COVID-19 Update Archive

Oct. 23 message

Dear SPS Families,

Thank you for your continued efforts to fill the 2020-21 school year with grace, growth and learning. Your partnership will be instrumental as we work to safely and successfully transition our students to in-person learning. 

Update: In-person Instruction

At the Oct. 28 Special Meeting, district leadership will provide an update to School Board members on the process of returning kindergarten students to in-person instruction, and will discuss the potential phasing in of 1st graders. Register to attend the virtual board meeting here.

Daily Health Check

We need your help! Each day, parents/guardians are required to complete the health check for each of their students attending school in person. Please complete the check at least 30 minutes before the start of school to help ensure a successful start to the school day.

Safety Protocols

Please do your part to keep our community safe and healthy: wash your hands often, be mindful of social distancing, and wear a face covering. Find our safety protocol videos here.

COVID-19 Dashboard

Our COVID-19 Dashboard provides school-by-school numbers of:

  • confirmed positive cases
  • individuals who have had a close contact in a school building with a confirmed case
  • individuals in quarantine
  • confirmed cases of transmission originating inside a school
  • confirmed cases of transmission originating outside a school

Free Meals through June 21

The USDA extended the Free Summer Meals Program through the end of the 2020-21 school year. That means 5-day meal kits will continue to be free to children 18 and younger all year. Find pickup times and locations, mobile meals routes and menus here.

NOTE: Though families do not have to fill out a free and reduced-price meal application to receive meals this year, it’s still important to fill out an application to ensure schools receive the state and federal grant funding that’s based on application completion rates. 

Please drive safely if you have to be out in today’s kick-off to winter, and remember to vote by Nov. 3!

Thank you for your continued support.


Spokane Public Schools

Oct. 5 message for Kindergarten Families

Dear Parents/Guardians of Kindergarten Students,

We are excited to welcome kindergartners back for in-person learning starting Wednesday, Oct. 7th.  Following the guidance of state and local health officials, we have planned for a slow and methodical return to in-person instruction for our youngest learners. This will provide opportunities to carefully train and acclimate students to new safety protocols.

See what students can look forward to when they return to school in this short video. We also have a full schedule of activities ready for kindergarteners on the days they are learning at home.   

Kindergarten School Schedule

  • Wednesday, Oct. 7 – Group A
  • Thursday, Oct. 8 – Group B
  • Friday, Oct. 9 – Group A
  • Monday, Oct. 12 – Group B
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13 – Group A
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14 – Group B
  • Thursday, Oct. 15 – Group A
  • Friday, Oct. 16 – Group B
  • Monday, Oct. 19 – All kindergarteners attend together.

Safety Protocols

SPS staff continue to work hard to ensure the safety and health of students and families.  

  • Health Check: Please practice using the student health check on Tuesday, Oct. 6, to help prepare you for the first day of in-person learning. This will be a daily requirement, to be completed at least 30 minutes before the start of school each day. Learn more in this video, or read these instructions.
  • Face Coverings: Students and staff will wear face coverings all day, but there will be plenty of mask breaks! Watch the video.
  • Hand Washing: Students and staff will be encouraged to wash hands frequently. Watch the video.
  • Social Distancing: Classrooms will be set up to support social distancing. Watch the video.
  • Cleaning: Classrooms and high touch areas will be cleaned frequently. Watch the video.
  • Feeling sick? Stay home! Students showing any symptoms will be sent home. Learn more about how we're responding to COVID cases here. Starting Oct. 9, we plan to launch a dashboard that shares the location and number of confirmed cases in the district.

Playgrounds

This year play fields and playgrounds will be closed while school is in session and during Day Camp hours.  To keep students safe, school staff will schedule time for students to play outside in various quadrants of the playfields. Students who are not assigned to the building or scheduled to be in attendance must remain off campus until the end of the school day.

First Day of School Kindergarten Drop-Off

To celebrate the first day of in-person instruction, each school is planning a special activity that follows health and safety guidelines. This year, parents and guardians will not be able to walk their student to their classrooms. Please use the drop-off area outside of the school building for pictures and good-bye hugs.


Release of Kindergarteners at Bus Stops

To help ensure student safety, a family member or friend needs to meet their kindergartener at the bus stop after school. Students will only be released to individuals who are listed on their kindergarten school tag. Bus drivers may be able to make a second attempt if a family member is not present during the first drop-off.  Students not released at school bus stops will be driven back to their school. We will reassess this safety protocol once we phase-in students in older grades.

Please check our website for more information especially for kindergarten families.

Thank you for your partnership in keeping our students and communities safe. Together we can!


Spokane Public Schools

Sept. 29 message

Dear SPS Families,

Thank you for your partnership as we work to provide a successful learning experience. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable as we look to adjust and respond to the guidance of public health officials and meet the needs of students.

Our district has maintained a consistent practice from a safety and liability perspective to follow the guidance of public health officials that directly oversee Spokane County. As a large school district, with approximately 30,000 students and over 4,000 employees across our 54 school sites, we are following a vast number of public health requirements and recommendations on any typical school day to ensure safety and wellbeing. We are not planning to begin the practice of disregarding the information we receive from local and state public health officials and start picking and choosing what should be followed. 

Based on guidelines distributed by the Washington State Department of Health this summer, the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) recommended that area school districts begin the year with distance learning.  We complied with that guidance. This decision resulted in both support and opposition from district stakeholders. In conjunction with the original state guidelines, SRHD has recently provided updated guidance that supports area school districts using cohorts and conducting a very slow and methodical return to in-person instruction for early learners in grades K-2. This news has also garnered both support and opposition.

Consistent with our historical practice and commitment to follow the guidance of public health officials, the School Board reaffirmed their intent to listen to public health officials and indicated that kindergarten students will begin returning to in-person instruction on Oct. 7.  

Uncertain when we would eventually return to in-person instruction, detailed planning has been taking place since June to prepare for the transition. This has included close coordination with OSPI, the Department of Health, and Spokane Regional Health District to ensure adherence to the safety requirements that have been established.

Protocols have been established to respond to cases of COVID-19 reported to district health staff. This includes robust contact tracing by a trained team of health professionals, notification to any individual that may have had potential exposure and issuing of quarantine requirements. Notifications and communication will occur in partnership with the Spokane Regional Health District and must comply with established legal requirements for privacy. Transparency and privacy will both be recognized. 

Kindergarten School Day & Alternating Schedule

School will start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 2:25 each day.

Phasing will begin with an alternating schedule of groups attending school and then transition to all kindergarten students attending every day. The purpose of phasing is based on guidance from public health officials to transition slowly, and utilize ample opportunities to carefully train and acclimate students to safety protocols in small groups. Teachers will let families know if their student has been assigned to Group A or Group B. Below is the alternating schedule that will be used for kindergarten students.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 7 – Group A
  • Thursday, Oct. 8 – Group B
  • Friday, Oct. 9 – Group A
  • Monday, Oct. 12 – Group B
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13 – Group A
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14 – Group B
  • Thursday, Oct. 15 – Group A
  • Friday, Oct. 16 – Group B

  • Monday, Oct. 19 – All kindergarteners attend together.

District staff will provide facilitated learning activities for kindergarten students on the days they are not attending school in person. This will involve a combination of live and independent activities. Your child’s teacher will be focused on transitioning and training students in the classroom during the alternating schedule portion of the phase-in process. Additional details and live session invites will be provided to families next Monday.

Health Check 

All families will be required to complete a daily health check for students before attending school. Please complete the health check 30 minutes prior to the start of school. Watch our health check for families video or read these instructions to learn more.

Resources & Information 

Kindergarten Transportation

Students who live more than a mile from school may qualify for transportation services. You will soon be able to check routes and verify eligibility here. Kindergarteners do not need to register to ride the bus. If you have questions, please call our Transportation department at 354-7388 or 354-7362. 

School Meals

Safe and nutritious meals – both breakfast and lunch -- will be provided for students each day, or students can bring food from home. Find daily menus online here. (NOTE: Kindergarten menu coming soon!) Students will eat meals in their classroom to support safe social distancing.

Thank you for your perseverance and positive attitude during this difficult time. 

 

Spokane Public Schools

Sept. 23 message

Dear SPS Families,

Thank you for your support and positive approach to the beginning of the 2020-21 school year. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback and will continue to make adjustments in response to an unprecedented experience for our school district.  

The SPS reopening plan honors our commitment to follow the guidance and regulations of public health officials. This has involved ongoing coordination with the Spokane Regional Health District, and a promise to return to in-person instruction as soon as it is determined safe to do so.   

Late this afternoon, Dr. Bob Lutz officially provided updated guidance for local school districts to begin phasing students into school buildings. This aligns with similar guidance provided across the state. He indicated that this should occur slowly and methodically, with strong adherence to safety protocols, strict cohorts, and contact tracing if necessary. The youngest students and those with the highest need should be the first groups considered for the phasing process.  

During this evening School Board meeting, the SPS Board of Directors reaffirmed the commitment to follow the guidance of public health officials and indicated that per Dr. Lutz’s guidance, we will begin phasing kindergarten students back to in-person instruction on Oct. 7. This will begin with an alternating schedule of groups attending school and then transition to kindergarten students attending every day. Information on the schedule will be provided to parents next week. Please see the SPS back-to-school  webpage for additional details on the process for phasing kindergarten students. 

We have been preparing for months to return students to schools based on the guidance from public health officials. SPS will implement all the safety protocols and contact tracing requirements outlined by SRHD and included in the district’s reopening plan.  

To keep students and staff safe:    

  • Face coverings will be required 
  • Daily health screenings will be required 
  • Hand washing will be frequentlyencouraged
  • Classrooms will be set up to support social distancing 
  • Classrooms and high touch areas will be cleaned frequently 
  • Students showing any symptoms will be sent home 
  • Meals will be provided, or students can bring food from home

Families uncomfortable having their student return to in-person instruction were encouraged last month to enroll in the Spokane Virtual Academy. We recognize that feelings about the COVID-19 situation may change with time, and impact how families feel about returning to school. Please contact your school’s principal if you have questions about your family’s choice for the 2020-21 school year.   

An informational webinar for kindergarten families will be Tuesday, Sept.29 at 6:30 p.m. We look forward to answering your questions.

 

Spokane Public Schools

Sept. 14 message

Good Evening SPS Staff & Families,

Today we experienced a successful launch to distance learning. Over 30,000 students started the year in real-time distance learning, and we greatly appreciated the overwhelming amount of positive feedback and encouragement sent to staff.  Anticipated issues were quickly identified and addressed. We know this experience is going to be an adjustment and will present challenges along the way, and we are committed to working through issues and supporting all students.

Air Quality Update

Real-time distance learning will be provided as planned for all students.

Due to the continued air quality conditions in Spokane County, we continue to encourage all staff and families to exercise caution and minimize time spent outdoors. 

Essential services will be provided for students as we continue real-time distance learning. SPS Day Camps, Express Childcare and meal distribution will occur on Tuesday, Sept. 15. Students in Day Camps and Express will remain indoors, and families can pick up meals at school distribution sites. Limited in-person instruction planned for a small number of students who need critical services will be available by parent discretion as scheduled.

We ask that staff and parents limit the number of times they come in and out of our schools to reduce smoke from entering buildings.

5-Day Meal Kit Update

Using projections based on the meal kit preorder form and the number of meals served during the spring and summer, our Nutrition Services staff prepared 8,500 meal kits -- more than double the number of meals served in the spring. This morning, we received more than 14,000 requests for meal kits at our 45 distribution sites, resulting in long lines and families needing to return for a later pickup time. We are sorry if you did not get a meal kit today, and invite you to pick up a kit on Wednesday.

⇒ Please help us ensure we have enough meal kits at each school by filling out the preorder form by Thursday at 9 p.m. for pick up the following week. Thank you for your patience!

Technology Help

If you or your student are having technical trouble, please contact techrequest@spokaneschools.org or 509.354.7636.

We appreciate your partnership as we navigate this new educational environment together.

 

Spokane Public Schools

 

Air Quality Message: Sept. 13

Good Evening SPS Staff & Families,

Due to the air quality conditions in Spokane County, all staff and families are encouraged to exercise caution and minimize time spent outdoors. 

Essential services will continue for students as we begin real-time distance learning. SPS Day Camps and Express Childcare and meal distribution will occur on Monday, September 14.  Students in Day Camps and Express Centers will remain indoors, and families will be provided with curb-side pick-up for meals at school distribution sites.

In-person instruction and transportation scheduled for students in special programs are canceled.

We ask that staff and parents limit the number of times they come in and out of our schools to reduce smoke from entering buildings.   

Students will start distance learning as planned.

Please be safe as we confront another challenge to the start of the school year.


Spokane Public Schools 

 

Sept. 11 message

Dear SPS Families,

We hope that this week’s launch activities and conferences have helped you feel ready for a great 2020-21 school year. It’s going to be different for sure, but together, we can do this!

Real-Time Learning Begins Monday

On Monday, Sept. 14, real-time remote instruction begins for all SPS students K-12. Students should be ready for the day and logged in to their computer by 8:25 a.m. Need tech help? Check these resources for answers:

Internet Access

For families that qualify for the free and reduced-price meal program, we have an option that will provide district-funded Internet service through Comcast. We have contacted families that have already let us know that they do not have home Internet and requested additional information to confirm eligibility for Comcast Xfinity. We should be ready to provide Xfinity activation codes to families by early next week. We also have a limited supply of hot spots for students that may require mobility. If you have not received communication, you can apply here under Internet Options

Free Student Meals

All children 18 and younger can get free meals through Dec. 31, 2020. Our new 5-day meal kits will be available starting Monday, Sept. 14. Please fill out a preorder form by Thursday so we can be sure to have enough meal kits ready for all our children.

New! Clever Family Portal

New this year is the Clever Family Portal. Clever is a digital hub of academic resources for students while learning from home, or when at school. The Family Portal allows you to help your student log in, access important resources, and coming soon, communicate with your student’s teachers. You should have received an email from Clever.com for each of your students with your invitation to sign up for the Family Portal. If you didn’t receive the email, please check your spam folder or contact your school to make sure we have your current email address. 

Reopening Resources

We have lots of information and resources on our district website. Check our Back to School 2020 page for tech support, safety training videos, school supply lists, and more! 

Health Check for Students

State officials are requiring that all students complete a daily health check prior to attending schools for in-person instruction to ensure they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.  SPS has developed a simple online Health Check form for families to complete prior to students attending school. If a student will be entering a school building to receive in-person instruction, parent/guardians need to take their student’s temperature as part of the health check protocols. For more information, watch this short training video on the Health Check, or this video specifically for secondary students.    

District Communication

Moving forward, weekly communication will be provided by individual teachers and schools. We will continue to provide key district-wide updates as we closely monitor guidance from public health officials. Our goal will be to transition to in-person instruction as soon as possible pending guidance from public health officials. Phasing students into schools will likely begin with our youngest students and occur based on the detailed planning and preparations that have occurred over the summer.



Spokane Public Schools

Sept. 4 message

Dear SPS Families,

This week, SPS staff have been busy with trainings and professional development to help make sure everyone is well prepared for the start of a successful school year.

Conference Week Sept. 8-11

If you haven’t yet, please be sure to sign up for a conference. This will be an important time for students, families, and teachers to build connections. Families can get support, learn about remote learning expectations and digital platforms, ask questions and share perspectives. Find additional conference information here. NOTE: Using a desktop or laptop is the best method to join the Microsoft Teams conference meetings. Joining via smartphone requires downloading of the Microsoft Teams app from your app store and you can join as a guest or create a free Microsoft account.

Students receiving special education services will be meeting with either their child’s special education case manager or general education teacher depending on the level of support they receive from special education. If you do not meet with your child’s case manager during the conference, they will be reaching out to discuss special education services over the phone prior to Sept. 14.

Launch Activities

Next week we are focused on making connections with families and providing students opportunities to become familiar with digital tools and kick-start their learning. Look for an email Tuesday morning for an outline of the week’s activities that will acclimate students to the new learning environment and get them excited for the upcoming school year.

Real-Time Learning Begins Sept. 14

On Sept. 14, real-time remote instruction begins for all SPS students K-12. Curious about what the school day will look like?  These videos will give you a sense of what to expect this year:
Grades K-2 •  Grades 3-6  •  Middle School  •  High School

Free Student Meals

All children 18 and younger can get free meals through Dec. 31, 2020. The USDA recently extended the Free Summer Meals Program to make this possible. Pick up grab & go meals daily Sept. 8-11. Our new 5-day meal kits will be available starting Sept. 14. Visit the website to fill out a preorder form to let us know your choice for pick-up time and location. Find an informational flier here.

Technology Training Videos & New Clever Family Portal

New this year is the Clever Family Portal. Clever is a digital hub of academic resources for students while learning from home, or when at school. You will receive an email from Clever.com for each of your students with your invitation to sign up for the Family Portal. The Family Portal allows you to help your student log in, access important resources, and coming soon, communicate with your student’s teachers. If you don’t receive the email, please check your spam folder or contact your school to make sure we have your current email address. 

School Supplies

Necessary and recommended supplies for students are listed for elementary and secondary students on the district website.

Reopening Resources for Parents

We will continue to provide information and resources on our district website. Our Back to School 2020 page includes the SPS reopening plan, training videos, and other key pieces of information.

We’re looking forward to a great school year!

 

Spokane Public Schools

Aug. 28 update

Dear SPS Families,

We are excited to kick off the year with a week of launch conferences. This will be an opportunity for teachers to build relationships and share information with students and parents, which will be key to a successful start.

Sign up for a conference now!

  • Conferences will be held Sept. 8-11. Each will last approximately 40 minutes per student. Time will be dedicated to building connections between students and teachers, as well as families and their home school. Families can get support, learn about remote learning expectations and digital platforms, ask questions and share perspectives. Find additional conference information here.

  • Students will be provided launch activities to complete during the week of Sept. 8. The focus of activities will be to begin exploring learning concepts for the year and practice digitals tools and logging in to our distance learning platform. More information will be coming next week.

  • On 14, real-time remote instruction begins for all SPS students K-12. The school day for real-time distance learners in all grades is 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Students should plan to log in by 8:25 a.m. to be set for the learning day.

Meals

In response to parent feedback, we’ll be offering 5-day meal kits starting Sept. 14. These will include five breakfasts and five lunches packed in a box, with a single weekly pick-up time. Express and Day Camp students can eat at school and are not eligible for 5-day meal kits. From Sept. 8-11, daily breakfast & lunch pick up will be 8-9 a.m. and 11:50 a.m.-12:50 p.m.

School Supplies

As we prepare to start the year with distance learning and the eventual return to in-person learning, please check the school supply list for things that will help support student success.

Family Webinar: Kindergarten

Our weekly webinar series continues Thursday, Sept. 3, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. SPS administrators will provide the latest information about the 2020-21 school year, with a focus on kindergarten, and will also answer your questions. Please register in advance. You can also watch previous webinars here.

Special Ed Family Webinar and Q & A

Please join the Special Education department for our weekly family webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. There will be a presentation with the most up to date reopening plan information followed by time for questions and answers. Please register in advance.

How Do I …?

Take a look at our Learning at Home resources to get to know Microsoft Teams – how to log in, turn in an assignment, join a meeting, share a document, etc. – how to log in to Clever, how to take a screenshot to share with your teacher, and much more!

Laptop Checkout

SPS is providing a laptop for all students to support distance learning as well as the shift back to in-person instruction. Families that need laptops should check them out before their conference (to be scheduled Sept. 8-11) so they can ask any technology questions during that time. Check out a laptop now. Pick up is happening this week and next week. Schools are reaching out with information.
   ⇒ If you checked out a laptop in the spring, you can keep using it this year, but please let us know by completing the laptop checkout form.


Spokane Public Schools

Aug. 21 message

Dear SPS Families,

Now that our reopening plan has been approved, we’re continuing to refine the implementation details to ensure a smooth start for the 2020-21 school year.

Conferences

The school calendar was adjusted to provide time for launch conferences to start the school year. This will be an opportunity for teachers to build relationships and share information with students and parents, which will be key to a successful start.

  • Sept. 8-11: Dedicated time for conferences with teachers or advisors for each student and their family, to answer specific questions and make sure everyone is ready. Conferences will last 35-40 minutes per student. Information on the conference sign-up process will be coming later in the month.
  • Sept. 14: Distance learning classes begin for all SPS students K-12. The school day for real-time distance learners in all grades is 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Find the 2020-21 school year calendar here.

School Supplies

As we prepare to start the year with distance learning and the eventual return to in-person learning, families should be sure to have a household thermometer. All students will need a face mask, gym shoes and a backpack. It is also highly recommended to have individual headphones, a personal white board and dry erase markers.

  • Students in grades 3-5 will need wide-ruled lined paper, pens, colored pencils and 2-3 spiral notebooks.
  • Students in grades 6-12 will need lined paper, graph paper, highlighters, pens, pencils and 2-3 spiral notebooks.

Nice to have but not necessary: stylus, colored construction paper, glue and scissors.

Family Webinar: Opening School Logistics

Our weekly webinar series continues Thursday, Aug. 27, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. SPS administrators will provide the latest information about the 2020-21 school year, with a focus on logistics like checking out a laptop, school supplies, conferences, etc., and will also answer your questions. Please register in advance. You can also watch previous webinars here.

Special Ed Family Webinar and Q & A

Please join the Special Education department for our weekly family webinar Tuesday, Aug. 25, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. There will be a presentation with the most up to date reopening plan information followed by time for questions and answers. Please register in advance here.

How Do I …?

Take a look at our Learning at Home resources to get to know Microsoft Teams – how to log in, turn in an assignment, join a meeting, share a document, etc. – how to log in to Clever, how to take a screenshot to share with your teacher, and much more!

Laptop Checkout

SPS is providing a laptop for all students to support distance learning as well as the shift back to in-person instruction. Yes! We have a laptop for every SPS student in your family! Families that need laptops should check them out before their conference (to be scheduled Sept. 8-11) so they can ask any technology questions during that time. Check out a laptop now.

Safety Model

Having been engaged in conversations about safety over the last several years, and with the recent School Board Equity Resolution adopted in June, we’ve begun the process of developing a safety model. Our goal is to provide a proactive, wholistic approach with an emphasis on social-emotional wellness and mental health, while maintaining the important aspects of crisis response and safety management. The total number of staff assigned to schools whose primary focus is on safety will remain the same. Aspects include prioritizing staff to be in the buildings when students are present, as well as the process used to determine if law enforcement should be involved in a student issue. Find an overview of the proposed changes here.

Please join us for a community webinar on Aug. 25 at 6:30 p.m. or Aug. 28 at noon to learn more. District staff will provide an overview of changes and respond to questions from the community.  

We are dedicated to bringing you the latest details about the 2020-21 school year as soon as we can.

 

Spokane Public Schools

Aug. 12 update

Dear SPS Families,

We are preparing for a strong start to the school year by making sure staff, students, and families have the tools and training needed to feel confident about distance learning. To do so, SPS and the Spokane Education Association have agreed to a school calendar shift that will be recommended to the School Board tonight.

  • Aug. 31-Sept. 4: To support high levels of preparedness, teachers and staff will continue training on safety, social-emotional learning, distance learning, and technology strategies.
  • Sept. 8-11: Building relationships and sharing information will be key to a successful start. To support this effort, we will dedicate time for conferences with teachers or advisors for each student and their family to answer specific questions and make sure everyone is ready. Conferences will last 35-40 minutes per student. Information on the conference sign-up process will be coming later in the month.
  • Sept. 14: Distance learning classes begin for all SPS students K-12.

Find the recommended 2020-21 school year calendar here.

SPS Safe School Reopening Plan

Thanks to over 150 staff, administrators, parents and community members for developing the SPS Safe School Reopening Plan. The plan provides information on when schools are closed for distance learning and when schools are open for in-person instruction, health and safety protocols, special education and English Language Development services, social/emotional learning tips and athletics plans, among other topics. The reopening plan will be recommended to the School Board tonight for approval and then submitted to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Back-to-School Options

  • Option 1: Our real-time distance learning plan provides specific school start and dismissal times, as well as scheduled times for each period/subject. Students will stay with their neighborhood school teacher(s) throughout the year or grading period. You do not need to register for this option.
  • Option 2: Families that want more flexibility during the school day, or want their students to learn virtually all year long, should register by Sunday, Aug. 16, for a Year-Long Full Distance Learning option. Students will stay with their Spokane Virtual Academy teachers throughout the school year or grading period.

School Supplies

We are finalizing school supply lists that will accommodate our distance learning model. Information on the supply lists will be available next week. 

Childcare Options

Distance learning has a significant impact on childcare needs for families, and we understand the sense of urgency to come up with a plan for your student(s). SPS has developed the following options and resources to offer support:  

  • SPS Day Camp
    We will offer a full-day camp for students in grades K-6 for SPS families and staff. This low-cost option will have limited enrollment per site to manage the total number of students in a building at any one time. A limited number of scholarships will be available based on need. Additional sites will open based on registration numbers. Enrollment will be closely managed to provide high levels of social distancing and strict adherence to safety protocols. Students will receive structure and routines that assist them with engaging in their real-time distance learning. Registration will begin on Friday.
  • SPS Learning Centers
    In partnership with community organizations, learning centers will be open for 2-3 hour periods for students in grades K-12. This option will offer a supervised location to provide structure, routine, and assistance for distance learning. Sites will be located throughout district and community to enhance social distancing and accommodate a set number of students at any specific block of time. Information on times and locations will be coming soon.   
  • Community-Based Options
    We are working with community partners to provide a list of community-based childcare options for families. A list of providers will be maintained on the district website.  
  • Express Program
    We will continue to provide Express school-age child care for students from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Enrollment will be closely managed to provide high levels of social distancing and strict adherence to safety protocols. Students will receive structure and routines that assist them with engaging in their real-time distance learning. Please visit spokaneschools.org/express to learn more and register.

Student Technology Access

SPS is providing a laptop for all students to support distance learning as well as the shift back to in-person instruction. Yes! We have a laptop for every SPS student in your family! Families that need laptops should check them out before their conference (to be scheduled Sept. 8-11) so they can ask any technology questions during that time. Check out a laptop now.

Webinar: Elementary Education

We are hosting a webinar every Thursday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. to share information about back to school and answer your questions. This week we’ll focus on elementary education. Register in advance for the webinar here.  

Budget Update
The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant budget challenges due to the economic outlook and pending reduction in state funding. As we finalize the operating budget for the 2020-21 school year, our priority is to ensure adequate resources are in place to safely continue educating the whole child – whether distance learning or in person.

We’ll continue sending weekly updates, and if you haven’t already, you will soon be hearing from your student’s school as well. Find more information, including our reopening plan and frequently asked questions, at spokaneschools.org/backtoschool2020.


Spokane Public Schools

Aug. 6 update

Dear SPS Families,

In follow-up to communication shared earlier this week regarding our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, below you will find important details and information. We are responding to the guidance this week from Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz for all area schools to begin the year with distance learning. Though it’s not the situation we had hoped for, it is one for which we have prepared to address.

Starting the year with real-time distance learning, Spokane Public Schools will do all we can to help students have the best experience possible in a new, real-time learning format. We recognize that this format has a significant impact on many of our students and families, and we are partnering with community organizations to offer support. Our goal is to transition students back to in-person instruction as soon as possible pending recommendations from public health officials. Current recommendations are based on infection rates that are categorized into three levels of risk.

SPS has developed a detailed reopening plan for both distance learning and in-person instruction. Find the reopening plan, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, on the SPS website.

Families have two options for the start of school in the fall:

Option 1: Current School – with a preference to transition to in-person when it is safe to do so. This option:

  • allows students to keep their same teachers from their neighborhood school throughout the school year or grading period.
  • allows students to return to in-person learning when it is available.
  • provides real-time remote learning that is much different from what families experienced in the spring. This improved model includes:
    • Real-time school day with teacher(s)
    • Identified school start and dismissal time
    • Specific times scheduled for each period/subject
    • Blend of live instruction, group work, and independent activities
    • Specialist & elective experiences included
    • Set times for intervention support and contacting teachers
    • Use of Microsoft Teams as the district-wide digital platform
    • Laptop check-out for all students
    • Limited in-person instruction provided for small groups of students  

⇒ If you’re confident that you want your child to return to in-person learning when it becomes available, this is the best choice for you.

  • The school that your student is currently enrolled in will communicate with you regarding the start of classes and how students meet their teachers

Option 2: Spokane Virtual Academy – with a preference to stay virtual for the remainder of the school year. This option:

  • will be led by Spokane Virtual Academy teachers and allows students to keep their same virtual learning teachers throughout the school year or grading period
  • signals your intent to remain virtual for the school year, but allows for flexibility to attend school in person if you would like to when it becomes available. Requests to return to school in person will be accommodated to the greatest extent possible based on space available.
  • is best for families who want flexibility during the day

⇒ If you want to remain virtual for the school year or are unsure if you would like to remain virtual, this is a good choice for you.

Technology Access for Students:

SPS is providing a laptop for all students to support distance learning as well as the shift back to in-person instruction.

Childcare Options:

We recognize the significant impact a distance learning model has on childcare needs for families, and understand the sense of urgency to come up with a plan for your student(s). SPS has developed the following options and resources to offer support:  

  • SPS Day Camp
    We will provide a full day camp for students in grades K-6 for families and staff. This low-cost or scholarship option will have limited enrollment per site to manage the total number of students in a building at any one time. Additional sites will open based on registration numbers. Enrollment will be closely managed to provide high levels of social distancing and strict adherence to safety protocols. Students will receive structure and routines that assist them with engaging in their real-time distance learning. Registration will be available next week.  
  • SPS Learning Centers
    In partnership with community organizations, learning centers will be open for 2-3 hour periods for students in grades K-8. This option will provide a supervised location to provide structure, routine, and assistance for distance learning. Sites will be located throughout district and community spaces to enhance social distancing and accommodate a set number of students at any specific block of time. Information on times and locations will be coming soon.   
  • Community-Based Options
    We are working with community partners to provide a list of community-based childcare options for families. A list of providers will be maintained on the district website.  
  • Express Program
    We will continue to provide Express school-age, before and after school day care for students from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. Please visit spokaneschools.org/express to learn more and register.

Webinars:

District staff will continue to offer weekly webinars to families. This week’s webinar will focus on the reopening plan with a specific focus on the district’s revised distance learning plan. In addition, webinars on specific topics related to special education, technology access, and intervention services will be offered.

Special Education Q&A: Please join the Special Education department Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 6:30 p.m. to learn about the Back to School 2020 plans for students receiving special education services. There will be a short presentation followed by time for questions. Click here to register in advance.

Parent Resources:

Our goal is to provide resources and learning opportunities for families to better understand the district’s distance learning model and information for parents on the district’s digital tools. As we approach the start of school, videos and how to guides will be posted on the district website.

Starting the year with distance learning is not what we had hoped to do, but based on guidance from health officials, it is the safest choice. We will make every effort to support all our students and families as we work together to have a safe and successful school year.


Spokane Public Schools

 

Aug. 3 update

Dear SPS Families,

In a message to area school districts, Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz provided guidance that all schools begin the year with distance learning. “Based on our rates, the existing science regarding COVID-19, and school reopening, I strongly recommend beginning the year in remote/continuous learning for all students. Consider in-person learning for those who have special health or education needs that cannot be delivered through remote learning,” he said.

The SPS Safe School Reopening Task Force has been planning all summer for multiple scenarios, with sincere hope that buildings could reopen for in person instruction for all students. Based on the decision of public health experts, Spokane Public Schools will start the year with real-time distance learning. This plan has been revised significantly from the experience students had in the spring, and we will do all we can to help students have the best distance learning experience possible in a new real-time learning structure. We recognize that direction to begin the year in a distance learning format has a significant impact on many of our students and families, and we are committed to partnering with community organizations to offer support.

Our goal is to open school buildings as soon as it is safe to do so based on recommendations from public health officials. We are in the final stages of confirming the details of our plan and will share a comprehensive planning document in the coming days. Please visit the SPS website for current planning details regarding our distance learning and in person plan and answers to frequently asked questions.

Real-time remote learning will be much different from what families experienced in the spring. This improved model includes:

  • Real-time school day with teacher(s)
  • Identified school start and dismissal time
  • Specific times scheduled for each period/subject
  • Blend of live instruction, group work, and independent activities
  • Specialist & elective experiences included
  • Set times for intervention support and contacting teachers
  • Use of Microsoft Teams as the district-wide digital platform
  • Laptop check-out for all students
  • Limited in person instruction provided for small groups of students  

We recognize the impact of distance learning on child care for families, and we are working with community partners as well as our own district Express program to offer childcare options for families. 

We know this news will be met with mixed emotions. These are unprecedented times and we will make every effort to support all our students and families as we work together to have a safe and successful school year.

Spokane Public Schools

July 31 update

Dear SPS Families,

We are closely monitoring information from state and local levels as we wait for updated guidance from health officials. The health and safety of our students, teachers, staff, and community will continue to be our priority. Detailed planning is taking place to prepare for multiple scenarios regarding guidance on opening school buildings or returning to a distance learning model. Critical conversations are currently taking place within state and local government agencies and we anticipate new guidance in the coming days. Our current understanding is that this pending guidance from health officials will include specific metrics that outline when and how school buildings should open.

As we finalize our plans for reopening school buildings and the potential need for a full distance learning model, details on our models and answers to frequently asked questions are available at spokaneschools.org/BacktoSchool2020. In addition, a detailed reopening plan document will be made available to staff and families once we receive updated guidance from health officials and finalize our planning with the Spokane Education Association.

Below is an overview of how schools will look in the fall: 

If school buildings remain closed, we will launch a real-time distance learning model that is much different from what families experienced in the spring. This improved model includes:

  • Real-time school day with teacher(s)
  • Identified school start and dismissal time
  • Specific times scheduled for each period/subject
  • Blend of live instruction, group work, and independent activities
  • Specialist & elective experiences included
  • Set times for intervention support and contacting teachers
  • Use of Microsoft Teams as the district-wide digital platform
  • Laptop check-out for all students
  • Limited in person instruction provided for small groups of students  

If school buildings are open, our plan includes the following:

  • Students in grades K-4 would attend school every day of the week. Ability to access distance learning tools and the impact of childcare were key considerations for this decision.
  • Students in grades 5-12 would go to school on an alternating day schedule, to allow for proper social distancing and class sizes that accommodate the 6-foot distancing requirement.
  • Modifications to the learning plan would be offered to special education students and other student groups that require additional support.
  • A full-distance learning option would be available for families not comfortable having their students return to in-person instruction. This could include instructor-led classes, project-based activities and social-emotional learning. 

We know that each option will be welcomed by some and cause disappointment in others. Regardless of what the start of school looks like this year, we will make every effort to support all our students and families as we work together to have a safe and successful school year. 

We will continue hosting webinars Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. to share the latest information and answer your questions. You can also find updates at spokaneschools.org.

Spokane Public Schools

 

July 22 update

Dear SPS Families, 

July is quickly coming to a close and we know there are many questions about what school will look like in the fall. As we closely monitor health information from state and local officials, the safety of students and staff will continue to be the top priority as we prepare for the start of school. We look forward to reopening our school buildings and providing in-person instruction when it is determined safe to do so. 

Critical conversations are currently taking place within state and local government agencies regarding when buildings should reopen. In preparation, we are developing detailed plans to address safety and support student learning, both for in-person and distance learning. This involves working closely with Spokane Education Association to address the factors impacted by these plans as we align with the safety guidelines required by the state and efforts to ensure the best possible experience for students given the circumstances.

Below is our current plan for in person learning if we are able to open school buildings:

  • Elementary students in grades K-4 will attend school every day of the week. Students in grades 5 and 6 will likely go to school on an alternating day schedule, to provide adequate spacing and class sizes that meet safety guidelines. Ability to access distance learning tools and the impact of childcare were key considerations for this decision. We are refining plans that address safety requirements for wearing masks and ensure plenty of time for outside play and activities.
  • Secondary students will go to school on an alternating day schedule, due to the larger enrollments at middle and high schools. Using an alternating day schedule will allow for proper social distancing and class sizes that accommodate the 6-foot distancing requirement.
  • Modifications to the learning plan will be offered to special education students and other student groups that require additional support.
  • Families not comfortable having their students return to in-person instruction will be able to register for a full distance learning option that can include instructor-led classes, project-based activities and social-emotional learning. We will have details about how to register in August.

If school buildings are unable to open and SPS needs to offer full distance learning for all students, a model is being developed that provides consistency and clarity for both students and families. Input received throughout the spring from families, students and staff has informed and helped focus us on the critical components needed for student success including a common platform, regular feedback, and real-time instruction.

We know you have questions. Join us during two upcoming webinars, as we talk about the work of the Safe School Reopening Task Force and our plans for both in-person and distance learning:

With so much going on and situations changing rapidly, we want to be sure you have the most current information. We plan to send weekly emails to staff and families and will continue to provide updates online at spokaneschools.org/SafeStart.

 

Spokane Public Schools 

July 13 update

Dear SPS Families,

We hope your summer is off to a fun and safe start! Work has continued at SPS this summer to plan for school in the fall. Our plan will prioritize student and staff well-being and safety while striving to provide excellence in education.

Following guidelines from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and other state agencies, the members of our Safe School Reopening Task Force are in the process of developing various options for what school could look like this fall. The options are being refined each week, with the goal of having a plan in place as soon as possible. 

Safety Requirements: As outlined by the state superintendent, SPS will be following these requirements to reopen schools in the safest way possible:

  • 6-foot spacing in classrooms and cafeterias
  • Cloth face coverings for staff, students and volunteers (and face shields for certain students and in certain situations)
  • Frequent hand washing and sanitization
  • Screening for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to school (SPS is working on an efficient process for this)
  • Regular cleaning and disinfecting of touched surfaces at school and on busses, keeping riders as far apart as possible, wearing cloth face coverings, maximizing outside air and keeping windows open as much as possible

In-Person Learning: To meet the state’s requirements for a safe reopening, we have been exploring different scenarios of regular and alternating schedules that follow all necessary safety precautions. School will look different next year, and there will be many aspects that will require flexibility. The well-being of students and staff, and the quality of the learning experience will be key factors in all planning.

  • At the elementary level, the goal is to get as many students safely back to school every day of the week as feasible. To meet the 6-foot social distancing requirements in classrooms, the Task Force is evaluating models to reduce the total number of students in a classroom through strategies such as combination classrooms, shifting staffing to add classroom teachers, or using an alternating day schedule for older grades. Elementary students will likely eat lunch in classrooms since cafeterias are not large enough to meet the 6-foot social distancing requirement.
  • At the secondary level, students will likely attend school on an alternating schedule, given the number of secondary students. The alternating schedule options have students attending two or three days of school each week, with distance learning occurring on days outside of the school building. The Task Force is still exploring options for serving lunch during multiple periods at the secondary level.

Distance Learning: Some families may not feel comfortable having their students return to our school buildings until advancements are made regarding COVID-19 treatment options and/or vaccines become available. SPS will continue supporting these students with options that involve full distance learning or require limited participation in a school building. Learn more about these options at: spokaneschools.org/sps@home.

Parent Webinars: SPS will host a series of webinars over the next few weeks to inform parents about the work of the Task Force and answer questions about in-person learning for the 2020-21 school year. There will also be a webinar to address distance learning options.

You can follow the progress of the Task Force and see meeting minutes at spokaneschools.org/SafeStart.

We will continue to provide updates on our plans for reopening throughout the summer. Stay healthy!

 

Spokane Public Schools

June 18 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Tomorrow is a day worthy of celebration – the official last day of the 2019-20 school year! Thank you for your partnership, perseverance and patience throughout these last few challenging months. We are grateful to be part of a community so supportive of its public schools.

Safe reopening: We have started planning for the reopening of school in the fall. Based on guidance from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, we expect to open school buildings in some form and begin providing face-to-face instruction to students while following all necessary safety precautions, social distancing measures, and cleaning protocols.

While this is exciting news for many, we also realize some families will not feel comfortable having their students return to our school buildings until advancements are made regarding COVID-19 treatment options and/or vaccines become available. SPS will continue to support these students with options that involve full distance learning or require limited participation in a school building. 

⇒ If you would like information on alternative school options for the 2020-21 school year, please complete this form.

We’re hiring: To meet our increased cleaning demands, SPS needs to hire approximately 40 custodians. Find details about available positions on our career opportunities site.

Graduations: Check the 2020 Graduation Broadcast Schedule to find out when you can watch your favorite graduates turn their tassels.

New opportunity: Families that qualify for free & reduced-price meals are now eligible for a Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) card, a resource to help buy groceries while school is closed. If they haven’t yet, families need to apply for the free & reduced-price meal program by June 30 to be able to access the P-EBT benefit.

Summer meals: The summer meals programs officially runs June 22-Aug. 21 at the same 24 grab & go sites where we’ve been providing meals during the school closure, in addition to several community sites. Mobile meals will not be available through the summer.

Keep learning this summer:

  • Starting July 6, free STEM and arts activity kits will be distributed weekly at our 24 grab & go meals sites. Geared toward ages 4-14, the kits contain supplies, materials and instructions for hands-on expanded learning. Demonstrations of activities will be available on Zoom.
  • Students with current access to Clever will be able to continue using it until about Aug. 4, when they are moved to their 2020-21 classes in PowerSchool. Many of the district’s digital curriculums will be available through the summer.
  • We are partnering with Spokane Public Library to offer a summer reading program for all SPS students.
  • Summer school is available for secondary students performing below grade level in ELA or math, or who are who are credit deficient.
  • Registration is open for Spokane Virtual Learning’s summer program, offering a variety of courses for grades K-12 

Registration: Families of kindergarteners and new students can start the registration process online for the 2020-21 school year.

Immunizations:  If you have a newly enrolling student or a current student who needs to get caught up on immunizations, please be aware of the updated immunization rules that go in effect Aug. 1. These include medical verification of immunizations and a new Tdap booster requirement. Contact your school nurse with questions.

We will continue to provide updates as needed throughout the summer. Be safe and have a great summer break!



Spokane Public Schools

 

June 15 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Using guidance from the state superintendent, we are working hard to plan for a safe return to school in the fall. We’ve launched a webpage at spokaneschools.org/SafeStart where you can keep up with the work of our Safe School Reopening Task Force through the summer. Please take a minute to review the initial questions each subcommittee is studying before providing input so you can direct your comments to the appropriate group.

Since we can’t predict what life will look like this fall, we plan to offer a range of options – from learning at school to learning at home – so families can choose the type of academic support they feel most comfortable having SPS provide. We’ll be sending out a survey this week to help us get a sense of how many families might be interested in distance learning so we can best prepare to meet the needs of all students.

Student belongings: This is the last week of school, so please remember to clean out lockers, return district materials and pick up any student belongings still left at school. You will be required to wear a face covering while in the building. Please bring your own, as the district has only a limited supply of masks. As a reminder, families that checked out laptops and are continuing with SPS next fall can keep them over the summer. 

New opportunity: Families that qualify for free & reduced-price meals are now eligible for a Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) card, a resource to help buy groceries while school is closed.

Summer meals: The summer meals programs officially runs June 22-Aug. 21 at the same 24 grab & go sites where we’ve been providing meals during the school closure, in addition to several community sites. Mobile meals will not be available through the summer. Reminder: Since no meals will be served June 19, two breakfasts and two lunches will be given out on June 18.

Keep learning this summer:

  • Students with current access to Clever will be able to continue using it until about Aug. 4, when they are moved to their 2020-21 classes in PowerSchool. Many of the district’s digital curriculums will be available through the summer.
  • We are partnering with Spokane Public Library to offer their summer reading programfor all SPS students.
  • Summer school is available for secondary studentsperforming below grade level in ELA or math, or who are who are credit deficient.
  • Registration is open for Spokane Virtual Learning’s summer program, offering a variety of courses for grades K-12.

Registration: Families of kindergarteners and new students can now start the registration process online for the 2020-21 school year. Another option is to stop by your school this week -- Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 9-11 a.m. Tables will be set up outside so you can pick up or drop off your registration packet or any forms needed to complete the process. Staff will be available to answer questions too.  

Immunizations:  If you have a newly enrolling student or a current student who needs to get caught up on immunizations, please be aware of the updated immunization rules that go in effect Aug. 1. These include medical verification of immunizations and a new Tdap booster requirement. Contact your school nurse with questions.

Curriculum adoption: The SPS School Board is expected to consider the adoption of Human Growth & Development curriculum for grades 4-6 at the June 24 board meeting. If you’d like to preview these materials, please email taral@spokaneschools.org to schedule an appointment so that we can adhere to proper social distancing guidelines. 

Our next message will be Thursday. We will provide updates throughout the summer. Stay healthy!



Spokane Public Schools

 

June 11 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Thank you to the hundreds of community members who showed up and spoke out in support of the SPS School Board’s resolution to establish equity policies, which was adopted at the board meeting last night. We know we have much work to do to “truly live our vision of Excellence for Everyone.” This is just the beginning!

Back to school: A big question on everyone’s mind is what school will look like next year. We received guidance from the state superintendent this morning, which will give our Safe School Reopening Task Force a framework to build on. As always, our primary focus is safety. Since we can’t predict what life will look like this fall, we plan to offer a range of options – from learning at school to learning at home –  so families can choose the type of academic support they feel most comfortable having SPS provide. Watch spokaneschools.org for updates and opportunities for feedback.

Keep learning this summer:

  • Students with current access to Clever will be able to continue using it until about Aug. 4, when they are moved to their 2020-21 classes in PowerSchool. Many of the district’s digital curriculums will be available through the summer.
  • We are partnering with Spokane Public Library to offer their summer reading program for all SPS students.
  • Summer school is available for secondary students performing below grade level in ELA or math, or who are who are credit deficient.
  • Registration is open for Spokane Virtual Learning’s summer program, offering a variety of courses for grades K-12.

Budget: Thanks to those who attended our recent budget forums and shared feedback as we prioritized our needs for the future. You can find the budget presentation and FAQ here.

Summer meals: The summer meals programs officially starts June 22 at the same 24 grab & go sites where we’ve been providing meals during the school closure, in addition to several community sites. Mobile meals will not be available through the summer.

Play structures: On June 5, Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz announced that play structures in city and county parks and in school districts can again be used. Our SPS Facilities staff have been removing the “closed” signage and caution tape from SPS play structures this week. Please remember to use proper social distancing!

Registration: Families of kindergarteners and new students can now start the registration process online for the 2020-21 school year. Another option is to stop by your school June 15-18 from 9-11 a.m. Tables will be set up outside so you can pick up or drop off your registration packet or any forms needed to complete the process. Staff will be available to answer questions too. 

Immunizations:  If you have a newly enrolling student or a current student who needs to get caught up on immunizations, please be aware of the updated immunization rules that go in effect Aug. 1. These include medical verification of immunizations and a new Tdap booster requirement. Contact your school nurse with questions.

Curriculum adoption: The SPS School Board is expected to consider the adoption of Human Growth & Development curriculum for grades 4-6 at the June 24 board meeting. If you’d like to preview these materials, please email taral@spokaneschools.org to schedule an appointment so that we can adhere to proper social distancing guidelines. 

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900. Check spokaneschools.org for information about free meals, laptop checkout, learning at home and more.

Our next message will be Monday. Keep learning!



Spokane Public Schools

 

June 8 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Thank you to everyone who played a part in the exceptional graduations for the Class of 2020. The celebratory signs, decorated vehicles, extra loud cheers and creative expressions of support from throughout the community wrapped our seniors in a big, virtual, congratulatory hug. Broadcast dates and times for Ferris, LC, Shadle, Rogers and NC’s graduation videos will be announced soon. 

Safe school reopening: A task force made up of SPS staff, parents, students, health officials and education association representatives will have its first meeting Thursday to begin preparing a plan for the safe reopening of schools in the fall, following guidance from the State Superintendent’s Office. We’ll post updates to spokaneschools.org throughout the summer. The goal is to have a recommendation for the safe reopening of schools by Aug. 1, if possible.

Registration: Families of kindergarteners and new students can now start the registration process online for the 2020-21 school year. Another option is to stop by your school June 15-18 from 9-11 a.m. Tables will be set up outside so you can pick up or drop off your registration packet or any forms needed to complete the process. Staff will be available to answer questions too.

Immunizations:  If you have a newly enrolling student or a current student who needs to get caught up on immunizations, please be aware of the updated immunization rules that go in effect Aug. 1. These include medical verification of immunizations and a new Tdap booster requirement. Contact your school nurse with questions

Curriculum adoption: The SPS School Board is expected to consider the adoption of Human Growth & Development curriculum for grades 4-6 at the June 24 board meeting. If you’d like to preview these materials, please email taral@spokaneschools.org to schedule an appointment so that we can adhere to proper social distancing guidelines. 

Face coverings: To comply with the Governor’s new “Safe Start Washington” order and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, students and family members who need to enter their school to clean out lockers, return district materials and pick up belongings will be required to wear face coverings while in the building. Please bring your own, as the district has only a limited supply of masks.

Preschool: Enrollment is now open for a free preschool called Early Childhood Education Assistance Program (ECEAP) for children who will be 3 or 4 by August. Families will need to fill out a screening form to determine if they qualify for the program, which is located at Stevens, Logan, Holmes, Roosevelt, and Lincoln Heights elementary schools. Contact CC Parker at ccp@spokaneschools.org or Juliana Greiner at julianag@spokaneschools.org for more information.

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900. Check spokaneschools.org for information about free meals, laptop checkout, learning at home and more.

Our next message will be Thursday. Keep learning!



Spokane Public Schools

 

June 4 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Today is the official last day of school for our seniors, so we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge this milestone. High school graduation truly is a momentous achievement, signifying more than a decade of essays and equations, tests and trials, efforts and accomplishments. Class of 2020, we applaud you! Congratulations! 

Face coverings: To comply with the Governor’s new “Safe Start Washington” order and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, students and family members who need to enter their school to clean out lockers, return district materials and pick up belongings will be required to wear face coverings while in the building. Please bring your own, as the district has only a limited supply of masks. 

Preschool: Enrollment is now open for a free preschool called Early Childhood Education Assistance Program (ECEAP) for children who will be 3 or 4 by August. Families will need to fill out a screening form to determine if they qualify for the program, which is located at Stevens, Logan, Holmes, Roosevelt, and Lincoln Heights elementary schools. Contact CC Parker at ccp@spokaneschools.org or Juliana Greiner at julianag@spokaneschools.org for more information.

Reopening schools: A task force made up of SPS staff, parents, students, health officials and education association representatives will be starting work next week to prepare a plan for the safe reopening of schools in the fall, following guidance from the State Superintendent’s Office. We’ll post updates on the task force’s work to the SPS website throughout the summer. The goal is to have a recommendation for the safe reopening of schools by Aug. 1, if possible.

Budget forum: Learn and share feedback as we plan and prioritize our needs for the future during a community budget forum tonight from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Zoom. Complete the registration form to receive log-in information. The agenda includes:

  • Overview of Budget
  • Funding Sources and Sustainability
  • Safety, Health and Wellness
  • Continuous Learning
  • Class Size and Staffing
  • Student Interventions and Supports (Special Education, ELD, Mental Health, Social Emotional Learning) 

Parent support: Tonight’s webinar, hosted by our Special Education and Student Services departments, focuses on strategies for students struggling behaviorally. It begins at 6:30 p.m. Register here. 

Registration: Families of kindergarteners and new students can now start the registration process online for the 2020-21 school year. Another option is to stop by your school June 15-18 from 9-11 a.m. Tables will be set up outside so you can pick up or drop off your registration packet or any forms needed to complete the process. Staff will be available to answer questions too.

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900. Check spokaneschools.org for information about free meals, laptop checkout, learning at home and more.

Our next message will be Monday. Only 11 school days left, so keep learning!



Spokane Public Schools

 

June 1 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

At a recent school board meeting, School Board President Jerrall Haynes shared a poem -- Alone, by Maya Angelou. He reflected on the need that “we all need somebody in life, and if we’re going to come out of this on the other side better than we were before, we have to do it all together in unison.”

Alone 

Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.
There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobody
No, nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is suffering
And I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Spokane Public Schools’ vision statement is Excellence for Everyone. We are committed to living this vision by first acknowledging that everyone in our system has not experienced this equitably and that the current events unfolding across our nation are highlighting the need for change across all systems. We are looking introspectively, asking ourselves what “Excellence for Everyone” truly should look and feel like across every school in our district. We are not there yet and are committed to reflecting our values through action. SPS will continue to collaborate with students, parents, and community partners on using resources to build equitable practices. In the coming weeks, district leadership & the Office of Family of Community Engagement would like to hear from students, families, and community members (Further information on this to follow within the next several days). We acknowledge that these conversations may be uncomfortable at times, however we are committed to making the necessary courageous changes to support healing and strengthened relationships. You are not alone.

Budget forums: You are invited to learn and share feedback as we plan and prioritize our needs for the future during community budget forums tomorrow, June 2, and June 4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Zoom. Complete the registration form to receive log-in information. We will cover the following topics:

  • Overview of Budget
  • Funding Sources and Sustainability
  • Safety, Health and Wellness
  • Continuous Learning
  • Class Size and Staffing
  • Student Interventions and Supports (Special Education, ELD, Mental Health, Social Emotional Learning)

Parent support webinar: Strategies for students struggling behaviorally June 4 at 6:30 p.m., hosted by our Special Education and Student Services departments. Register here. 

Registration: Families of kindergarteners and new students can now start the registration process online for the 2020-21 school year.

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900. Check spokaneschools.org for information about free meals, laptop checkout, learning at home and more.

Look for our next message on Thursday. Keep learning!


Spokane Public Schools

 

May 28 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Lots of work is happening as we round the corner into June.

End of school wrap-up: Schools will be in touch with families tomorrow, May 29, with details about returning student belongings still left at school and collecting district materials and equipment. Safety will be the top priority during this process.

Summer: The summer is an important time for learning, and we are planning to offer opportunities for students. Many will be virtual, but as we are able, we will increase these offerings to include in-person experiences as well. Families who checked out laptops and are continuing with SPS next fall can keep them over the summer. 

Back-to-school: As our district task force gets started studying options for safely returning to school next year, we are closely following the work of the state superintendent’s workgroup on reopening Washington schools. Learn more on OSPI’s website. During the process, we’ll provide many opportunities for community, staff and students to share their thoughts. 

Registration: Families of kindergarteners and new students can now start the registration process online for the 2020-21 school year.

Budget forums: Learn and share feedback as we plan and prioritize our needs for the future during community budget forums June 2 and 4 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Zoom. Complete the registration form to receive log-in information. The forums will cover key budget topics:

  • Funding Sources and Sustainability
  • Safety, Health and Wellness
  • Continuous Learning
  • Class Size and Staffing
  • Student Interventions and Supports (Special Education, English Language Learning, Mental Health, Social Emotional Learning)

Webinars tonight

  • Parent support webinar on engaging the disengaged child at 6:30 p.m., hosted by our Special Education and Student Services departments. Register here.
  • Class of 2020 webinar from 4-5 p.m. Log-in information has been emailed.

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900. Check spokaneschools.org for information about free meals, laptop checkout, learning at home and more.

Our next message will be Monday, June 1. Keep learning!


Spokane Public Schools

May 21 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

A district task force has created a process to return student belongings still at school, collect district materials and equipment, and prepare classrooms for thorough summer cleaning. This process will begin next month if the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is lifted May 31. Safety is the top priority and we will limit the number of people in schools at any one time. Your school will be in touch May 29 with details.

Results: Thanks to everyone who joined our recent ThoughtExchange. We heard many comments from parents expressing appreciation for the work teachers and staff have done to support students. We also heard your desire for more streamlined digital platforms. We will continue working to make those platforms easier to navigate. SPS is so proud of the work teachers and staff are doing every day with students!

Safe start planning: Another top ThoughtExchange comment was safely opening schools in the fall. A task force of staff and parents is being developed to study options and create a plan for safely returning to school next year. This plan may require different options to be considered, depending upon state and federal guidelines. We’ll have more information and share opportunities for input soon. Review the complete ThoughtExchange results here.

Reminder: In honor of the Memorial Day holiday, there is no school May 22 and 25, and also no meal pick-up those days. 

Budget forums: We will host community budget forums via Zoom on June 2 and 4 at 6:30 p.m. You are invited to learn and share feedback as we plan and prioritize our needs for the future. The forums will cover key budget topics:

  • Student Interventions & Supports (Special Education, English Language Learners, Mental Health)
  • Safety, Health and Wellness
  • Distance/Remote Learning
  • Class Size and Staffing
  • Funding Sources and Sustainability

Webinars & support 

  • Parent support webinar on taking care of yourself: Tonight at 6:30 p.m., hosted by our Special Education and Student Services departments. Register here.
  • Special Ed Q&ATomorrow, May 22 at 2 p.m. Register here.
  • Class of 2020 webinar: May 28 from 4-5 p.m. Log-in information will be emailed.

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900. Check spokaneschools.org for information about free meals, laptop checkout, learning at home and more.

Look for our next message Thursday, May 28. Keep learning!


Spokane Public Schools

 

May 18 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

With summer right around the corner, we know there are many questions about camps and other activities. Much depends on the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order being lifted on May 31. We are working to provide as many opportunities as possible this summer, and hope to have details in the coming days.

Meals update: Our 24 grab & go meals sites along with our 12 mobile meals routes will not serve meals on Friday, May 22, and Monday, May 25. Friday is a non-work day for our staff, and Monday is Memorial Day. To make sure students still have meals on those days, Thursday’s meal program will include three breakfast and three lunches. Students may want to bring a backpack that day, especially if they ride their bike.

Reminder: In honor of the Memorial Day holiday, there is no school May 22 and 25.

Budget forums: We will host community budget forums via Zoom on May 28 and June 2 at 6:30 p.m. Please plan to attend so you can learn and share feedback as we plan and prioritize our needs for the future. Breakout sessions will cover key budget topics:

  • Student Interventions, Supports and Special Education
  • Safety, Health and Wellness
  • Distance/Remote Learning
  • Class Size and Staffing
  • Funding Sources and Sustainability

Senior webinar: Members of the Class of 2020 and their families are invited to a senior webinar Thursday, May 28, from 4-5 p.m. Get your questions answered! Log-in information will be emailed.

Parent support webinars: The Thursday webinar series hosted by our Special Education and Student Services departments continues May 21 at 6:30 p.m. with a session on taking care of yourself. Register here for this webinar and the following:

  • Engaging the disengaged child: May 28 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Strategies for students struggling behaviorally during the COVID closure:June 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Special Ed Q&A: The Special Education department will host its bi-weekly question and answer session Friday, May 22, at 2 p.m. Sign up here if you’d like to attend.

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900. Check spokaneschools.org for information about free meals, laptop checkout, learning at home and more.

Look for our next message on Thursday. Keep learning!


Spokane Public Schools

 

May 14 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Safety is always our top priority. While we hoped to be able to host outdoor graduations, we understand the governor’s decision to continue restricting larger gatherings. Our new plan is to celebrate our seniors with a graduation video. Schools are working individually on plans for what the videos will look like, and will communicate details with their seniors. We’d love nothing more than for our graduates to be together, but for now, this is the safest way to honor them.

Supporting students: We all play a role in ensuring our students feel accepted and supported. Targeting or discriminating against Asian students in connection to COVID-19 is unacceptable and goes against our values of racial equity and social justice. In SPS, we are committed to welcoming, safe, and inclusive schools, and we do not tolerate acts of discrimination.

Please take the time to create a positive environment and support each other. If you or someone you know feels unsafe or has experienced harassment, contact your school or the SPS Student Services department at 509.354.7393, or report the incident here.

We hear you: Thank you for your participation in our ThoughtExchange community conversation. We received lots of great feedback and suggestions from families and staff, with much interest in a plan for returning to school in the fall, and ensuring the safety of students and staff. Parents shared their appreciation for the work staff and teachers are doing to support students, and offered suggestions for streamlining which digital tools students are asked to use. Staff shared suggestions for improving communication. We will share more detailed results next week, and also have plans for a budget-themed ThoughtExchange soon. 

Webinars to support parents:

  • Use of digital tools today at 4 p.m. for parents of elementary students. A Zoom link has been emailed.
  • Navigating at-home learning for students on the spectrum today at 6:30 p.m. hosted by our Special Education and Student Services departments. Register here for this webinar and the following:
  • Taking care of yourself May 21 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Engaging the disengaged child May 28 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Strategies for students struggling behaviorally during the COVID closure June 4 at 6:30 p.m.

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900. Check spokaneschools.org for information about free meals, laptop checkout, learning at home and more.

Look for our next message on Monday. Keep learning!


Spokane Public Schools

May 11 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

This week brings several new opportunities for families to learn and get support.

Board meeting: A budget discussion and COVID-19 update are on the agenda for the School Board’s special meeting Wednesday, May 13, at 5:30 p.m. The regular board meeting follows at 7 p.m., and will include a Career and Technical Education annual report, Whole Child Focus: MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) update and Social Emotional Learning curriculum adoption for grades K-6.

If you’d like to attend, complete the Register to Attend A Virtual School Board Meeting form. You’ll receive Zoom log-in information about 60 minutes before the meeting starts.

Using digital tools: Parents of elementary students are invited to a webinar on the use of digital tools Thursday, May 14, in the afternoon. We will send a Zoom link to elementary families and will post a recording online after the session for those who can’t join us live.

Support for all parents: The Special Education and Student Services departments will host four webinars, Thursdays from 6:30-7:15 p.m., to address some of the concerns we’ve heard from parents:  

  • May 14: Navigating at-home learning for students on the spectrum 
  • May 21: Taking care of yourself 
  • May 28: Engaging the disengaged child 
  • June 4: Strategies for students struggling behaviorally during the COVID closure 

Learn more and how to register here.

Student safety: We all play a role in ensuring our students feel accepted and supported. Targeting or discriminating against Asian students in connection to COVID-19 is unacceptable and goes against our values of racial equity and social justice. In SPS, we are committed to welcoming, safe, and inclusive schools, and we do not tolerate acts of discrimination.

Please take the time to create a positive environment and support each other. If you or someone you know feels unsafe or has experienced harassment, contact your school or the SPS Student Services department at 509.354.7393, or report the incident on the SPS website.

Thank you: More than 2,300 people joined our ThoughtExchange community conversation. We appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback. We’ll be sharing the results soon!

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900. Check spokaneschools.org for information about free meals, laptop checkout, learning at home and more.

Look for our next message on Thursday. Keep learning!


Spokane Public Schools

May 7 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

The COVID closure has challenged us all on so many levels. It’s been overwhelming and exhausting, but you’ve adapted and persevered. We appreciate that you are doing your best.

And so, we offer our sincerest thanks to our dedicated, caring and resilient teachers and staff, and to the parents and guardians who have stepped into that role. We are grateful for your partnership and the work you are doing to support our students.

Last day: The last day of school for the 2019-20 school year will be Friday, June 19. That means there are just 29 days left, since May 22 and 25 are still non-school days. We want to help you make the most of this time, so please let us know how we can support you.

Last call: Our ThoughtExchange community conversation ends tomorrow, May 8, at 8 p.m. Thank you to everyone who has already shared ideas about the most important things for SPS to think about as we plan for the future. If you haven’t yet added your voice to the mix, please do so. We want to hear from you!

Keep learning: As we continue working to provide consistency, teachers are selecting digital tools based on a variety of factors to provide the best learning experience for students:

  • Class Announcements: Office 365 email and Teams Announcements or Class Dojo (elementary), Blackboard Announcements (secondary)
  • Assignments & Activities: Microsoft Teams and/or Connect 5 Learning Plans (elementary), Blackboard (secondary)
  • Live Meetings: Microsoft Teams or Zoom
  • File Storage and Sharing: OneDrive for personal storage/sharing, Microsoft Teams for group storage/sharin

By logging in to Clever, students can access all digital tools using one username and password. 

Safe & supportive: Our school communities are stronger when everyone feels connected and accepted. Please take the time to create a positive environment and support each other as we travel this challenging road together. If you or someone you know feels unsafe or has experienced harassment, contact your school or the SPS Student Services department at 509. 354.7393, or report the incident on the SPS website.

Resources: Find information about free meals, laptop checkout, learning at home and more at spokaneschools.org.

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900.

We will continue sending text and email messages on Mondays and Thursdays. Stay healthy and keep learning, SPS!


Spokane Public Schools

 

May 4 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Our ThoughtExchange community conversation is off to a great start. Already more than 1,000 people have shared their thoughts about the most important things for SPS to think about as we plan for the future. The word cloud below can give you a sense of the most popular topics so far. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, which will help inform our decisions moving forward. The ThoughtExchange is open until May 8 at 8 p.m. 

word cloud


Keep learning: 
As a reminder, KSPS World is airing virtual classroom lessons by SPS teachers for grades K-5, in addition to educational programming for grades 6-12 on KSPS World 7.2, Comcast 313, simulcast on Comcast 17 and over the air. The KSPS website has archived lessons as well as schedules and other learning resources.

Need a laptop? We still have laptops available for checkout. If you’d like one, fill out the form to accept the parental agreement, and you will be contacted to confirm a date, time and place for pickup. If you are unable to keep your distribution time, any friend, family, or staff member can pick up the computer for you, as long as they have the student's name, school, grade and student ID. Questions? Call 354-7636 or email techrequest@spokaneschools.org. 

More meals: Today we started a new mobile meals route in the Holmes/Garfield area. Find all our mobile meal stop locations and times online, in addition to our 24 grab & go sites. 

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900.

We will continue sending text and email messages on Mondays and Thursdays. Stay home, stay healthy, and thank you for your support.


Spokane Public Schools

 

April 30 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Let us know what you’re thinking! Today we are launching a ThoughtExchange community conversation to get your ideas about the most important things for SPS to think about as we plan for the future. The ThoughtExchange will be open until May 8 at 8 p.m. The link was emailed and texted to students, staff and families. Thanks in advance for taking a few minutes to share your thoughts, which will help inform our decisions moving forward. 

More meals: On Monday, May 4, we will start a new mobile meals route in the Holmes/Garfield area, in response to a community request. Find all our mobile meal stop locations and times online, in addition to our 24 grab & go sites. Please give a big thank you to those who make all these meals possible in honor of School Lunch Hero Day tomorrow, May 1.

Keep learning:
We have information to share about student engagement, meal distribution, laptop checkouts, technology usage and more. See all the stats on Our Coronavirus Response page.

Closure resources: Find information about free meals, laptop checkout, online learning, homeless support, how to help and how to get help at spokaneschools.org. 

Questions? It is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900.

We will continue sending text and email messages on Mondays and Thursdays. Thank you for your partnership.

Spokane Public Schools

April 27 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

So much has changed over the past two months, but with your support, we’ve found ways to persevere. Children are receiving meals. First responders and healthcare workers have access to child care. More families have access to technology. Teachers are teaching. Students are learning.

Many transitions have been far from easy, and there’s still a lot to figure out. To help us keep improving, we will launch a ThoughtExchange conversation for our community about the school closure this Thursday, April 30. We are interested to hear what you think we’re doing well and what we can do better.

Update on grading: Based on updated guidance from the state superintendent on April 21, secondary students will be graded using the letter grades A-D or incomplete. Similar to normal circumstances, teachers will use their professional judgment to provide feedback and grade assignments to record student learning, competency, and course completion. Learn more about secondary grading here. An update on elementary grading is coming soon.

Class of 2020:
Our webinar for seniors and their families is this Thursday, April 30. Join us from 4-5 p.m. or 5-6 p.m. to get your questions answered. Login information will be emailed to seniors and their families. We’ll post the recording to the senior webpage on Friday.

TV lessons: KSPS is now airing virtual classroom lessons by SPS teachers for grades K-5, in addition to educational programming for grades 6-12. Lessons are archived on the KSPS site if you miss them live. Questions about antenna use? Contact EdTech@spokaneschools.org. Keep learning, SPS!

Items left at school: If students have items at school that are critical for instructional or medical purposes, parents can contact their school to make arrangements to pick them up.  We are working on a plan to return all student belongings at the end of the school year, and to have students return items they checked out. More information to come!

Closure resources
: Find information about free meals, laptop checkout, online learning, homeless support, how to help and how to get help at spokaneschools.org. 

If you have questions or concerns, it is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900. We will continue sending text and email messages on Mondays and Thursdays.

Spokane Public Schools

April 24 update

Dear SPS families and staff, 

The school closure has certainly been challenging for all of us, but for the Class of 2020, it has been particularly hard. The final year of high school can be one of the most memorable, and our seniors are being deprived of so many of the events and activities that make it special. We want to ensure they have the information, resources and supports they need to finish school, that they feel prepared for their post-graduation pursuits, and that they are honored and celebrated in the very best way these unusual times will allow.    

We know there are questions, and so we are hosting a webinar for seniors and their families Thursday, April 30. We’ll hold two sessions: from 4-5 p.m. and from 5-6 p.m. Superintendent Redinger, SPS administrators and high school principals will answer questions about credit requirements, grading, virtual graduations and more. Login information will be emailed to seniors and their families. Learn more on our webpage dedicated to seniors: spokaneschools.org/Classof2020.

TV lessons
: Starting Monday, KSPS will air virtual classroom lessons by SPS teachers for grades K-5, in addition to educational programming for grades 6-12. Staff have been working hard on the lesson content and video creation – we think you’ll find them to be a great addition to your learning at home resources. Keep learning, SPS!

How do I ...? Our Learning at Home page contains many instructional videos to help you navigate Clever, Teams and other tech tools. Your student’s teacher is another great resource if you have additional questions. 

Closure resources: Find information about free meals, laptop checkout, online learning, homeless support, how to help and how to get help at spokaneschools.org.

Communication: Starting next week, we will send text and email messages only on Mondays and Thursdays. 

If you have questions or concerns, it is best to connect with your students’ teacher(s), but we are always happy to help as well: 509.354.5900.


Spokane Public Schools

P.S. If you haven’t seen it yet, the Downtown Spokane Partnership produced a great video reminder: We Will. Again.

April 22 update

Dear SPS families and staff, 

Talking with teachers. Connecting with classmates. Pursuing passion projects. Digging in to daily assignments. Around the district, students are figuring out this new way of doing school, and doing what needs to be done. Families have embraced their new role while providing support and encouragement. Teachers and staff have made extraordinary efforts to ensure they are reaching and teaching all students.

Of course there are still stumbles and challenges too, but we appreciate that you try and try again. This is a huge transition for everyone.

Thank you for doing your part to keep learning!

Special board meeting tonight: The School Board will convene in a Special Meeting tonight at 5 p.m. via Zoom. The agenda includes legacy (grandfathering) provisions for school boundary adjustments, graduation planning, and a budget discussion, including a School Board resolution for suspension of workload provisions and declaration of financial emergency. If you'd like to attend, complete the Register to Attend A Virtual School Board Meeting form and you will receive Zoom log-in information.

Grading: The learning expectations we outlined for elementary and secondary students primarily align with the learning and grading guidance recently released by the state superintendent’s office. We are working closely with them to clarify details and will provide updates as needed.

Closure resources: Find information about free meals, laptop checkout, online learning, homeless support, how to help and how to get help at spokaneschools.org.

Communication: We will continue our text and email messages to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

Please let us know if you have questions or concerns, or how we can help: 509.354.5900. Keep learning!


Spokane Public Schools

April 20 update

Dear SPS families and staff, 

Thank you for your patience as we continue transitioning to new expectations for students and staff. We have worked hard to create schedules that connect students with their teachers regularly, encourage real-time interactions, require daily accountability, and provide predictability and support. It is so important for students to keep learning!

If you haven’t yet, please take a few minutes to review the learning expectations for elementary students and secondary students. We hope that these guidelines and resources more clearly map out a path of learning for the rest of the school year. If you have questions, please let us know: 509.354.5900.

New mobile meals routes: Our four new mobile meals delivery routes, in the areas of Linwood, Logan, Roosevelt and Woodridge/Balboa, are up and running. Check our website for all mobile meal stop locations and times, in addition to our 24 grab & go sites. 

Need a laptop? We are continuing to distribute laptops each week. If you’d like to check one out, fill out the form to accept the parental agreement, and you will be contacted to confirm a date, time and place for pickup. If you are unable to keep your distribution time, any friend, family, or staff member can pick up the computer for you, as long as they have the student's name, school, grade and student ID. Questions? Call 354-7636 or email techrequest@spokaneschools.org 

Closure resources: Find information about free meals, laptop checkout, online learning, homeless support, how to help and how to get help at spokaneschools.org.

Communication: We will continue our text and email messages to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

We will get through this together!
 

Spokane Public Schools

Keep Learning: April 19 message

keep learning

Spokane Public Schools’ teachers and staff are committed to helping students keep learning during the COVID-19 school closure. As we continue transitioning to the extension of our school closure, we wanted to share these guidelines to help keep your students focused and motivated while learning at home.

Daily Expectations & Grading

Students should:

  • Check their Office 365 email and/or Microsoft Teams at the beginning of each week to find out the plan for the week.
  • Complete their daily assignments. Teachers will let them know how to submit work for feedback and grading. Student work will focus on review and new learning on the most important objectives for the semester.
  • Try to attend weekly live sessions hosted by their teacher. Find more detailed expectations by grade level online: elementary studentssecondary students.

Use these recommendations to help you structure student academic time at home:

minutes per day

Tools

Students can log in to Clever, which is accessible from the SPS website. Clever gives access to all digital tools using one username and password. Logging into Clever will sign students into Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Blackboard and elementary curriculum.

Resources to Keep Learningconnect 5

  • Weekly live sessions: For elementary students, these will happen once a week for 30 minutes in Microsoft Teams. Secondary students will have a minimum of one live virtual session for each course every week in Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate. Teachers will share the schedule for the live session in their weekly communication to students.
  • TV lessons for all grades will be broadcast in partnership with KSPS/PBS from April 27-June 12. View them online at ksps.org/keeplearning and find weekly schedules at spokaneschools.org.
  • Closure resources: Find information about free meals, laptop checkout, homeless support, how to help and how to get help at spokaneschools.org.

Find all district learning resources at spokaneschools.org/learningathome.

April 17 update

keep learning  

Dear SPS families and staff, 

On Sunday evening, we will have new resources and additional specifics about daily expectations for students, grading, the teaching of new content, and more. Please take some time to review this new and important information with your student(s).

We began this school year talking about attendance and the importance of showing up to school every day. Even though we aren’t meeting in classrooms, it is essential for students to still “show up for school” and to keep learning. With roughly two months left in the school year, we want to encourage you to make the most of this time. Teachers, counselors and administrators are ready to help students continue along their academic path, and to support families in their new role as well.

New mobile meals routes: Starting Monday, April 20, we will add four routes to our mobile meals delivery, reaching even more areas of our community. The routes are in the areas of Linwood, Logan, Roosevelt and Woodridge/Balboa. We are listening to our community and adding meal availability as we are able. Check our website for mobile meal stop locations and times, in addition to our 24 grab & go sites. 

Need a laptop? We are continuing to distribute laptops each week. If you’d like to check one out, fill out the form to accept the parental agreement, and you will be contacted to confirm a date, time and place for pickup. If you are unable to keep your distribution time, any friend, family, or staff member can pick up the computer for you, as long as they have the student's name, school, grade and student ID. Questions? Call 354-7636 or email techrequest@spokaneschools.org 

Closure resources: Find information about free meals, laptop checkout, online learning, homeless support, how to help and how to get help at spokaneschools.org.

Communication: We will continue our text and email messages to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

Stay safe and healthy!

  

Spokane Public Schools

 

April 15 update

Dear SPS families and staff,

Many of you have taken on new roles during this unprecedented school closure, and we want to thank you for the important work you are doing. More than ever before, we appreciate the strong partnerships we have with our SPS families, and the dedication of our hard-working staff. We are here to support you however we can, so please reach out if there is anything we can do: 509.354.5900.

As learning continues at home, so does the business of school. Our regularly scheduled board meeting occurs tonight. A budget planning discussion will happen during the special meeting at 5:30 p.m. The agenda for the 7 p.m. meeting includes an Educational Services update on credits and graduation requirements.

If you’d like to attend, complete the Register to Attend a Virtual School Board Meeting form. You'll receive Zoom log-in information approximately 60 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.

School names: If it works for your stay-at-home situation, we’d love your help thinking of names for our three new middle schools and the new On Track Academy building. Find details and how to submit your ideas here

Closure resources: Find information about free meals, laptop checkout, online learning, homeless support, how to help and how to get help at spokaneschools.org.

Communication: We will continue our text and email messages to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 

Thank you for your patience and support as we work through the many challenges of this pandemic.


Spokane Public Schools

April 13 update

Dear SPS families and staff, 

We hope you were able to find ways to relax and recharge during Spring Break. With our buildings now closed to students the rest of the school year, we are continuing to work through the challenges of this new academic landscape. This transition to a new way of teaching and learning represents a significant shift, and it’s important to be thoughtful and intentional about our path moving forward. We know you have many questions. While we don’t yet have all the answers, we wanted you to know that we are:

  • determining student expectations, including how much time they should be engaged in continuous learning each day.
  • working on specifics regarding grades, credits and graduation requirements. On Wednesday, district leadership will provide an update to the School Board that includes a recommendation to apply for a waiver from the state, allowing greater flexibility in awarding diplomas to high school seniors.
  • preparing new ways to register for kindergarten, including an online option.
  • considering three plans for graduation ceremonies depending on the governor’s order: keeping the current dates, moving them to late July/early August, or having virtual ceremonies.
  • developing a plan to allow students and parents to retrieve personal belongings from schools, and to return equipment and materials that aren’t being used while learning at home.

We expect to have more information on these topics by the end of the week.

Activities update: The WIAA cancelled all in-person extracurricular athletics and activities through the end of the school year to help keep students and families safe. This includes all regular season practices as well as all post-season tournaments and championship events.

Closure resources: Find information about free meals, laptop checkout, online learning, homeless support, how to help and how to get help at spokaneschools.org.

Communication: We will continue our text and email messages to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

We are excited for the opportunity to explore and learn together, and are here to support you!


Spokane Public Schools

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.