This message was sent to all SPS families on Jan. 13:
Thank you for your continued patience as we confront the challenges brought on by the surge in COVID-19 cases. We are using every means available to maintain in-person learning and avoid abrupt, unplanned school closures. We are particularly grateful for the many substitutes and staff who have stepped in to cover classrooms. This includes over 50 central office administrators and numerous members of our support team.
Despite our efforts, we are still facing a large number of shortages every day, creating a significant strain on individual classrooms, schools, and district operations. Public health officials have predicted the omicron surge will peak next week, meaning staffing conditions will likely not improve and may worsen over the next several weeks.
Considering this, we are adjusting our school calendar to provide additional time for staff to complete quarantines required by the Department of Health. Recognizing that current staffing levels have reached a critical point, we believe this approach will help us return staff to work and manage contact tracing, while offering as much advanced notice as possible and continuity for students.
Our intent is to continue providing in-person learning, as recommended by public health officials. Shifting the school calendar instead of canceling school keeps as many students in school as possible with minimal disruption to education and other SPS services.
The next three weeks will include the following calendar days and adjustments:
- Monday, Jan. 17 – No school (MLK Day)
- Tuesday, Jan. 18 – No school (replaces March 14 snow make-up day)
- Monday, Jan. 24 – No school for students, pending conditions (see *note below)
- Monday, Jan. 31 – No school (semester break day)
*NOTE: We highly anticipate the need to utilize Jan. 24 as a non-student day (replacing March 4) and will provide final confirmation no later than Thursday, Jan. 20, to allow staff and families as much advance notice as possible.
Additional considerations for Jan. 18
On Tuesday, Jan. 18, there will be no morning or afternoon childcare, including Express and preschool programs.
Athletics and extracurricular activities are being adjusted to the greatest extent possible. Please contact your athletic director or building administrator with specific questions.
Our goal is to keep as many students in school as possible with minimal disruption to education and other SPS services. Please continue to wear a mask, practice good hygiene, and stay home if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. Families should contact their student’s school attendance line to report symptoms. Here are two community resources that may be helpful:
Spokane Public Schools