On Thursday afternoon, Governor Jay Inslee held a press conference to discuss emergency response measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This included the announcement of a six-week closure of all schools in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.
While schools outside of the Seattle area remain open, health officials have advised that all schools across the state adhere to “social distancing” practices. Accordingly, the HSD is canceling school field trips, activities that require out-of-county travel and indoor events that involve spectators of varied ages, close contact, and shared food or drink.
This includes, but is not limited to, the following events:
- March 13: Volleyball-a-thon
- March 14: HHS Tolo dance
- March 17: HHS Band Concert
- March 19: HHES Band Concert
Extracurricular activities such as sports practices will continue, although competitions may be limited, rescheduled or canceled. If you have questions about the status of a specific event, please contact your child’s school.
We understand that these activities and events are important to our students and community, and we make these decisions reluctantly. However, these cancellations are being made to protect the health of our students and families.
Are HSD schools going to close?
As of today, HSD schools remain open. This decision is based on guidance from Clark County Public Health, the Governor’s Office and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
In the event of a closure, much like a weather alert, the district will place calls and send emails to families through our automated notification system. Announcements will also be posted on the district website (as well as individual school pages) and social media pages.
What we’re doing:
A rapidly developing health situation such as this requires thoughtful planning and effective action. Here are some of the proactive measures the district has taken to combat COVID-19:
- Custodians are disinfecting buildings five days a week
- Bus drivers are disinfecting buses five days a week
- HSD staff members are promoting good hygiene in schools
Professional development trainings that require substitute teachers have been put on hold. We are also evaluating activities such as student assemblies, parent-teacher conferences and our practices relating to community volunteers and school visitors.
Helping from home:
To help reduce the risk of illness in our schools, we ask that if your student is showing signs of a respiratory virus (fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath) that you keep them at home until they have been free of symptoms for at least 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
As noted by Governor Inslee, our state has not faced a public health challenge of this magnitude in over a century. We thank you for your support as we work to overcome this unique challenge locally and across the state.
We will continue to keep HSD families and members of the Hockinson community updated.