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School Operations FAQs
UPDATED: April 10, 2020
Why are schools closed?
On April 6th, Governor Inslee announced that all public schools in Washington will remain closed through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. During the closure, all school buildings will be closed. This includes the Booth Administration Building. If you need to contact the District, please call (509) 543-6700.
How would schools make-up days from a closure? I heard the state said it would waive days missed because of Novel Coronavirus.
State education officials have indicated they will file an emergency rule to allow districts to waive the days and instructional hours that districts are not able to make up as a result of closures from COVID-19. This rule would be in effect for the 2019–20 school year only and require districts to make every effort to make up lost instructional time. Districts seeking the waiver would have to extend their school year through June 19 at a minimum.
What about state testing?
OSPI has decided that all state testing will be canceled 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), English Learner Progress Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21), and WIDA Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.
What will happen with graduation?
At this time, we do not have information from the state about how graduation requirements will be addressed by the state. We also do not know if graduation will be affected. When we receive updated information from the state, we will share it with parents.
The Governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order forced a lot of local businesses to close. Why are the school construction projects allowed to continue?
K-12 public schools fall under the exemptions for "Other Community-Based Government Operations and Essential Functions" of the Governor's order. Specifically, the exemption applies to workers supporting K-12 schools. The exemptions go on to include "Construction workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects for all essential facilities, services and projects included in this document." Also exempted are "Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of construction sites and construction projects". The Governor's office has also advised that all active projects must have a COVID-19 protection plan in place, and all construction activity must meet social distancing and appropriate health and worker protection measures.
How do district staff clean, sanitize and disinfect schools?
Health officials report that standard cleaning and disinfecting is sufficient to kill COVID-19 on surfaces. The district’s custodial and maintenance programs continue to emphasize and implement best practices in cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing methods. School custodians are disinfecting commonly touched surfaces throughout the day and extra sanitizing will occur as needed. Maintenance crews are also disinfecting all of our school buses and transport vans on a regular basis.