Governor Jay Inslee today directed schools to remain closed to on-site instruction through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Districts will close schools for in-person instruction but will continue learning through the implementation of remote learning. This extends the Governor’s previous directive dismissing K-12 schools through April 24.
The decision was made based on the current epidemiological evidence and supports the continued state-wide effort to flatten the curve of the pandemic. This continuous closure will allow educators to focus their energy and talents on the best way to deliver education through distance learning during this challenging time, said Inslee. To minimize disruption to students’ learning, the Governor’s order directs school districts to continue with plans for distance learning for the foreseeable future.
“The education of our students and the bonding and learning experiences they have at schools are tremendously important, so I fully appreciate the impact and difficulty of this decision,” said Wenatchee Superintendent Dr. Paul Gordon. “Our District has already begun the process of moving to an online learning model and will continue our work to connect students with their teachers and learning while safely at home. I’m encouraged by the creativity and energy I’ve seen from administrators, staff, and educators so far, which is why I know, together, we can rise to the occasion,” said Gordon.
The District plans to double down efforts to support high school seniors to ensure they cross the finish line through whatever supports are necessary. This closure brings an abrupt halt to several meaningful milestones — events like graduation, prom, grad night, and other end-of-year celebrations that would’ve brought together family and friends before seniors move onto the next chapter of their lives. District leadership will begin reimagining ways to recognize the accomplishments of seniors, preserve special school traditions and look at alternative ways to hold commencement ceremonies in the weeks ahead.