Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday afternoon, March 12, 2020, announced that all schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties will close for six weeks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Inslee’s order affects schools in the Kent School District, which will close effective Monday, March 16.

The order would shut down 43 school districts across the region through April 24.

The 6–week closure will apply to all K-12 public schools and private schools in three counties.

Inslee’s school closure order comes one day after he ordered a ban on all events with gatherings of 250 or more people.

Here’s a statement from the Kent School District:

Starting Monday, March 16, all schools in KSD will close through April 24. Please note, Friday, March 13 is a non-student day as normally scheduled. All school offices will be open Friday, March 13 through Wednesday, March 18 to allow for parents, students, and staff to be able to retrieve medication and other essential personal items that they need to have with them while schools are closed.

Beginning Thursday, March 19 there will be no access KSD facilities unless otherwise communicated.

We understand that this plan will create hardship for many families, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation.

What this Means for Students
Thursday, March 12 is the last day of school for the foreseeable future. We are allowing parents, staff and students opportunities to collect learning materials and personal items they might need Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

We are working to prepare activities and resources for students for the prolonged absence. This will not take the place of regular classroom instruction but will supplement student learning at home. Assignments will not be required or graded. These activities are meant to provide optional opportunities for student learning while they are absent from school.

This includes the cancellation of all out-of-district transportation, school events, community rentals, athletic practices, and competitions.

We are finalizing plans to support our families during the closure in the following ways:

Providing meals to our students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals

Providing childcare for our families who need to continue working during our closure.

Providing support to our 12th-grade students to ensure they complete graduation requirements, if we are directed to do so by the Washington State Board of Education.

Public Health Guidance
We encourage you to continue to follow existing guidelines to protect your own health. The Centers for Disease Control recommends:

    • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds; use alcohol-based sanitizer if no water is available
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
    • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with those who are sick
    • Stay home if sick
    • Cover cough or sneeze with tissue, throw tissue in trash, wash hands
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched object and surfaces

Healthcare Resources
Here is a resource for families who may want to see a doctor but don’t have one and/or those who need to enroll in public or low-cost health insurance.

Community Health Access Program (CHAP) is a telephone assistance program serving King County residents by connecting them to health insurance, health care services and other resources. CHAP services are free and confidential. They can also connect you to free or low-cost medical providers and also assist with enrolling you in public or low-cost health insurance For more information, phone 1-800-756-5437 or email [email protected].

Stay Connected
As part of our coronavirus response, we will be sending frequent updates with information and resources via email, text messages, the website and social media channels. We want to express our appreciation for the patience of our KSD community as we work through the daily challenges the coronavirus has presented us.

Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...