely with experts and government and educational
partners to learn as much as is known, and to be prepared as possible for the impacts and implications that
COVID-19 may have for schools and school districts. Expert information continues to be provided by the
public health and medical professionals associated with the Center for Disease Control, the Department of
Health, and the local Regional Health District(s) that has jurisdiction in our school district. We are also in
continual communication with the Office of Superintendent of Public lnstruction, the Office of the Governor, our
educational service district, and with fellow school districts and institutions of higher education in our region
and across the state.
As the science of this virus comes into sharper focus, and as its impacts continue to be felt in our state - albeit
more significantly in other areas of the state at the current time - we are mindful of the potential for its impact
to affect the normal operation of schools. In addition to our routine and now even increased attention to the
cleaning of our facilities and buses, we know that growing concerns may lead to recommended decisions that
could alter our regular operations. We respect that the Office of the Governor holds emergency powers and
authority in circumstances like this, and assuredly that public health agencies share in the authority relative to
making decisions about a pubtic school district's continued normal operation.
With a deep commitment to learning from the experts about the science and impacts of COVID-19, as well as
to the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff and the larger community, we are continuing to make
plans for a variety of outcomes and for any adjustments that may be needed or mandated. We will continue to
keep you informed as we move forward, and we appreciate and value your partnership with us as we travel
this new road.
March 7, 2020
At a meeting of the Whitman County Superintendents this past week with the Whitman County Health Department officials, we were asked to make changes to our practice of allowing our district students to return to school after 24 hours of being “fever free”. “Fever free” is the time from when the fever breaks and 24 hours after that time frame.
The health officials would now like us to change that time frame to 72 hours after the fever breaks or the student is “Fever Free”. We will begin following the 72 hour time frame beginning Tuesday, March 10th , or tomorrow.
Washtucna School District is currently addressing sanitizing our school by adding some custodial help to help in the sanitizing of areas, equipment and frequently touched facility items. We’ve also been able to place new sanitizer dispensers in the elementary and secondary hallways as well as the cafeteria.
Our teaching and support staff have been more active in assuring that their students as well as themselves, have been washing their hands regularly for an extended period of time as well as cleaning/sanitizing desks and sink areas frequently throughout the day.
If you have any questions, please contact us at your convenience.
Thank you for all you do for our students;)
Mr. Wing Vance Alan Wing
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Many programs for the children in our schools are provided at no cost to you. Our schools offer special programs such as speech therapy, physical and occupational therapy, Title/LAP and special education academic programs and preschool classes to children three years and older. Developmental screening and/or comprehensive assessments for children who are suspected of having a disability which could adversely affect their educational development are available at no cost to you. These services are available for persons between the ages of birth through 21 years age. Appointments or further information can be obtained by contacting the school office at 509-646-3401.
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