School Closure and COVID-19 Updates

  • All Spokane Public Schools sites, including preschools, are closed for students for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.

  • translated materials

  • 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

     

Talking to your student about COVID-19 & school closures

It’s likely your student knows about COVID-19, whether it’s from social media, their friends or trusted adults in their lives. Below is information about COVID-19 you can use to help address any questions you student may have.

Have a young student? This comic may help explain this public health situation to younger children.

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)

It is a respiratory disease that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States.

How it spreads

During the week of February 23, CDC reported community spread of the virus, meaning some people have been infected who are not sure how or where they became infected.

In Washington, community spread resulted in the first death in the United States from COVID-19, as well as the first reported case of COVID-19 in a health care worker, and the first potential outbreak in a long-term care facility.

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).
  • Through 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 and severity

People with coronavirus have:

  • a dry, itchy cough
  • a fever
  • and trouble breathing

These symptoms may appear between 2-14 days after exposure. Much is still being learned about the disease, but reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe – meaning you could either show no symptoms, just have a really bad cold or suffer from complete organ failure.

Is my student at risk?

People under the age of 20 have a low risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. The risk of having more serious symptoms of COVID-19 increase with age and whether that person has an underlying health condition. The Washington Department of Health has broken down COVID-19 cases by age on their website

More resources

Talking with students about COVID-19

Talking with students about school closures

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

State testing, grad requirements, end of school, BECCA

 

State Testing Cancelled

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.

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.

BECCA

Parents and guardians who are worried about how COVID-19-related absences will affect their students BECCA status should speak to their BECCA coordinator.

Closure Resources

wash hands, don't touch face