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Clark County schools to close for six weeks over COVID-19 concerns

All public and private K-12 schools in Washington will close their doors for at least six weeks due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced the closures on Friday afternoon. The closures start Monday at Vancouver Public Schools and Tuesday in other districts and run through at least April 24. The move will affect an estimated 80,000 students in Clark County.

In Vancouver Public Schools, missed school days will be made up at the end of the school year on June 11, 12, and June 15-19. The state will issue waivers for the balance of the missed days. Graduation dates will not be impacted, the district reported.

The decision comes in the wake of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s order that schools in the state close through the rest of March late Thursday. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday ordered the closure of all schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties.

Area districts at first were hesitant to run to close schools, citing concerns particularly for those low-income students who may rely on schools for breakfast and lunch. About 41.3 percent of Clark County students classify as low-income, according to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Local districts will not offer online lessons to students. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction advised this month that districts only do so if they could ensure all students had access to lessons online, but not all families have computers or internet access.

The Northshore School District, a relatively affluent district in Bothell, made the move to online education Monday.

Vancouver Public Schools issued the following statement Friday:

Vancouver Public Schools is closing all its schools Monday, March 16, through Friday, April 24. Gov. Jay Inslee has directed all Washington state public schools to close to help our state and nation combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

We take any decision to close schools very seriously, recognizing that closures can pose difficulties for families and disrupt children’s education.

Please review the following important information:

  • Effective at the end of school today and throughout the closure, ALL athletics and morning/afternoon/evening and weekend school activities will be canceled. 
  • VPS will provide meals to all students affected by emergency school closures beginning Monday, March 16. Sack lunches will be distributed to students between 10 a.m. and noon at the front of the following schools:
    • Anderson Elementary, 2215 NE 104th St.
    • Fruit Valley Elementary, 3410 NW Fruit Valley Rd.
    • Ogden Elementary School, 3200 NE 86th Ave.
    • Roosevelt Elementary, 2921 Falk Rd.
    • Washington Elementary School, 2908 S St.
    • Discovery Middle School, 800 E. 40th St. 
    • Jason Lee Middle School, 8500 NW 9th Ave.
    • McLoughlin Middle School, 5802 MacArthur Blvd.
  • Educational Service District 112 childcare centers will continue to operate in VPS.
  • Missed school days will be made up at the end of the school year. The make-up days will be: June 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. The state will issue waivers for the balance of the missed days. Graduation dates will not be impacted. 
  • We know that students, families and staff will have questions. We will continue to provide updates via several methods:

 

This story will be updated. 


Source: https://www.columbian.com

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