School’s out for six weeks

  • Friday, March 13, 2020 10:16am
  • News

By Steve Powell

spowell@marysvilleglobe.com

Parents are in a panic – not necessarily over the coronavirus, but because their kids will be off of school starting Friday the 13th for six weeks – until April 24.

Marysville, Arlington and Lakewood, along with all other schools in Snohomish, King and Pierce counties, will close for a mandatory six weeks, per Gov. Jay Inslee’s instructions Thursday afternoon.

Lakewood already had planned to close that long, but Marysville had decided on four weeks, and Arlington was planning to meet Thursday night to decide.

Inslee, responding to the public health emergency, said Wednesday that school closures could come soon. School districts didn’t wait. Once Seattle schools said they were closing for two weeks others followed.

Inslee banned sporting events, concerts, festivals and other gatherings of 250 or more in the three counties

Marysville superintendent Jason Thompson says in a letter to parents that schools need to close to slow the spread of COVID-19. Schools were open Thursday to give families a little time to plan for child care.

The closures includes all all school building activities, instruction, preschool, health services, enrichment and athletic programs. Employees will still be paid.

The district plans to offer food service, much like what is done during summer months.

As for graduation, state testing, instructional hours, etc., Thompson’s letter says Inslee has the power to change such expectations in such an emergency.

Thompson assured the community the decision was not made lightly.

“Schools in our community serve a dual function. We are an educational service certainly, but we are also a fundamental social service providing care and comfort in uncertain times. Our work is important, and this decision weighs heavy on all of us,” his letter says.

In a letter to the Lakewood community, superintendent Scott Peacock says that district is following Snohomish County Health District and Department of Health recommendations.

Staff should treat the next few days like snow days, Peacock says.

“We know closing our schools will impact our most vulnerable families,” he says in the letter. “We recognize that working families depend on the consistency and predictability of support and services our schools offer. We are finalizing plans to support our families during the closure and will communicate those over the next several days.”

Earlier news

Marysville Getchell High School, and Pinewood and Sunnyside elementary schools were closed March 6 due to coronavirus fears. A community member reported positive for the COVID-19 virus. The person may have come into contact with students from those three schools.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we will be closing the schools for disinfecting” March 6, Thompson says in a letter sent out last Thursday night. District crews disinfected the campuses, which reopened Monday. Attendance was down at some schools much of the week.

More in News

Inslee: Stay home for 2 weeks

By Jerry Cornfield and Zachariah Bryan The Herald OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay… Continue reading

Fences have been put up around Marysville playgrounds to keep kids off. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville leaders concerned as (almost) everything’s closing

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – Within hours of Gov. Jay Inslee’s… Continue reading

Briefly

Beware of coronavirus scams SEATTLE – U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran is… Continue reading

Jennifer Thompson, left, and her father Ron Thompson secure a new remembrance plaque to the Oso slide site gate on Sunday, near Oso. Ron Thompson handcrafts a new plaque for the gate every year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Community remembers Oso slide victims, survivors

By Ben Watanabe The Herald OSO — The power of remembering the… Continue reading

People gather to pick up special allergy meals before leaving Lakewood High School on Wednesday in Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Districts taking meals to students since schools are closed

By Stephanie Davey The Herald LAKEWOOD — Children wearing pajamas stood outside… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Letter about coronavirus from Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring

This is an edited version of a letter Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring… Continue reading

DOUGLAS BUell/Staff Photos
                                Lead cook Keina Gowins with Presidents Elementary hands out free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches to students and parents outside the school Wednesday. Presidents and AHS serve as central kitchen sites for preparing meals, which starting next week will expand to 12 delivery sites from Silvana to Oso. Right, Arlington Food Bank executive director Carla Gastineau and Mike Simpson, food bank board president and owner of Arlington Grocery Outlet, partnered with the district with their Meals Til Monday program, and gave a woman a box of donated food while at Presidents.
Arlington students won’t go hungry during the COVID-19 school closures

ARLINGTON – Arlington schools are closed through April 24 to help fight… Continue reading

Scott Beebe hands out Chromebooks to people in their cars. (Steve Powell/Staff Photos)
Marysville parents anxious to pick up school materials for kids

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe.com MARYSVILLE – A few days ago Marysville schools… Continue reading

Jon Nehring
Marysville leaders’ trip to D.C. productive

MARYSVILLE – City leaders recently obtained advice on how to get more… Continue reading

Crews will blow garbage into the street and sweep it up over the next few weeks. The city is asking people to move their cars, trash cans and recycle bins when they come around to help them do a thorough job. (Courtesy Photo)
Marysville shuffles workers due to virus, seeks public’s help for sweepers next week

By Steve Powell spowell@marysvilleglobe. MARYSVILLE – From working from home to teleconferencing… Continue reading

Arlington closed until April 24 amid COVID-19 outbreak: what’s next?

ARLINGTON – When Arlington public school leaders met for a special meeting… Continue reading