Governor Inslee School Guidelines Update

Governor Inslee School Guidelines Update
Posted on 03/12/2020
Governor Inslee School Guidelines UpdateMarch 12, 2020

Dear PASD Community,

We just finished listening to Governor Jay Inslee announce new school guidelines to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, including mandatory school closures in Snohomish, King, and Pierce counties only. The closures in these counties are based on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, ability of Public Health to perform contact tracing, and student/staff attendance rates in those counties.

The governor and the health department are asking the other 36 counties, including Clallam, to stay open to serve our families; however, he is asking all school districts to begin contingency planning, which we have already been doing and will continue to do. We are readying ourselves for the possibility of closures.

Schools serve important functions in our community. They are key to meeting students’ basic needs like nutrition, care, and keeping our community functional. There is high overlap between our health care professionals and our parent community. We want to support local employees and maintain the capacity of the health care system by taking care of children so parents can work.

Here are the actions we are already taking:

  • We will continue to refine our contingency plans for possible local closures.
  • We have increased custodial staff to clean surfaces and high traffic areas multiple times a day.
  • We continue to encourage staff and students to stay home when they are sick.
  • We are continuing to take extra care in our schools and workplaces to follow the health department’s best advice for cleaning, hand-washing and other personal hygiene.

You will likely hear more in coming days about cancellations of in-person classes at higher education institutions. Please remember that our context is different. What a college can implement is different than what is easily implemented in a system with students from grades pre-K – 12, and the governor and the health department are still asking us to remain open to serve our families.

The superintendent will continue to stay in conversation with the state and local officials, as our entire region responds to new guidance and a call to take an active role combating COVID-19. Families know what’s best for their children, and we support any family decisions made during this time. Please contact your child’s school if you will be keeping them home. In the meantime, make sure you are taking care of yourself and your loved ones at this time of stress and anxiety. Governor Inslee reminded us that we are all leaders and we can take individual steps to help each other.

Our goal remains to keep our doors open in order to support our students and the entire community. Our incredible school staff, school leaders, and central support staff have been unwavering in this commitment. We appreciate their service to our community, children, and families. We will get through this, but it will take all of us thinking creatively and continuing to support our community’s children.

Jennifer Sperline 
Communications and Community Relations Coordinator
Port Angeles School District (www.portangelesschools.org)
905 West 9th Street, Port Angeles, WA  98363
(o): 360.565.3703 (f): 360.457.0795