The following is a message Superintendent Susan Enfield sent to all staff on March 23, 2020.
Tonight, Governor Inslee announced an order for Washingtonians to stay at home, except for essential activities, effective immediately.
We are truly in unprecedented times, and all of us are being called upon to live and work in new ways that we could not have imagined a few weeks ago.
The Governor has made it clear that schools play a critical role in getting our communities through this crisis. We provide essential services that support not only the daily nutritional needs of students, but also the ability of our healthcare system to fight this virus as we care for the children of the people on the front lines.
The Governor called the people performing these essential services heroes, and I couldn’t agree more. I am deeply grateful for our staff members who are stepping up for our students and families. Without you, we could not deliver on the duties we have been charged with during this emergency.
We will continue to provide grab-and-go meals for students at our meal locations. Paper copies of our learning packets for students in grades K-5 will also be distributed at our meal sites through Wednesday, March 25. As Governor Inslee has mandated, we will provide childcare for healthcare workers and first responders, beginning Wednesday, March 25.
We do not know how many weeks we will be expected to continue these services. What we do know is that it will take staff who are willing and able to show up for our students. Many of our staff members are not eligible to serve in this way because they are in a higher risk group. Each of us who can must ask ourselves what we will do to serve during this global crisis.
Over the coming weeks, you will have the opportunity to distribute meals and learning materials and to support childcare. I ask you to consider thoughtfully what you, based on your own personal circumstances, can do to help if you are eligible to do so. As I have said before, I will never ask of you more than I will do myself. Today I helped tally meals served at Sylvester and will be doing so again tomorrow. Seeing the smiles on our children’s faces and hearing the gratitude in our families’ voices was heartwarming and heartbreaking—a reminder of how much we all need to know that we are in this together.
Thank you for all you are doing and will continue to do to keep yourself safe and our community strong. Our students and families are depending on us like never before, and we will be there for them because We Are Highline.
Stay safe and strong everyone.
Susan Enfield, Ed.D.
Highline Public Schools