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Frequently Asked Questions

We recognize the significant impact this extended closure will have on our entire community, students, families, and staff. Closing Wenatchee School District (WSD) for a minimum of six weeks mid-year is unprecedented. We acknowledge the anxiety this may cause our students, especially our seniors who are focused on graduation and those students who depend on WSD for critical services. We also recognize the burden this will place on our staff and working families.

WSD is in regular contact with local and state officials to ensure we address the needs of our school communities and we will be working in partnership with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) on what this extended closure means for the school year calendar. As soon as we have more information, we will share it with you both here on our FAQ page and through other methods.

Why are schools closed? When will this happen?

Following Governor Inslee’s emergency proclamation to close all schools in Washington State, Wenatchee Public Schools will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, April 24. Students will attend school as normal Monday, March 16, regular late start schedule. Starting Tuesday, March 17 all school building activities including school day instruction, athletics/sports, and after-school programs are canceled.

School offices will be closed to the public but will be available by phone Monday - Friday from 8 AM - 3:30 PM.
The District Office will also be closed to the public but is available by phone Monday - Friday from the 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM at (509) 663-8161.

How will meals be served during the extended closure?

During the statewide mandated school closure, Wenatchee School District will continue to provide meals, free of charge to all children ages 0-18. 

Beginning March 17th through April 24th the District’s Nutrition Services department will distribute pre-packaged breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 1 PM at the following school locations: 

Meal Distribution Sites

  • Columbia Elementary 
  • Lewis & Clark Elementary 
  • Lincoln Elementary 
  • Mission View Elementary
  • Newbery Elementary 
  • Sunnyslope Elementary 
  • Washington Elementary 
  • Foothills Middle School 
  • Orchard Middle School 
  • Pioneer Middle School 
  • Wenatchee High School 

Meals can be obtained via drive-up and pick-up methods at school locations. Complete balanced breakfast and lunch items will be combined and packaged children to pick up and take home. 

Meals will be free and available for any child, whether they are a student in our district or not. Children must be present to receive meals. Student ID numbers/cards are not needed to receive a meal. Children cannot stay at the school to eat the meals because of social distancing guidance from state and local health agencies. 

Mobile Meal Service

Prepackaged breakfast and lunch will be delivered by school employees to designated spots along bus routes in the outer regions of the district’s service area and in identified high-need areas within the city.  Mobile meal delivery will begin on Monday, March 23 and will continue through April 24. Meals will be delivered Monday - Friday, 11 AM - 1 PM and are available to any child ages 0-18. District staff will deliver meals using motor pool vans and suburbans.

Click here for a map of delivery locations and times. Addressed and drop off locations are clickable on the PDF map and will take you to a google map. Locations are subject to change based upon need.

More information on meal services for children during the closure is available on wenatcheeschools.org or by calling Nutrition Services at (509) 662-9345.

For more information on the continuation of services during the state-mandated closure is available on the District’s website wenatcheeschools.org/updates

Access for All:
If you are unable to access one of our meal sites or leave your home please contact our WSD Nutrition Services Office at (509)662-9345 so we can assist you in getting meals for your children.

Questions:
WSD Nutrition Services Office at (509) 662-9345

Are school playgrounds open?

As part of our evolving response to the COVID-19 outbreak and with guidance from Public Health the Wenatchee School District advises the public to avoid using District playgrounds and other areas where essential social distancing guidelines are difficult to achieve.

Washington Elementary’s playground will be closed to the public Monday - Friday from 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM for use by the District’s first responders and healthcare workers’ childcare program.

With schools closed and people adapting to new work habits, our playfield and open spaces can provide an important break in these stressful times. It is clear, however, that we must continue to be vigilant in these places as well, and make sure all our residents put into practice Public Health directives.

Will the District Office Childcare for First Responders and Essential Healthcare Workers?

Childcare will be made available for kindergarten through 5th-grade children of Confluence Health employees, and other first responders starting Monday, March 30th. Care will be available Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at Washington Elementary and is coordinated by the Wenatchee Valley YMCA. School lunch will be provided. 

Childcare will comply with the Governor's recommended safety measures, including social distancing, and students and staff will be checked for cold and flu-like symptoms before checking in each day.

If you believe you're eligible for childcare, please contact your employer's human resources office. 

Another precaution being taken is while childcare is being offered, the playground at Washington Elementary will be closed to the public between 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. The gates will be locked and only children attending childcare will be allowed to use the equipment and fields.  A gate will be left unlocked at the end of the day for evening use by the public. Thank you in advance for your understanding and support in helping to keep our children safe!

Will the District provide online or distance learning during an extended school closure?

Districts and communities are in varying states of readiness to provide equitable continuity of learning during the closure. In Wenatchee, we are in the early phases of planning and making adjustments based on current state guidance, which is changing on an almost daily basis. Presently, the district is providing instruction through printed, limited technology-based materials, or a combination of both. However, it is our goal to have a greater online learning presence by the third week in April. This plan will be communicated to our parents and students when it is available.

It is critical to note that it will take time to transition from our current face-to-face model to an online model. This will not be seamless or without bumps, but please know that our educators are working diligently to deliver quality learning opportunities for students.  

Where can I find learning resources to help my student(s) continue learning?

Although schools are closed and are not providing traditional in-person instruction, we believe that education must continue. The following educational resources are available to support at-home learning for families. These materials and resources are supplemental and intended to keep students connected to their learning.

Online educational resources list 

Educational resource bags and packets
A huge amount of effort has gone into the logistics of preparing materials for distribution to students and families. We want to recognize the hard work and care that our Learning and Teaching, Special Programs, Family Advocates and many more have dedicated to making this happen. 

Bags and/or packets of optional educational materials are available for pick up at all schools except Valley Academy, WestSide High School and WV Tech, Monday-Friday from 11 AM - 1 PM. All grade level packets will be available at each school. We will continue to update and refresh the materials as new and updated information and resources become available. These resources and packets are optional and not required, nor will they be graded.  

During the extended closure will my student still receive their Individualized Education Program (IEP) services? 

No. If a school closure causes educational services for all students to pause within the District, then the District is generally not required to provide services to the affected students eligible for special education services during that same period of time. 

The District will remain responsible for the free appropriate public education (FAPE) of its students eligible for special education services with an IEP. After the extended closure ends, the District will be reviewing how the closure impacted the delivery of special education and related services to students eligible for special education services. This might include and IEP Team meeting to discuss compensatory education and extended school year services, but such decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

Does the extended school closure prohibit meetings such as evaluation/eligibility meetings, IEP meetings, student assessments, or child find screenings?


No. There is no prohibition against holding meetings at a school, or conducting individual student assessments, provided that appropriate social distancing methods are used. OSPI has issued guidance that directs districts to also consider ways to use distance technology (e.g., Zoom, conference calls) to the extent possible to provide child find, hold initial and annual IEP meetings, and/or evaluation/eligibility meetings, if staff and parents are available but not able/do not wish to attend in person.

Can I request my IEP meeting be held over the phone? 

Yes. The District understands that parents may want to limit their exposure to public places, including the schools. As explained in the Answer to Question 3, OSPI has issued guidance that that directs districts to consider ways to use distance technology to the extent possible to hold IEP and other meetings. To that end, the District encourages parents to schedule IEP meetings via telephone or video conference. The District is confident that both options still provide parents with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the IEP meeting. If you would like to attend an IEP meeting via telephone or video conference, please contact your IEP Team leader to discuss whether staff is available to do so.

What if my student’s annual IEP review deadline is during the extended school closure? 

At this time the District has no guidance from the United States Department of Education regarding whether deadlines due during an extended school closure will be waived or extended. 

How does the extended school closure impact IDEA dispute resolution options, activities, and timelines?

There is no waiver from IDEA dispute resolution options and timelines, including state Citizen Complaints and Due Process Hearings. OSPI has stated that it will continue to respond to submissions from parents, the community, and school districts in a timely manner, and will consider whether extenuating circumstances demand changes in activities and timelines. In the event changes are needed, they will be documented and shared with the involved parties.

Need home internet while your students are home?

Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

Charter will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely. Charter will continue to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, high speed broadband program to eligible low-income households delivering speeds of 30 Mbps.

Charter will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across our footprint for public use. Spectrum does not have data caps or hidden fees.

Are field trips and staff travel cancelled?

All field trips, including in-town trips and staff travel are canceled through April 24th.

When will the school year end?

Schools and districts that close in response to the COVID-19 outbreak should make every effort to make up missed time, including using scheduled vacation days and planned school closure days. However, OSPI will grant emergency waivers to allow districts to end the school year on Friday, June 19 at the latest. We will continue to look to OSPI for guidance as the situation unfolds.

What about student testing?

OSPI is canceling all state testing for the 2019–20 school year. This includes the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS), the Washington Access to Instruction and Measurement (WA-AIM), and WIDA Alternate ACCESS for English learners. If schools are not impacted by closures, they are encouraged to continue administering the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) until the end of the testing window, March 27. This is subject to change based on additional closure announcements

How can children gather safely during the school closure?

School closures have been announced by the state, but parents still need to work and students still need safe and enriching spaces to spend their days. The COVID-19 pandemic calls on our whole community to think creatively about how to meet everyone’s basic needs and maintain social connections while also blunting the spread of disease. Here are some guidelines for hosting safe gatherings among children and parents outside of the school setting. 

Recommendations for gatherings outside of school

Is In-district professional development cancelled?

All In-district professional development is currently on hold until further notice. 

Are visitors and parents allowed at school?

All schools are closed to the public during the mandiated closure.

What where the results of the two parents being tested for COVID-19?

One of the parents that had reportedly been undergoing testing for COVID-19 has received a negative test result. The second parent, after further investigation with healthcare authorities, was in fact not, undergoing COVID-19 testing as previously reported.

Who is at-risk for COVID-19 and who gets tested?

Students and staff at high risk for complications from COVID-19 are:

  • People older than 60 years
  • People with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Pregnant people

Not everybody who feels ill needs to be tested for COVID-19, particularly if you have mild illness. Healthcare providers determine who should be tested, based on specific symptoms. While testing is becoming more available, there are still limitations in the ability to quickly collect and process tests.

What should staff do if they need to stay home?

Staff that feel ill should stay home and follow the normal protocol reporting an absence. Staff can use sick leave or leave without pay. If you are in a high-risk group and believe that you need to stay home you should obtain a doctor’s note and submit it to the human resources office.  Contact Katie Batson or Kelly Lopez for more information about extended absences and leave.

How do I protect myself and those around me?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% isopropyl alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are coughing/sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

How do I know if I’m feeling symptoms consistent with COVID-19?

To ensure the health and safety of yourself as well as your community, if you are exhibiting symptoms you feel may be consistent with COVID-19, healthcare providers are asking that you DO NOT show up at your place of health care unannounced. Please contact your healthcare provider to determine the best course of care.

Both Columbia Valley Community Health and Confluence Health have nursing staff available to take your call. 

Confluence Health 1-800-525-0127
CVCH 509-662-6000

If you are exhibiting symptoms that you feel require emergent medical attention, please call 9-1-1.

How are you addressing safety and belonging?

As our district community navigates this difficult time, we must continue to lean on the strengths of people. Of special importance is to remember that transmission of COVID-19 is not based on a person's race or country of origin. If hurtful or misinformed comments are said, witnesses to these comments are encouraged to speak up. It is vital to advocate for our community members and to stay kind to one another. We must uphold a culture of safety and belonging in and beyond our school buildings. Always, but especially in challenging and unpredictable times, we must stick together as a school community and remember that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths

Concern or question?

Student and staff safety is our top priority. If you have a question, concern or comment about any health or safety issue, please let us know.

Ask here

Local Healthcare Resources
Columbia Valley Community Health and Confluence Health have created informational websites about the coronavirus with steps you can take if you feel you or your child are exhibiting symptoms you feel may be consistent with the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Columbia Valley Community Health
Confluence Health
Centers for Disease Control and Preventions
Washington State Department of Health