We are incredibly grateful to each and every one of you for showing up to our schools and supporting our students and families during this unprecedented health crisis. This has been a stressful few weeks as the situation evolves on a daily basis.
We have kept our schools open as long as possible, as recommended by state and local public health authorities. We know that in addition to education, schools provide vital support to our communities and that closure will have a major impact on our families.
At 2:00 p.m today, Governor Inslee issued an executive order closing all schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties until at least April 24. All Highline schools will close to students, effective Monday, March 16.
Today, Thursday, March 12 is the last day of school, including athletics, activities and clubs. Friday, March 13 is a non-student day as normally scheduled. Please communicate to your students this is the last day of school for several weeks.
If you are scheduled to work tomorrow, March 13, please report to work. If you do not work tomorrow, please take your personal items home today.
To support an orderly transition, all central office staff, as well as principals, office managers and custodians, are expected to report to work Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20. School offices will remain open through March 20 to allow families to pick up medication, staff to pick up personal items and teachers to retrieve supplies, materials, etc.
OSPI has indicated that staff will be paid during school closures. Because of this, staff will be expected to continue to work during the closure, though expectations and work sites may vary over the next few weeks. HR will provide details in a separate email tomorrow.
March 16-18 will be non-work days for school-based HEA members. Remote work expectations for these HEA members will begin Thursday, March 19. Our TLL team is working on that plan and will communicate it early next week.
We will continue to communicate with you during the closure about expectations and job responsibilities. It will be critical to check your email regularly. Please make sure you know how to access your district email while at home.
I know closing schools for even a single day can negatively impact our community. We are making plans to address the most critical impacts of an extended closure:
- Provide meals to students while schools are closed.
- Distribute instructional materials to students.
- Offer childcare to families.
- Support 12th-grade students to complete graduation requirements.
We are also working to address concerns and questions about special education, budgeting, evaluations, assessments, scheduling, hiring and more. Please check your email daily as details and instructions will continue to be shared in the coming days and weeks.
Thank you to everyone who shared your questions, concerns and ideas yesterday through ThoughtExchange. I ask you to continue to share your input through ThoughtExchange. This will allow us to consolidate input and drive communication with staff and families in the coming days.
I am so grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult situation. The next several weeks will be challenging but we will get through it together because We Are Highline.