COVID-19 Update Archive

April 6 message

Dear SPS families and staff,

This is a tough day for the residents of Washington state. Today, Governor Inslee announced that school will not resume in person for the rest of the school year, in order to continue fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. We know you have many questions, and we will share information as soon as we can.

What we can tell you now is that free meals for all students and childcare for the children of first responders and healthcare workers will continue. Students will continue to receive instruction virtually, yet we want you to know that our supports for families, students, and staff will not stop. We are all in this together.

We will continue to provide updates on spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds, as well as by email and text. Our next message will be Monday, April 13, unless urgent information requires us to reach out sooner.

Take care of yourself and your family. 


Sincerely,

Shelley

 

Shelley K. Redinger, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Spokane Public Schools

April 3 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Yesterday, Governor Inslee extended his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order until May 4. That means our buildings are also closed until that time.

Next week, we will observe Spring Break. It’ll feel quite different than Spring Breaks of the past, but we hope that you are able to find many moments of joy and relaxation. As a reminder, free meals for all students and child care for children of first responders and healthcare workers will continue. Starting Monday, April 6, parents/guardians can pick up grab & go meals without their student present.

If you need help or support during this time, we are here for you. Please call 354.5900.

We know that stay-at-home situations range from busy and stressful to quiet and tedious. If it works for your family, we’d like to request your help thinking of names for our three new middle schools and the new On Track Academy building. This could be a fun research project for your student or part of a family discussion. Find details and how to submit your ideas here.

During Spring Break, we will not send any messages unless there is urgent information we need to share. We’ll be looking forward to April 13 when teachers and students will continue their learning at home together.

Please continue to check spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds for the latest news.

Closure Resources

  • Free meals: Available Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-noon at 24 sites. Our mobile meals routes serve the areas of Arlington, Audubon, Cooper, Hutton, Regal, Sheridan and Stevens. 
  • Learning at home: Sample schedules, tech tools, learning at home guides and resources. Learn about expectations on our FAQ about learning at home.
  • Laptops: Check out a laptop and find details about internet options.
  • Homeless support: Help for families who are experiencing temporary housing, housing instability, or homelessness.
  • How to helpSign up to volunteer, learn how to donate. 
  • Stories: Our SPS: Still Learning blog shares stories from around the district during the COVID closure.
  • Questions? Contact your student’s teacher about homework. For assistance regarding school matters, contact your school office and leave a message, or call the SPS administration building at 354-5900. Your call will be returned promptly.

Stay safe and stay healthy!

Spokane Public Schools

 

April 1 update

Dear SPS families,

We know it’s not easy, but we hope you are finding positive ways to manage this new lifestyle. If you need help, here are a few ideas for staying safe and healthy at home.

Knowing that every day brings something new, SPS School Board members reviewed a proposal to offer students flexibility regarding credits and graduation requirements. The proposal involves providing students options to receive a pass/fail or a letter grade for each course on their high school transcript, as well as the ability for seniors to apply for a credit waiver. The plan is dependent on upon guidance that is currently being finalized by the State Board of Education. We will continue focusing on how best to support students, and will share information as it becomes available.

An opportunity to ask questions happens tomorrow as SPS staff join a live Q&A about learning from home, digital resources and more April 2, at 4 p.m. on KREM 2.

And two reminders:

  • SPS will observe Spring Break next week, April 6-10. Free meals for all students and child care for children of first responders and healthcare workers will continue.
  • Our district has an acceptable use policy for technology. There is still an expectation of appropriate behavior, even when learning in a virtual classroom.

Please continue to check spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds for the latest news. We’ll send updates via email and text on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Closure Resources

  • Free meals: Available Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-noon at 24 sites. Our mobile meals routes serve the areas of Arlington, Audubon, Cooper, Hutton, Regal, Sheridan and Stevens. 
  • Learning at home: Sample schedules, tech tools, learning at home guides and resources. Learn about expectations on our FAQ about learning at home.
  • Laptops: Check out a laptop and find details about internet options.
  • Homeless support: Help for families who are experiencing temporary housing, housing instability, or homelessness.
  • How to helpSign up to volunteer, learn how to donate. 
  • Stories: Our SPS: Still Learning blog shares stories from around the district during the COVID closure.
  • Questions? Contact your student’s teacher about homework. For assistance regarding school matters, contact your school office and leave a message, or call the SPS administration building at 354-5900. Your call will be returned promptly.

Please continue to do your part to practice social distancing and avoid all non-essential contact. Take care of yourself and your family. These are challenging times for all of us. We are here to support you!

Spokane Public Schools

 

March 30 update

Dear SPS families,

Though our primary job is education, thousands of students and families depend on us for basic services. We currently provide 4,200 breakfast and lunch packs each weekday at our grab & go and mobile meals sites, and are providing childcare for children of first responders and healthcare workers. These supports will continue next week during Spring Break, April 6-10.

At a special board meeting this evening, SPS School Board members acknowledged the need in our community and a desire to continue providing meals in the same manner, and childcare at two sites, during Spring Break. Learning expectations during Spring Break will be similar to what students have experienced in past years.

Please continue to check spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds for the latest news, and know that we will also send regular updates via email and text on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Meals: Any child age 0-18, or who is currently enrolled in high school, can stop by one of 24 sites Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-noon to pick up a breakfast and lunch pack. We also have mobile meals routes in the areas of Arlington, Audubon, Cooper, Sheridan and Stevens. Starting Wednesday, April 1, we will have routes in the areas of Hutton and Regal too.

Homeless support: Our HEART program is still fully operational and ready to support families who are experiencing temporary housing, housing instability, or homelessness. Contact district liaison Sarah Miller at sarahmi@spokaneschools.org.

Learning at home: The SPS Learning at Home page contains sample schedules, guides and resources. Check our FAQ about learning at home for more about what to expect during this time.

Laptops: Families who would like to check out a laptop can fill out the form and also find details about internet options on our laptop checkout page.

School playgrounds: All play structures at schools and parks are closed at this time. Please keep all children off play equipment during the COVID closure. While playfields and athletic fields are currently open, please stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times.

How to help: 
If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Community Engagement at 509.354.7882. Check our website for ways to support the SPS Emergency Relief fund financially.

Questions?
 For questions related to homework assignments, please contact your student’s teacher. For assistance regarding school matters, contact your school office and leave a message, or call the SPS administration building at 354-5900. Your call will be returned promptly.

Please continue to do your part to practice social distancing and avoid all non-essential contact. Be extra kind to yourself and patient with others. We are here for you!

Spokane Public Schools

March 29 update

March 27 update

Dear SPS families,

As we finish up our ninth official day of COVID closure, we want to thank you -- our families—as well as educators, support staff and school administrators, for ensuring our students have the essential services and learning supports they need. We also appreciate the many community partners who have reached out to offer assistance in so many ways. Together, we will find a way through this challenging time.

Please continue to check spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds for the latest news, and know that we will also send regular updates via email and text. Starting next week, expect messages on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Meals: NEW! Starting Monday, March 30, school buses will deliver meals along routes that reach areas of our community with the highest need. The routes are in the areas of Arlington, Audubon, Cooper, Sheridan and Stevens. We are listening to our community and adding meal availability as we are able. Check our website for mobile meal stop locations and times. This delivery service is for any child!

Meal distribution also continues as usual at 24 sites Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-noon. Any child age 0-18, or who is currently enrolled in high school, can stop by to pick up a breakfast and lunch pack. Find a list of all sites and more details here. As we launch new services, we listen, learn and make necessary adjustments so we can provide the best and safest supports to our community.

Homeless support: Our HEART program is still fully operational and ready to support families who are experiencing temporary housing, housing instability, or homelessness. Contact district liaison Sarah Miller at sarahmi@spokaneschools.org or find more information on our website.

School playgrounds: The Spokane Regional Health District has closed all play structures at schools and parks to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please keep all children off play equipment at during the COVID closure. While playfields and athletic fields are open at this time, please stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times.

Learning at home: Wondering what your student is expected to do, or how teachers should be communicating with your student? We have answers to frequently asked questions about learning at home. If you haven’t yet, take a minute to check out our online resources.

Class of 2020: The State Board of Education met yesterday to discuss credits and diplomas. District leadership is evaluating that information, in addition to discussing graduation ceremonies and prom, and will have answers for you in the coming days.

Class of 2033: Kindergarten registration is paused until April 27.  

Laptops
: Families who would like to check out a laptop can fill out the form and also find details about internet options on our laptop checkout page.

We miss you, students! Earlier this week, we asked teachers and staff from across SPS to send us a video message for their students. We’ve already received so many! We’ll share them over the coming weeks on our new blog, SPS: Still Learning, where we’re collecting positive stories from around the district during the COVID closure.

How to help: If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Community Engagement at 509.354.7882. Check our website for ways to support the SPS Emergency Relief fund financially.

Questions?
For questions related to homework assignments, please contact your student’s teacher. For assistance regarding school matters, contact your school office and leave a message, or call the SPS administration building at 354-5900. Your call will be returned promptly.

Please continue to do your part to practice social distancing and avoid all non-essential contact with others. We are all in this together. Our next message will be Monday. Have a great weekend!

Spokane Public Schools

March 26 update

Dear SPS families,

We are here for you! To comply with the governor’s “stay home, stay healthy” order, SPS is committed to working remotely, while continuing to provide essential services and remaining accessible to the public.

Please continue to check spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds for the latest news, and know that we will also send regular updates via email and text. Starting next week, expect messages on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

For questions related to homework assignments, please contact your student’s teacher. For assistance regarding school matters, contact your school office and leave a message, or call the SPS administration building at 354-5900. Your call will be returned promptly.

Learning at home: Teachers are available via phone, email, Teams and other platforms to connect with students and parents, answer questions, share materials, clarify directions, and assist with access to digital resources. If you haven’t yet, take a minute to check out our online resources. Learn about online learning resources such as MobyMax, Lexia and Dreambox here. Parents and guardians: Please remind students to check their school email for homework and updates from their teacher(s). 

Class of 2020: District administrators are still discussing graduation ceremonies, prom, credits and diplomas. The State Board of Education also met today on these topics and we will have answers for you as soon as they are available.

Laptops
: Families who would like to check out a laptop can still fill out the form at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout. We can currently offer one device per student and up to two per family. They are distributed based on need and availability, as are mobile hotspots for those without home wi-fi. Wireless internet access is now available for students and staff in the parking lots of several SPS schools. Find details on the Laptop Checkout page.

Meals
: Any child age 0-18, or who is currently enrolled in high school, can stop by any of our 24 meal distribution sites Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-noon to pick up a breakfast and lunch pack. Find a list of all sites and more details here.

Free rides: Until further notice, STA will not collect fares for its services. Read more about STA’s temporary emergency practices here.

School playgrounds: Spokane Regional Health District ordered the closure of all play structures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Please ask your children to not climb on the playground equipment and to leave the caution tape up around the play structures. Playfields and athletic fields are open at this time, encouraging appropriate social distancing.  

How to help: 
If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Community Engagement at 509.354.7882. Check our website for ways to support the SPS Emergency Relief fund financially.

Class of 2033: Kindergarten registration is paused until April 27.  

Please continue to do your part to practice social distancing and avoid all non-essential contact with others. We are all in this together.

Spokane Public Schools

March 25 update

Dear SPS families,

Thank you for working with us through this unusual time. We appreciate your support and patience as we continue refining different ways to provide essential services to our community. This is new for all of us. As we develop routines and discover tools to help us navigate this unfamiliar landscape, remember that we are here for you. We miss you! 

SPS is committed to keeping you informed and sharing information as it becomes available. We will continue to post the latest to spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds, and provide regular updates via email and text. 

School board meeting: Our regularly scheduled school board meeting happens tonight at 7 p.m. as a Zoom virtual meeting. The agenda includes a COVID-19 update, and the adoption of 2020-21 School Board Budget Priorities. Join the Zoom meeting here or find dial-in details on our Board Docs page. If you have trouble accessing Zoom, please contact Rochellem@spokaneschools.org.

Free rides: Beginning March 26, STA will not collect fares for its services until further notice. Read more about STA’s temporary emergency practices here.

Office hours: To comply with the governor’s stay-at-home order, schools will no longer have office hours beginning March 26. For questions related to homework assignments, please contact your student’s teacher. For assistance regarding school matters, contact your school office and leave a message, or call the SPS administration building at 354-5900. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Learning at home: Teachers are available via phone, email, Teams and other platforms to connect with students and parents, answer questions, share materials, clarify directions, and assist with access to digital resources. If you haven’t yet, take a minute to check out our online resourcesParents and guardians: Please remind students to check their school email for homework and updates from their teacher(s). 

Laptops: Families who would like to check out a laptop can still fill out the form at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout. We can currently offer one device per student and up to two per family. They are distributed based on need and availability, as are mobile hotspots for those without home wi-fi. Wireless internet access is now available for students and staff in the parking lots of several SPS schools. Find details on the Laptop Checkout page.

Meals
: Any child age 0-18, or who is currently enrolled in high school, can stop by any of our 24 meal distribution sites Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-noon to pick up a breakfast and lunch pack. Find a list of all sites and more details here.

School playgrounds: Spokane Regional Health District ordered the closure of all play structures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Please ask your children to not climb on the playground equipment and to leave the caution tape up around the play structures. Playfields and athletic fields are open at this time, encouraging appropriate social distancing.  

How to help: If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Community Engagement at 509.354.7882. Check our website for ways to support the SPS Emergency Relief fund financially.

Class of 2020
: We are currently discussing graduation ceremonies, prom, credits and diplomas and hope to have answers for you in coming days.

Class of 2033: Kindergarten registration is paused until April 27.  


Spokane Public Schools

March 24 update

Dear SPS families,

Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order officially begins tomorrow at 5:30 p.m., and will last for at least two weeks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We will continue providing essential services including meal distribution, learning supports, and child care for first responders and healthcare workers. We urge you to do your part as well -- social distancing is the most important thing we can do to fight the pandemic. We all need to work together. You should:

  • Stay at home and avoid all non-essential contact with others.
  • Limit trips for groceries, gas and other essentials.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times, if you must go out.

We are taking things day by day, and will continue to post the latest to spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds, and provide regular updates via email and text.

Office hours: To comply with the governor’s stay-at-home order, the last day for office hours at schools and the SPS administration building will be Wednesday, March 25. For questions related to homework assignments, please contact your student’s teacher. For assistance regarding school matters, contact your school office and leave a message, or call the SPS administration building at 354-5900. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Learning at home: Teachers are available via phone, email, Teams and other platforms to connect with students and parents, answer questions, share materials, clarify directions, and assist with access to digital resources. If you haven’t yet, take a minute to check out our online resourcesParents and guardians: Please remind students to check their school email for homework and updates from their teacher(s). 

Special ed: If you have questions about special education services during the school closure, join us for a virtual Q & A session tomorrow, March 25, from 2-3 p.m. We will provide updates at the top of the hour and take questions after that. Access the meeting through the link on our Resources for Special Ed page. If you have questions in the meantime, please contact Mollie at molliew@spokaneschools.org. 

Laptops: Families who would like to check out a laptop can still fill out the form at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout. We can currently offer one device per student and up to two per family. They are distributed based on need and availability, as are mobile hotspots for those without home wi-fi. Wireless internet access is now available for students and staff in the parking lots of several SPS schools. Find details on the Laptop Checkout page.

Meals
: Any child age 0-18, or who is currently enrolled in high school, can stop by any of our 24 meal distribution sites Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-noon to pick up a breakfast and lunch pack. Find a list of all sites and more details here.

School playgrounds: Spokane Regional Health District ordered the closure of all play structures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Please ask your children to not climb on the playground equipment and to leave the caution tape up around the play structures. Playfields and athletic fields are open at this time, encouraging appropriate social distancing.  

How to help: If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Community Engagement at 509.354.7882. Check our website for ways to support the SPS Emergency Relief fund financially.

Class of 2020
: We are currently discussing graduation ceremonies, prom, credits and diplomas and hope to have answers for you in coming days.

Class of 2033: Kindergarten registration is paused until April 27. 


Spokane Public Schools

March 23 update

Dear SPS families,

With the governor’s order this evening for Washington residents to “stay home, stay healthy,” we wanted to reassure you that our meal distribution and childcare services will continue without disruption tomorrow, March 24. We will work diligently to ensure proper social distancing at all times while providing these essential services.

With such a fluid situation, we are taking things day by day, and will continue to provide updates to you as soon as we are able. Please continue to check spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds for the latest information. We will also continue our updates via email and text. 

Learning at home: Teachers are available via phone, email, Teams and other platforms to connect with students and parents, answer questions, share materials, clarify directions, and assist with access to digital resources. If you haven’t yet, take a minute to check out our online resources. Parents and guardians: Please remind students to check their school email for homework and updates from their teacher(s).

Special ed: If you have questions about special education services during the school closure, join us for a virtual Q & A session on Wednesday, March 25, from 2-3 p.m. We will provide updates at the top of the hour and take questions after that. We’ll provide a link on the Resources for Special Ed page prior to the meeting. If you have questions in the meantime, please contact Mollie at molliew@spokaneschools.org.

Laptops: Families who would like to check out a laptop can still fill out the form at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout. We can currently offer one device per student and up to two per family. They are distributed based on need and availability, as are mobile hotspots for those without home wi-fi. Wireless internet access is now available for students and staff in the parking lots of several SPS schools. Find details on the Laptop Checkout page.

Meals: Any child age 0-18, or who is currently enrolled in high school, can stop by any of our 24 meal distribution sites Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-noon to pick up a breakfast and lunch pack. Find a list of all sites and more details here.

School playgrounds: Spokane Regional Health District ordered the closure of all play structures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Please ask your children to not climb on the playground equipment and to leave the caution tape up around the play structures. Playfields and athletic fields are open at this time, encouraging appropriate social distancing. 

Staying healthy: The importance of social distancing cannot be emphasized enough – that means keeping at least six feet between you and other people. Every single reduction in the number of physical contacts you have per day -- with relatives, friends and co-workers -- will have a significant impact on COVID-19’s ability to spread. At the same time, be sure to maximize your virtual connections. Remember, you are not in this alone. We all need each other now more than ever.

How to help: 
If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Community Engagement at 509.354.7882. Check our website for ways to support the SPS Emergency Relief fund financially.

Office hours
: For now, all schools will continue to hold office hours. Check your school’s website for details. 

One final note: Kindergarten registration is paused until April 27.

 

Spokane Public Schools

 

March 23 update, part 1

With the governor’s order this evening for Washington residents to “stay home, stay healthy,” we wanted to reassure you that our meal distribution and childcare services will continue without disruption tomorrow. With such a fluid situation, we are taking things day by day, and will continue to provide updates to you as soon as we are able. Please continue to check spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds for the latest information. We will also continue our updates via email and text. More to come.

March 22 update

Dear SPS families,

We often talk with students about having a “growth mindset.” People who have a growth mindset believe, in part, that hard work paves the path to success, and that mistakes are an essential part of learning. As we all adjust to an unusual and ever-changing environment, we are being called on use new tools, to figure out different ways to connect, and to get creative in how we learn and teach. We might not find success on the first or fourth try, so we’ll need to be patient and keep trying. We are all learning together.

Learning at home: Teachers will be available this week via phone, email, Class Dojo and other platforms to connect with students and parents, answer questions, share materials, clarify directions, and assist with access to digital resources. If you haven’t yet, take a minute to check out our online resources.

Special ed: If you have questions about special education services during the school closure, join us for a virtual Q & A session on Wednesday, March 25 from 2-3 p.m. We will provide updates at the top of the hour and take questions after that. We’ll provide a link prior to the meeting. If you have questions in the meantime, please contact Mollie at molliew@spokaneschools.org.

Laptops: Families who would like to check out a laptop should fill out the form at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout. We can currently offer one device per student and up to two per family. They are distributed based on need and availability, as are mobile hotspots for those without home wi-fi. NEW: Wireless internet access is now available for students and staff in the parking lots of several SPS schools. Find details on the Laptop Checkout page.

Meals: Any child age 0-18, or who is currently enrolled in high school, can stop by any of our 24 meal distribution sites Monday-Friday to pick up a breakfast and lunch pack. NOTE: New hours starting tomorrow are 11 a.m.-noon. We will also have meals at three new locations: Audubon, Bemiss and Cooper. Find a list of all sites and more details here.

School playgrounds: On Friday, Spokane Regional Health District ordered the closure of all play structures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Please ask your children to not climb on the playground equipment and to leave the caution tape up around the play structures. Under current orders, playfields and athletic fields can remain open at this time, encouraging appropriate social distancing. 

Staying healthy: The importance of social distancing cannot be emphasized enough – that means keeping at least six feet between you and other people. Every single reduction in the number of contacts you have per day -- with relatives, friends and co-workers -- will have a significant impact on COVID-19’s ability to spread. 

How to help: 
If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Community Engagement at 509.354.7882. Check our website for ways to support the SPS Emergency Relief fund financially.

Office hours: All schools will continue to hold office hours this week. Check your school’s website for details. 

Please continue to check spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds for the latest information. We will also continue our updates via email and text. 


Spokane Public Schools

March 20 update

Dear SPS families,

It has been a week of change and adjustment. We want to express our sincere appreciation to you -- our families and students -- for your patience and support as we navigate this extraordinary situation together. As we head into the weekend, please know that and we are continuing to problem solve, create, and refine the ways we will learn together and support you until we can reopen our doors. Your school community is still here for you.

Learning at home: Next week teachers will be available to connect with students and parents, answer questions, share materials, clarify directions, and assist with access to digital resources. If you haven’t yet, take a minute to check out our online resources.

Meals: Any child age 0-18, or who is currently enrolled in high school, can stop by any of our 24 meal distribution sites Monday-Friday to pick up a breakfast and lunch pack. NOTE: New hours starting Monday are 11 a.m.-noon. We will also have meals at three new locations: Audubon, Bemiss and Cooper. Find a list of all sites and more details here.

School playgrounds: Today, Spokane Regional Health District ordered the closure of all play structures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Under current orders, playfields and athletic fields can remain open at this time, encouraging appropriate social distancing.

How to help: If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Community Engagement at 509.354.7882. Check our website for ways to make a financial donation to the SPS Emergency Relief fund.

Laptops: Families who would like to check out a laptop should fill out the form at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout. We can currently offer one device per student and up to two per family. They are distributed based on need and availability, as are mobile hotspots for those without home wi-fi. 

Office hours: At this time, all schools will continue to hold office hours next week. Find the hours on your school’s website.

Communication: Please continue to check spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds for the latest information. We will also continue our updates via email and text. We plan to send our next message to families on Sunday. 

Spokane Public Schools

March 19 update

Dear SPS families,

spokane we got this  

Day by day, week by week, we will get through this together! 

daily schedule Learning at home: Our teachers and support staff have been planning and prepping this week to start working regularly with students on Monday. Teachers will be connecting with students to guide their at-home learning. If you haven’t yet, take a minute to check out our online resources. A third-grade teacher at Logan is continuing his students' favorite part of the school day -- storytime -- in a new way. Read his story and others on our new blog SPS: Still Learning.

meal distribution Meals: Thank you to Nutrition Services staff and the many volunteers who are working to assemble and distribute hundreds of meals each day at 21 sites around the district. We learned a lot about the needs of each site today and will make the necessary adjustments for tomorrow. Any child age 0-18, or who is currently enrolled in high school, can stop by any site from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to pick up a breakfast and lunch pack Monday through Friday. Find sites and more details here.

School playgrounds: Feel free to play, but remember to keep your distance from each other – at least six feet. Please use hand sanitizer or wash your hands before and after playing.

How to help: If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Community Engagement at 509.354.7882. Check our website for ways to make a financial donation to Spokane Public Schools’ Emergency Relief fund.

Childcare: Thank you to our Express staff and everyone who worked so hard to get two childcare sites opened today for the children of first responders and essential health care workers. We are working to open four more sites on Monday. This service is being offered as a last-resort option to support our community’s emergency personnel. As such, it is an exception to the state’s requirement for school closures. Express childcare is suspended during this closure.  

laptops
Laptops: Knowing that many SPS families don't have computers at home, Ed Tech, ITSC and Tech Services staff quickly mobilized and created a process for connecting the laptops with those who need them most. Families who would like to check out a laptop should fill out the form at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout. At this time, we can offer one device per student and up to two per family. They are distributed based on need and availability, as are mobile hotspots for those without home wi-fi. Thank you to everyone who is working so hard to support our families with technology!

Office hours: All schools will continue to hold office hours this week so families can stop by to pick up academic materials or medications. Find the hours on your school’s website.

Communication
: Every day brings something new. Thank you for your patience as we continue developing plans to provide support during the closure of schools. Please continue to check spokaneschools.org and our social media feeds for the latest information. We will also continue our updates via email and text.

 

Spokane Public Schools

March 18 update

Dear SPS families,

We are looking forward to expanding our services for families tomorrow, and we thank you for your patience as we continue developing plans to provide support during the closure of schools. Please continue to check spokaneschools.org for the latest information.

Meals

Tomorrow, Thursday, March 19, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. SPS will begin offering grab-and-go meals – a breakfast and a lunch together – for any child age 0-18, or who is currently enrolled in high school, at the following locations throughout the district: Arlington, Balboa, Finch, Garfield, Grant, Holmes, Hutton, Lidgerwood, Lincoln Heights, Logan, Longfellow, Moran Prairie, Mullan Road, Ridgeview, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Stevens, Shaw MS, Rogers HS, Shadle Park HS and Ferris HS. Visit the site that is most convenient for you.

Meals will be offered Monday through Friday. It is a federal meal program requirement that students must be present to pick up a meal. Our teams are working to create the safest exchange possible, using proper social distancing protocols. We anticipate that meals will be available at all elementary schools starting Monday, March 23. Stay tuned.

Childcare

Tomorrow, March 19, we will open two childcare sites to the children of first responders and essential health care workers. This service is being offered as a last-resort option to support our community’s emergency personnel. As such, it is an exception to the state’s requirement for school closures. Express childcare is suspended during this closure.

Learning at home

Teachers and support staff have worked tirelessly to assemble a thorough collection of resources for families to use during the school closure as they see fit. These are available at spokaneschools.org/LearningAtHomeResources. In the coming week teachers will be connecting with students and parents, answering questions, sharing materials, clarifying directions, and assisting with access to digital resources.

Laptop checkout

To support student learning for families without access to computers at home, SPS is checking out laptops during the school closure to students based on need and availability. At this time, we can offer one device per student and up to two per family. Find a request form at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout.

These laptops use your home Wi-Fi. If you do not have home internet, several free options are listed at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout. If these options do not work for you, SPS is checking out hotspots based on need and availability through the request form listed above.

Office hours

All schools will continue to hold office hours this week so families can stop by to pick up academic materials or medications, if needed, if they weren’t able to do so Monday. Find the hours on your school’s website.

Health reminders

The importance of social distancing cannot be emphasized enough – that means keeping at least six feet between you and other people. Every single reduction in the number of contacts you have per day -- with relatives, friends and co-workers -- will have a significant impact on COVID-19’s ability to spread. Also remember to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

We know this is a challenging time. Families rely on school routines so they can tend to their own lives, knowing their children are safe, loved, and learning. Thinking about days and weeks without that can feel overwhelming. Please know we are doing our best to make decisions that will support and help us all find our way through this together. Take care of yourself and each other.


Spokane Public Schools

March 17 update

Dear SPS families,

Our schedules have been upended and every day brings a new adjustment. Please know that we are here to help you as much as we can during this tumultuous time.

There are many things you can do to help make sure your children feel connected, cared about, and loved:

  • Pay attention and be a good listener.
  • Allow them to ask questions.
  • Encourage positive activities.
  • Model self-care, set routines, eat healthy meals, get enough sleep, exercise, and take deep breaths to handle stress.

Thank you for your patience as we continue developing plans to help our students and families during closure of all SPS schools through at least Friday, April 24. Please check spokaneschools.org and our social media accounts for the latest information, and know that we will also send regular updates via email and text.

Office hours: All schools will hold office hours this week so families can stop by to pick up academic materials or medications, if needed, if they weren’t able to do so Monday. Find the hours on your school’s website.

Meals: On Thursday, March 19, SPS will begin offering grab-and-go meals – a breakfast and a lunch together – for any child aged 0-18, or currently enrolled in high school, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at these locations throughout the district: Arlington, Balboa, Finch, Garfield, Grant, Holmes, Hutton, Lidgerwood, Lincoln Heights, Logan, Longfellow, Moran Prairie, Mullan Road, Ridgeview, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Stevens, Shaw MS, Rogers HS, Shadle Park HS and Ferris HS. Visit the site that is most convenient for you.

Meals will be offered Monday through Friday. It is a federal meal program requirement that students must be present to pick up a meal. Our teams are working to create the safest exchange possible, using proper social distancing protocols. Our plan is to add Audubon, Bemiss and Cooper on Friday and all sites beginning Monday. 

Laptop checkout: To support student learning for families without access to computers at home, SPS is checking out laptops to students based on need and availability. At this time, we can offer one device per student, and up to two per family. Find a request form at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout.

These laptops use your home Wi-Fi. If you do not have home internet, several free options are listed at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout. If these options do not work for you, SPS is checking out hotspots based on need and availability through the request form listed above.

Learning at home: Teachers and support staff have worked tirelessly to assemble a thorough collection of resources -- schedule ideas, sample daily plans and learning at home guides – for families to use during the school closure as they see fit. These are available at spokaneschools.org/LearningAtHomeResources. Structure and routine are key to helping reduce anxiety, but we recognize that nothing about this is routine. In the coming days teachers will be connecting with students and parents, answering questions, sharing materials, clarifying directions, and assisting with access to digital resources.

Child care: We have been meeting regularly to finalize details for offering child care to children of first responders and essential healthcare workers, per Governor Inslee’s request. At this time, we can only provide child care to families who fall into these categories and who have no other alternative for child care. We are reviewing our rosters of current Express families to determine who fits within the governor’s criteria. We plan to open 10 sites, with 25 children at each, so that we are able to maintain proper social distancing. Our goal is to open some of these sites on Thursday, March 19, with the expectation of having all 10 sites open by Monday, March 23. 

This is a very fluid situation, but we will bring you more information – including site locations – tomorrow.
 
How to help
: If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Engagement at 509-354-7882.

Thank you to all the staff and community partners who have come together to help provide essential services and resources for families.

Now, it is more important than ever to be kind, to be patient and to help each other. We will get through this together.

 

Spokane Public Schools

March 16 update

Dear SPS families, 

With new information surfacing each day, we are working hard to provide you timely updates. As much as we’d like to be able to lay out a plan all the way through April 24, the best we can do is let you know about what to expect in the coming week.

Thank you for your patience as we continue developing plans to help our students and families during this school closure. Please check spokaneschools.org and our social media accounts for the latest information, and know that we will also send regular updates via email and text.

Beginning tomorrow, March 17, all Spokane Public Schools sites will be closed for students through at least Friday, April 24. All school sites will hold office hours this week so that families can stop by to pick up academic materials or medications, if needed, if they weren’t able to do so today. Find the hours on your school’s website.

Meals: On Thursday, March 19, SPS will begin offering grab-and-go meals – a breakfast and a lunch together – for any child aged 0-18, or currently enrolled in high school under the age of 21, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at 16 locations throughout the district: Arlington, Balboa, Finch, Garfield, Hutton, Lidgerwood, Lincoln Heights, Longfellow, Moran Prairie, Mullan Road, Ridgeview, Roosevelt, Shaw MS, Rogers HS, Shadle Park HS and Ferris HS. Visit the site that is most convenient for you. Meals will be offered Monday through Friday. Our goal is to expand the number of sites next week. 

Laptop checkout: To support student learning for families without access to computers at home, SPS is checking out laptops to students based on need and availability. At this time, we can offer one device per student, and up to two per family. Find a request form at spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout.

These laptops use your home Wi-Fi. If you do not have home internet, several free options are listed on our Laptop Distribution webpage (spokaneschools.org/LaptopCheckout). If these options do not work for you, SPS is checking out hotspots based on need and availability through the request link on the laptop distribution webpage.

Learning at home: We have assembled a thorough collection of resources -- schedule ideas, sample daily plans and learning at home guides – for families to use during the school closure as they see fit. These are available at spokaneschools.org/LearningAtHomeResources. Structure and routine are strong elements to reducing anxiety, but we recognize that nothing about this is routine. In the coming days teachers will be connecting with students and parents, answering questions, sharing materials, clarifying directions, and assisting with access to digital resources.

Child care: Express child care is closed Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, March 20, so we ask our Express families to please make alternate arrangements for that time. Based on the governor’s request, our initial child care plan will prioritize child care support for children of first responders and medical workers. We will have an update on Wednesday, March 18, regarding our ability to provide child care to existing Express families.

Volunteering: If you or your organization would like to support SPS students, families or staff by donating resources or time, please call the SPS Office of Family and Engagement at 509-354-7882.

Graduation requirements: The Class of 2020 has access to the Expedited Appeals Waiver which allows students to waive the current assessment graduation requirement to pass both the ELA and Math Smarter Balanced Assessment. Future guidance will be provided by the state regarding making up instructional days with regard to credits needed for graduation.

Testing: The state superintendent’s office (OSPI) has canceled all state testing for the 2019-20 school year.

End of school: At this time, OSPI will grant emergency waivers to allow districts to end the school year on Friday, June 19, at the latest.

Stay healthy! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people. 

We will miss seeing you at school.

Spokane Public Schools 

March 16 update: meals & tech

Dear SPS families,

We are continuing to get plans in place to help our students and families during the upcoming school closure. The newest information concerns meals and technology. 

Meal distribution 

On Thursday, March 19, SPS will begin offering grab-and-go meals – a breakfast and a lunch together – for any child aged 0-18, or currently enrolled in high school under the age of 21, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at these locations:

  • Arlington
  • Balboa
  • Finch
  • Garfield
  • Hutton
  • Lidgerwood
  • Lincoln Heights
  • Longfellow
  • Moran Prairie
  • Mullan Road
  • Ridgeview
  • Roosevelt
  • Shaw MS
  • Rogers HS
  • Shadle Park HS
  • Ferris HS 

Meals will be offered Monday through Friday. Our goal is to expand these sites next week.

Laptop distribution

To support student learning for families without access to computers at home, SPS is checking out laptops to students based on need and availability. At this time, we can offer one device per student, and up to two per family. Find a request form at spokaneschools.org.

We’ll have more information for you tonight, and are posting updates to spokaneschools.org and our social media accounts.

 

March 15 update

Dear SPS families,

Thank you for your patience during this unusual time as we continue developing plans to help our students and families during the upcoming school closure. Please check spokaneschools.org and our social media accounts for the latest information, and know that we will also send regular updates via email and text.

teacher preps materials Beginning Tuesday, March 17, all Spokane Public Schools sites, including preschools located at those sites, will be closed for students through at least Friday, April 24. Schools will be open tomorrow, March 16, to serve as a transition day. Many of our teachers and principals worked throughout the weekend preparing educational materials for their students. We encourage students to attend school Monday to pick up those materials and talk with their teachers about how they can continue their learning at home. However, we respect the decision of any family who chooses to keep their child home.

Also, parents and guardians must retrieve their student’s medications on Monday if they'll be needed during the closure. Otherwise, they can leave them at school until students return.

Academic support: This week, staff will be transitioning and preparing for the various ways they will support students during the school closure, and learning more about virtual tools. In the coming weeks, teachers will be prepared to connect with students and parents, answer questions, share materials, clarify directions, and assist with access to digital resources.

Laptops will be available for students to check out based on need and availability. Internet access will be supported by providing hotspots and coordinating with community partners. Check the SPS website March 17 to learn about the check-out process.

     ⇒ Information on providing special ed services during the COVID-19 closure

Child care: Express child care will be open on Monday, March 16, and then closed Tuesday, March 17-Friday, March 20, so we ask our Express families to please make alternate arrangements for that time. We plan to share more information tomorrow about child care services we will provide while schools are closed. Based on the governor’s request, our initial plan prioritizes child care support for children of first responders and medical workers. We will have an update on Wednesday, March 18, regarding our ability to provide child care to existing Express families.

Meals: SPS will distribute grab-and-go meals – a breakfast and a lunch -- every weekday at sites throughout the city starting Monday, March 23. All SPS students can participate. We will share information about distribution sites in the coming days. 

Graduation requirements: The Class of 2020 has access to the Expedited Appeals Waiver which allows students to waive the current assessment graduation requirement to pass both the ELA and Math Smarter Balanced Assessment. Future guidance will be provided by the state regarding making up instructional days with regard to credits needed for graduation.

Testing: The state superintendent’s office (OSPI) has canceled all state testing for the 2019-20 school year.

End of school: At this time, OSPI will grant emergency waivers to allow districts to end the school year on Friday, June 19, at the latest.

We will continue to provide new information as soon as we are able via email, text, social media and spokaneschools.org. 

Spokane Public Schools

 

March 14: Positive test for COVID-19

March 14, 2020

Dear SPS families,

Today, Spokane Public Schools was notified by Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) that a Bemiss Elementary parent tested positive for COVID-19. They are currently being treated from home.

The students are currently not showing symptoms, but they did attend school on Monday and Tuesday of last week. The parent did not enter the school. SRHD is in the process of notifying those who were in contact with the students and their parent. SRHD says those who were not in close contact with the parent are at low risk of infection. However, if you are concerned, please contact your healthcare provider.

Our custodial staff will go in tomorrow, Sunday, March 15, to thoroughly disinfect the school. Buses that serve Bemiss Elementary were cleaned Friday afternoon and will be cleaned again early Monday morning.

Bemiss will be open Monday, March 16, to give staff and families a transition day to adjust to the upcoming closure that will last from Tuesday, March 17 to Friday, April 24. We encourage students to attend Monday in order to pick up educational materials. However, we respect the decision of any family who chooses to keep their child home.

Stay connected

We are committed to providing you with information through regular updates via email, text and these platforms:

More information on COVID-19 is available from:

Spokane Public Schools

Saturday, March 14


Dear SPS families,

As we continue developing plans to help our students and families during the upcoming school closure, we will share information through regular updates via email, text, our website (spokaneschools.org) and social media.

Beginning Tuesday, March 17, all Spokane Public Schools sites, including preschools, will be closed for students through at least Friday, April 24. Schools will be open Monday, March 16, to serve as a transition day for staff and families and allow them to adjust to the closure. We encourage students to attend school Monday to pick up educational materials. However, we respect the decision of any family who chooses to keep their child home. Also, parents and guardians must retrieve their student’s medications on Monday if they'll be needed during the closure, or they can leave them at school until students return.

Child care updates

We have been working this weekend to develop a plan for providing child care while schools are closed. The governor has specifically requested that we provide this service and to prioritize support for children of first responders and medical workers. We plan to start with 10 sites and may be able to expand that number based on community need. Groups will be limited to 25 students, which will allow us to practice social distancing in ways that a school full of students cannot.

Express child care will be open on Monday, March 16, and then closed Tuesday, March 17-Friday, March 20, so we ask our Express families to please make alternate arrangements for that time. We will have an update on Wednesday, March 18, regarding our ability to provide child care to existing Express families.

Academic support

On Monday, teachers will have materials for students to take home or access online. Our current focus is on giving students opportunities to maintain learning and allow for exploration, not instruction provided online by staff. Responding to this situation is fluid and we will adjust our plan to support students as information and additional guidance from OSPI becomes available.

Special education teachers and related service providers also will have materials for students based on each student’s IEP goals. These materials will be in addition to any educational materials that are already provided by general education teachers. Our goal is to make sure each family has what they need to support their student(s) during the closure. 

     ⇒ Information on providing special ed services during the COVID-19 closure

Providing meals for students

Beginning Monday, March 23, SPS will distribute grab-and-go meals every weekday at sites throughout the city. A breakfast and lunch can be picked up together. All SPS students can participate. Meal distribution sites will be shared with families in the coming days. 

Talking to your student about COVID-19 and school closures

This is a stressful time for everyone, especially for students. Let them know it’s natural and okay to be worried. Make yourself available to listen to their concerns and provide honest responses. These resources can provide further guidance:

We will provide new information as soon as we are able and will continue to be in regular contact via email, text, social media and spokaneschools.org. We expect the next update to be Monday.


Spokane Public Schools

 

Friday, March 13: second update

March 13, 2020

Dear SPS families,

Following Governor Inslee’s emergency declaration this afternoon, all Spokane Public Schools will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17, through at least Friday, April 24, 2020 in an effort to aggressively slow the spread of COVID-19. This includes all instruction, athletics, activities and clubs. The declaration affects all public and private schools in Washington. We are committed to keeping you updated with information through regular updates via email, text, our website (spokaneschools.org) and social media.

All our schools will remain open Monday, March 16, to allow a transition day for staff and families to adjust to the closure. We encourage students to attend on Monday to pick up educational materials. However, we respect the decision of any family who chooses to keep their child home on Monday. In addition, parents and guardians must retrieve their student’s medications on Monday.

We know this extended closure will have a profound impact on our entire community, students, families, and staff – which is what makes this action so difficult.

SPS is in regular contact with local and state officials to ensure we address our community’s needs. We will also be working in partnership with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) on what this extended closure means for the school year calendar, with a particular eye on making sure our seniors graduate on time. As soon as we have more information, we will share it with you.

Supporting Learning

To promote student learning, we will focus our support on providing resources and materials to give students opportunities to learn at home. This includes digital tools and other materials that individual teachers may send home with students. Engaging in these activities provides an opportunity for students to remain active with their learning until instruction and services provided by staff continues.

Our current plan is to give students opportunities to maintain learning and allow for exploration, not instruction provided online by staff. This will include digital tools such as MobyMax, Blackboard, Office 365, and other materials that can be brought home or accessed online. Responding to this situation is fluid and we will adjust our plan to support students as information and additional guidance from OSPI becomes available.

     ⇒Information on providing special ed services during the COVID-19 closure

Teachers will review resources and prepare any materials that will be sent home with students on Monday. If your student does not plan to attend school on Monday, please contact their teacher(s) regarding educational materials.

Information and resources will be provided on the SPS website when school closures begin Tuesday.

Child care for working families

We recognize this extended closure will put a tremendous burden on working families, including those who are now looking for long-term child care. Our priority is to provide limited child care services – up to 25 kids per site -- for health care workers and first responders who have children in our elementary schools. Additionally, families who are already enrolled in Express will still be able to access this program. Based on community need, we may be able to expand the number of sites and children we can help.

We will share new information regarding site locations and how to enroll on Monday, March 16.

Providing meals for students

Beginning Monday, March 23, Spokane Public Schools will distribute grab-and-go meals every weekday at sites throughout the city. A breakfast and lunch can be picked up together. All SPS students can participate. Meal distribution sites will be shared with families in the coming days.

Thank you

In the last few hours, many in the community have reached out to offer their support services and volunteer their time to help get valuable resources to our students during this closure. It’s time for Spokane to do what it does best, and that is help one another. Most of us have never experienced this level of life disruption and the only way we can get through it is to help our friends and neighbors.

Please know that we are working to get you up-to-date information and will continue to be in regular contact via email, text, our website and social media.

Thank you for helping us as our community pulls together and supports one another.

Spokane Public Schools

 

Friday, March 13 update from the superintendent

Good afternoon SPS staff & families,

With recent events and serious concerns regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) surfacing for citizens across our nation and across the globe, we as a school district recognize, and take very seriously, our responsibility to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students, staff, families, and the community.

This afternoon Governor Inslee has issued a state-wide requirement for all public schools to close from Tuesday, March 17, until Friday, April 24. Health specialists believe this essential measure is a necessary effort to aggressively slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We know this extended closure will have a profound impact on our entire community, students, families, and staff – which is what makes this action so difficult. In response to this unprecedented event, our focus is supporting students and families during the period of time schools are closed.  

We will provide resources and materials to offer students opportunities to learn at home. This includes digital tools and other materials that individual teachers may send home with students. Engaging in these activities provides an opportunity for students to remain active with their learning until instruction and services provided by staff is continued. Responding to this situation is fluid and we will adjust our plan to support students as information becomes available.

Spokane Public Schools is prepared to provide childcare services for parents working in health care roles, first responders, and vulnerable populations. We will also be providing meals to all SPS students.

We will share details regarding student learning opportunities, childcare services, and nutrition services with you via email, text, on the district website and through social media.

The heart of Spokane is the care we show toward each other as a community. During this time our partnerships and connections are more important than ever as we bond together to navigate the days ahead.

Shelley K. Redinger
Superintendent

 

Friday, March 13

Extracurricular Activities Canceled

Given the SRHD press conference recommendations regarding activities, we are suspending all extra-curricular sports and activities immediately.

State Testing

OSPI is canceling all state testing for the 2019–20 school year. This includes the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS), the Washington Access to Instruction and Measurement (WA-AIM), and WIDA Alternate ACCESS for English learners.

If schools are not impacted by closures, they are encouraged to continue administering the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) until the end of the testing window, March 27.

This is subject to change based on additional closure announcements.

Graduation Requirements

The Class of 2020 has access to the Expedited Appeals Waiver which allows students to waive the current assessment graduation requirement to pass both the ELA and Math Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Future guidance will be provided by the state regarding making up instructional days with regard to credits needed for graduation.

Thursday, March 12

SPS Families and Staff,

There are currently no cases of COVID-19 that are linked to any SPS schools, and SRHD is not recommending school closures. As of today, SRHD is not recommending the cancellation of school-related travel.

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 is 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 Spokane Regional Health District that has jurisdiction in our school district.

Effective immediately, per state and local government guidance, SPS is currently restricting in-building school-related activities involving groups larger than 250 people. We are taking measures toward social distancing by not mixing people outside our school community. This limitation does not include regular school day instruction and meals, as those only include students and staff who are already within the same building.

The safety and education of our students will continue to be our focus moving forward. Our health services team is coordinating on a daily basis to ensure proper protocols are in place for schools, and custodial staff are working diligently deliver ongoing cleaning services.

Consistent with our current practice, educational services will be provided to individual students in the event it is determined they need to be absent from school for an extended period of time. This involves providing work for students who are absent, as teachers may provide materials electronically via Blackboard, Office 365, or through hardcopies, which can be picked up at the school or other designated locations.

We will work closely with the state and local government agencies to make any determination regarding potential school closures. SPS provides a number of resources to offer opportunities for students to learn at home during a school closure. This includes digital tools such as Moby Max, Blackboard, Office 365, and other materials that can be brought home or accessed online. These resources provide an opportunity for students to remain active with their learning until instruction can be continued in schools.

This is a fluid situation and we will continue to adjust our plans as things evolve. For additional information and regular updates, please visit our district website (spokaneschools.org).

Spokane Public Schools

Wednesday, March 11

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 that are linked to any SPS schools, and SRHD is not recommending school closures. As of today, SRHD is not recommending the cancellation of school-related travel.

Tuesday, March 10

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 that are linked to any SPS schools, and SRHD is not recommending school closures. As of today, SRHD is not recommending the cancellation of school-related travel.

Monday, March 9

We are continuing our regular communication with the Spokane Regional Health District as we monitor the COVID-19 situation. Please know that student, staff and community health and safety are always our top priority.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 that are linked to any SPS schools, and SRHD is not recommending school closures.

While following SRHD’s recommendations, our goal is to keep school open as long as it is safe to do so. Besides educating students, public schools also provide critical social services for thousands of students and families. Many SPS families rely on our schools and staff for basic needs, including regular meals, health care, and child care.

As of today, SRHD is not recommending the cancellation of school-related travel. Tournaments, festivals and other sporting events will be held as scheduled. High school athletics are governed by the WIAA, a state-wide organization. They will make the final determination on athletics.

Please continue to wash your hands often with soap and water, and stay home when you are sick.

Friday, March 6

Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, staff and community. We are continuing to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation, and are committed to keeping you updated on our response to this public health crisis. We are coordinating closely with the Spokane Regional Health District and will look to them for guidance in determining whether a school closure is necessary.

Please check this page (spokaneschools.org/covid) and social media feeds for daily updates. We plan to send updates twice a week to families through our BB Messenger notification system, so please be sure your contact information is current. Should COVID-19 affect our schools directly, we will send updates daily.

Prevention

Hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the best way to prevent the spread of illness and disease, including COVID-19. Learn more about hand washing and proper technique in this video.

You can also help by:

  • Staying home when you are sick. On the recommendation of Spokane Regional Health District, we are now asking students and staff who have a fever (100.4 degrees or higher) to be fever free for 72 hours (instead of the usual 24) before they return to school.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with your elbow or with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Following CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

Keeping our schools clean

Our custodial staff provides cleaning and stocking of critical areas, including all restrooms, on a daily basis. In response to this situation, custodial staff have increased their focus on keeping soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, and other cleaning materials stocked throughout the day. Day custodial staff are also prioritizing the disinfection of high-touch areas like doorknobs, faucets and handrails in their daily workload.

Many classrooms are currently provided with spray bottles to be used for the cleaning of surfaces during the day, and spray bottles are available from the school custodian upon request.

Transportation

Our school bus contractor, Durham School Services, is adding additional cleanings as an added precaution to provide safe travel to and from school.

Resources

Thursday, March 5

Tonight, SPS Health Services Director Becky Doughty will be a panelist on KREM 2’s Facts Not Fear: Coronavirus virtual town hall, along with several other public health experts. During the town hall, the panelists will answer questions about coronavirus and help address the community reaction, anxiety, and fear surrounding this evolving situation.

The Facts Not Fear virtual town hall will broadcast live on KREM 2 tonight from 6:30-7:30 p.m. It will also be streamed live on krem2.com.

New protocol for fevers

On the recommendation of Spokane Regional Health District, we are now asking students and staff who have a fever (100.4 degrees or higher) to be fever free for 72 hours (instead of the usual 24) before they return to school.

Travel protocols

For students traveling with school groups, our Health director has provided these protocols for trip leaders:

  • Trip leads should get a couple of masks from the office before departure.
  • If a student becomes ill while on the trip, separate the ill student from the well students and staff (if there are students sharing rooms, move well students to other rooms so that the ill student is the sole occupant of the room).
  • Notify the parent.
  • Call Health Director Becky Doughty for further guidance.
  • When transporting students back to Spokane, have the ill student wear a mask and sit alone in the front seat of the bus—there is a wide space between the front seat on the loading door side.

COVID-19: No laughing matter

COVID-19 is a serious health issue, and is something that should not be joked about. Pretending to have COVID-19 symptoms takes attention away from students who may need help from a nurse, and ultimately creates unnecessary worry for families, staff and students.

Wednesday, March 4

Hand sanitizer: The district is awaiting the delivery of a wall-mounted hand sanitizer product that will be installed at a few strategic locations in each school. That said, this is not intended as a comprehensive nor a permanent solution. The district’s procedures do not typically allow or support the use of hand sanitizers, primarily because it can be a respiratory irritant to those with sensitivities. The district is currently making an exception to this procedure, and will thus be allowing use of the products on a temporary basis. Hand sanitizers purchased or brought by staff will be allowed during this period as well.

Please note that it will be a few days before the hand sanitizer units are installed, and we don’t know how long supplies will be available given the current demand. If you are interested in donating hand sanitizer, you can do so at your neighborhood school office.

Tuesday, March 3

  • If you keep your student home from school, it’s important to call the attendance line and share the specific reason for the absence – particularly if your child has flu or respiratory symptoms.
  • School buses will soon have hand sanitizer available for student use.
  • Students will be reminded to wash their hands particularly after using public items like computers, and science/fitness equipment.
  • As of today, no school travel is suspended. Tournaments and other sporting events will be held as scheduled.

Custodians and cleaning schedules

Each school has a day custodian who works a day shift. They are prioritizing the disinfection of high-touch areas: doors and door handles, stair handrails, sink faucet handles, and other places. They are also focused on keeping soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, and other cleaning materials stocked throughout the day.

In addition to the day custodians, SPS has 22 roaming staff custodians who back-fill absences and perform supplemental cleaning activities in response to special needs. It is very common throughout the cold and flu season for the roaming custodians to also be assigned to schools having high absentee rates, for the purpose of performing supplemental cleaning and disinfection.

Many classrooms are currently provided with spray bottles to be used for the cleaning of surfaces during the day, and spray bottles are available from the school custodian upon request. This has been the standard practice of the district for many years. Last year’s custodial staff reduction included classroom floors being placed on a 2x per week cleaning schedule, but there was no change in the practices related to surface cleanings within the classroom.

Monday, March 2

It has been a weekend full of new developments regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As of this writing, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Spokane County. However, with several area districts deciding to close this week due to COVID-19 concerns, we wanted to provide you with updated information about how SPS is responding to this ever-changing health situation.

SPS departmental leaders and other essential personnel are meeting daily to share information and discuss contingency plans in the event the district is affected by COVID-19. We will post updates to the SPS homepage.

Spotting symptoms

If staff see someone with one or a combination of COVID-19 symptoms – fever, cough and shortness of breath – they will send them to the nurse’s office immediately. It’s important to separate that person from well students and staff. Our health services department will then notify Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) for further instruction.

Please help limit the spread of disease by keeping sick children at home. When you call the school to report your child’s absence, please be specific about reason for the absence.

Closing schools

Closing a school or the entire district is a decision we do not take lightly, but the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. If a case of COVID-19 is suspected at an SPS school(s), we will work closely with the SRHD and will follow their professional guidelines. Once a decision is made, we will immediately notify families of the affected school(s).

Parents and guardians are always encouraged to consider their own situation and make their own decision about whether to keep their student home. Students are excused from school when parents so request.

Disinfecting SPS buildings

Our custodial staff provides cleaning and stocking of critical areas, including all restrooms, on a daily basis. In response to this situation, custodial staff have increased their focus on keeping soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, and other cleaning materials stocked throughout the day. Day custodial staff are also prioritizing the disinfection of high-touch areas like doorknobs, faucets and handrails in their daily workload.

In the event that coronavirus is suspected at a school, the custodial staff will thoroughly disinfect the entire building. School buses that serve the effected schools will also be thoroughly disinfected.

Academic resources during extended absences

SPS is ready to academically support students who are out of school for extended periods of time.

Teachers can provide instructional materials electronically via Blackboard, Office 365 or email, or can send paper copies via US mail. Secondary students have access to all core course curriculum (English, Math, Science, Social Studies) and possibly other courses they are registered for via Blackboard. Elementary students can keep up with their English language arts, science, social studies and math through MobyMax.

What you can do

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, you can help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Staying home when you are sick.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with your elbow or with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Following CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

Resources

The CDC regularly updates their COVID-19 webpage with the latest information, along with helpful visual aids:

NPR also shared a comic that can help explain this public health situation to younger children.

For localized updates, continue to check the Washington Department of Health’s COVID-19 webpage as well.

Friday, Feb. 28

SPS continues to monitor this evolving public health situation. We work side-by-side with Spokane Regional Health District and will follow their professional guidelines.

You can keep our schools safe for everyone by sharing information with your children and fellow community members.

The Centers for Disease Control site is a good place to learn about the coronavirus disease:

Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Symptoms

For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Prevention

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.