Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday afternoon, March 12, 2020, announced that all schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties will close for six weeks due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Inslee’s order affects schools in the Highline Public School district, which will close effective Monday, March 16.
The order would shut down 43 school districts across the region, with classes scheduled to end no later than Tuesday, March 17, and remain closed until April 24.
“We understand that extended school closure will create hardship for many families,” the district said. “The school day is the centerpiece of the lives of many people. Children count on the reliable routine that a school day offers, from the classroom setting to the many people at school who know them, care for them and provide recognition of them five days a week.”
The 6–week closure will apply to all K-12 public schools and private schools.
Highline Public Schools will continue to provide meals to all students under the age of 18 starting on Monday, March 16.
Inslee’s school closure order comes one day after he ordered a ban on all events with gatherings of 250 or more people.
Here’s a statement from Highline Public Schools:
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. School offices will remain open through Friday, March 20 so families can pick up their student’s medication and other personal items.
We understand that extended school closure will create hardship for many families. The school day is the centerpiece of the lives of many people. Children count on the reliable routine that a school day offers, from the classroom setting to the many people at school who know them, care for them and provide recognition of them five days a week.
Families, too, count on that routine and the knowledge that their children are cared for during the day. It allows them to tend to their workday or focus on the other pieces of life that need to be taken care of–and there are many.
Contemplating weeks without that structure and care may seem overwhelming. Please know that we are doing our very best to make decisions that will help care for all of us through this time.
Meals for Students
Meals will be available to all students under the age of 18 starting this Monday. Locations for Monday are as follows:
- Glacier Middle School | 12:00-12:30 p.m. | 2450 South 142nd Street, SeaTac
- Central Office | 12:00-12:30 p.m. | 15676 Ambaum Blvd SW, Burien
- White Center Heights Elementary | 12:30-1:00 p.m. | 10015 6th Ave SW, Seattle
- More locations will be added
No forms or registration are required. Students can drop by to pick up a meal.
Over the next few days, we will communicate additional meal locations, as well as our plan to support families in the following ways:
- Providing learning support materials online, via email and hard copy. These are not meant to be a substitute for classroom instruction but will help students practice their skills and learn independently during the closure.
- Providing childcare for our families who need to continue working during our closure.
- Providing support to our 12th-grade students to ensure they complete graduation requirements.
We will be sending frequent updates with information and resources via email, text messages, the website and social media channels.
We are so grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult situation. We will get through this challenge together. We are Highline.
Here’s raw video of Inslee’s press conference:
All Highline schools will close to students, effective Monday, March 16, per executive order by @GovInslee. Schools will remain closed until at least April 24. https://t.co/dMmElF5sXF 1/4 pic.twitter.com/BuW1GHFrOp
— Highline Schools (@HighlineSchools) March 12, 2020