LOCAL NEWS

Gov. Inslee orders Washington schools closed for remainder of year

Apr 6, 2020, 2:39 PM | Updated: 6:02 pm
schools...
Gov. Inslee announces schools will be closed through the rest of the school year. (TVW)
(TVW)

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday that private and public K-12 schools across Washington will be closed for the remainder of the school year.

“All schools will continue distance learning through the end of this school year,” Inslee said.

Live coronavirus updates

The six-week statewide closure of all K-12 schools ordered by Inslee last month was set to expire April 24. With the extension of the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy initiative to May 4, many have wondered what would mean for schools.

“We know the value of school and the power of learning, and we are nervous about that,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal.

“While learning is of paramount duty to the state, the health of the people is first and foremost,” Reykdal added. “We do not want that curve to suddenly spike back up because we acted too quickly to come back.”

He asked the private sector to help public education support children across the state, emphasizing that connectivity is a right that should be as significant as access to clean water.

“The disease is compelling us to have an education challenge, but our task is to rise to it,” he said.

Reykdal also spoke about strengthening distance learning plans to prepare for this crisis, and anything that may arise in the future.

“We will never replace face-to-face learning.”

The last day of school in Seattle was scheduled for June 18.

Last week, in a video to families, Reykdal hinted that schools may be closed the rest of the year.

“I don’t know if we’re coming back to school this year,” he said.  “It’s going to be really tough to do because we want to make sure people are safe, and if we rush back to school and put all of us in tight classrooms and bring everyone back into our buildings, there’s a chance that our caseload peaks back up again and that would absolutely be the worst thing for public health.”

Starting March 30, all districts were to have a system in place for distance learning, with a variety of strategies being implemented statewide, including paper packets, online learning, and video classes. School leaders are continuing to evaluate student needs and refine distance learning strategies.

Reykdal has previously emphasized the importance of ensuring that all seniors can graduate on time, as his office continues to work with districts to help students meet graduation requirements.

Graduating seniors

For graduating seniors, Reykdal said not to worry.

“They have requirements by the state for certain credits,” Reykdal said. “Teachers are going to make independent decisions about those students and their knowledge and their ability to meet standards.”

He said the state board of education is also poised to waive some of those credits for students who absolutely need that.

“But it does require a good faith effort,” Reykdal said. “We can’t just put our pencils and pens down and say ‘hey, we’re done’ – we’ve got to work through this.”

Reykdal said he’s counting on seniors to keep learning even though it’s springtime, a time that would normally be all about senior celebrations.

Coping with added stress during the coronavirus outbreak

“I need you to double down on learning to make sure that you’re going to graduate successfully,” Reykdal said, vowing his office was completely committed to ensuring seniors would graduate.

He also reminded parents, families, and students that Washington schools are not alone in this, as more than 50 million students nationwide are out of school with dozens more states expected to close for the rest of the school year.

Public and private universities in the state have already started spring quarter on a remote learning model, including the University of Washington and Washington State University.

Local News

Nurses admit a patient transferred from the ICU COVID unit to the acute care COVID unit at Harborvi...
Nicole Jennings

Legislature debates WA hospital staffing ratios as healthcare labor problem steeps

Hospital administrators and health workers are divided over a bill that would mandate staffing ratios in different hospital departments.
20 hours ago
homes, single family zoning, moving company, Puget Sound housing...
Nick Bowman

Puget Sound housing market hits record numbers as prices continue to soar

Despite historically low inventory, the Puget Sound region housing market set records in 2021, as prices continued skyward.
20 hours ago
electronics...
MyNorthwest Staff

‘Right to repair’ bill would give Washington state consumers control over electronics repair

Washington state’s Legislature is considering a consumer protection bill intended to make it easier to repair personal electronics.
20 hours ago
Abortion...
Nick Bowman

State lawmakers take up abortion debate amid uncertain future for Roe v. Wade

The national debate surrounding abortion and reproductive rights is also taking place in Washington during 2022's legislative session.
20 hours ago
downtown shooting...
KIRO Newsradio staff

Open investigation after downtown Seattle shooting sends one to hospital

A 31-year-old man was transported to Harborview Medical Center on Wednesday after a shooting in downtown Seattle.
20 hours ago
COVID Washington two years...
Nick Bowman

2 years after Washington identified nation’s first COVID case, future of pandemic remains unclear

As of this week, it's now been exactly two years since the first case COVID-19 cases was identified in both Washington and the United States. 
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Gov. Inslee orders Washington schools closed for remainder of year