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  • Writer's pictureMLWA 7

Gov. Inslee extends statewide school closure order through end of year

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

- Olympia, WA

The statewide closure of all public and private schools that began last month will be extended through the remainder of the academic year to help stem the spread of coronavirus, Gov. Jay Inslee and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal announced Monday.

The governor and schools chief broke the news to all school district superintendents statewide in a special conference call earlier on Monday. The statewide school closure began March 17 and originally was set to expire on April 24. But under the extended order, all public and private K-12 schools in Washington state will be prohibited from providing traditional, in-person instruction through the end of the school year. Instruction can still happen via distance learning.

The extension of the closure was not unexpected. Reykdal said Friday in a question-and-answer session that it would be

"really tough" to restart traditional classroom prematurely "because we want to make sure people are safe."
"And if we rush back to school and put all of us back 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," he added.

Reykdal also said Friday that high school seniors will still be allowed to graduate as long as they meet state requirements.

The Moses Lake School District went out a letter on their Facebook page stating that the Superintendent Dr. Joshua Meek stated,

"As our state continues our efforts at 'flattening the curve' by staying home and staying healthy, the Governor's decision is as expected, and we are starting to see some impacts of these aggressive moves. Unfortunately, this mandate also means our inability to return to our school buildings this school year."

"The good news is that our dedicated team of staff has already been working hard to provide essential services and remote delivery," says Meek. "We already have the systems and ability to maintain connections with our learning community, and will continue to provide:
• Remote delivery of instruction
• Food and child care services
We will continue to do our very best to meet our student's needs– this mandate just extends our efforts."

Classes across the state will continue back to normal at the start of the 2021 school year.


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