District details plans for extended school closures

Online instruction set to begin Monday, March 30

By Ritika Khanal and Nolan DeGarlais

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the world and has resulted in over 4,000 confirmed cases in the United States, of which approximately 1,000 are located within Washington state. In an attempt to slow down the spread of the virus and thus relieve pressure on the healthcare system, government agencies and public health officials are encouraging individuals to implement various social distancing measures. These measures have resulted in school closures and event cancelations across the nation. 

On Friday, March 13, in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, Governor Jay Inslee announced that he would mandate the closure of all schools in Washington, public and private, through at least Friday, April 24. 

Inslee implemented further measures to enforce social distancing when he announced on Sunday night that he would sign an emergency declaration shutting down bars, restaurants and places of recreation statewide. Restaurants will be permitted to continue with takeout and delivery services. In addition, the declaration would put a cap of 50 people on all gatherings within the state. 

Edmonds School District staff gathered Friday at various facilities and schools to discuss how to move forward in this time of emergency. At MTHS, Principal Greg Schellenburg worked to livestream video of the meeting so that any staff members uncomfortable with a large group gathering could watch from other locations in the building. 

As of now, teachers have been told to post “enrichment activities” online. That is subject to change, as the District attempts to provide equal access for all students. By the end of Monday, lesson plans for all classes are supposed to be made available to families. These lesson plans should include two to four “enrichment lessons” that cannot be graded and must go over content that has already been taught in class. 

Monday was initially intended as a day for teachers to come into District facilities for a final time to gather materials and finalize lesson plans. However, McDuffy announced through email on Sunday night that teachers and all “non-essential staff” would not be required to put in a full day of work on Monday. However, they would be able to come into facilities to grab any needed materials or personal items. Teaching staff who did not feel a need to report physically were encouraged to stay home. 

Continuing to make plans for online learning, the District wishes to emphasize that it is committed to ensuring all students have equitable access to all future instructional materials. 

“In the near future, District Chromebooks will be available to students in grades K-6 as requested for use during this District closure,” Superintendent Kris McDuffy said in an email to District families. 

The email also stated that the District may be able to provide an internet hotspot for those without internet access at home so that all families have access to online learning materials in the coming weeks. 

Families wanting to request either a Chromebook for students K-6 or internet access can do so at the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSezi9lAdMcafeYG9M2vAi6iYK-eXzSSe5b2aYs9eHPGq9H00w/viewform

Additionally, starting Monday, March 16, locations have been designated at which free “grab and go” lunches and breakfasts will be available for all children in the District under the age of 18 on weekdays. Families are encouraged to maintain social distancing by taking the food home for consumption at a later time. The times and locations are as follows:

Woodstone Apartments: 8:45 to 9 a.m.

Lakeside Apartments: 9:15 to 9:30 a.m.

Lynnwood High School: 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Meadowdale Middle School: 10 to 10:30 a.m..

Mountlake Terrace High School: 10 to 10:30 a.m.

Sierra Vista Apartments: 10:30 to 10:45 a.m.

Lynnwood Elementary School: 10:30 to 11 a.m.

Scriber Creek Apartments: 10:45 to 11 a.m.

Lynndale Elementary School: 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Chase Lake Elementary School: 11 to 11:30 a.m.

College Place Elementary School: 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Mountlake Terrace Elementary School: 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Cedar Valley Elementary School: 11 to 11:30 a.m.

Community Life Church: 11 to 11:15 a.m.

Collins Junctions Apartments: 11:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Spruce Park: 11:30 11:45 a.m.

Meadowdale Community Church: 12 to 12:15 p.m.

Oak Heights Elementary School: 12:15 to 12:30 p.m.

Martha Lake Mobile Manor: 12:30 to 12:45 p.m.

Alderwood Boys & Girls Club: 12:30 to 1 p.m.

Martha Lake Elementary School: 12:45 to 1 p.m.

The District is also working on providing childcare to families who depend on schools to supervise their children on weekdays. 

“We are working on plans with our community partners to provide support for families in need of childcare,” McDuffy said.

ESD asks that families wanting to request childcare should do so using the same form given above.