At a press conference this afternoon, Governor Inslee and State Education Superintendent Reykdal announced the state of Washington would join 14 other states and territories around the country that have extended their mandated statewide school closures through the remainder of the school year. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Central Valley School District has taken proactive steps to support efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
While our Central Valley schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year to in-person instruction, we will continue our efforts to improve virtual face-to-face classroom meetings and teacher-to-student engagement. We acknowledge concerns that others have experienced with Zoom meetings and will have a secure platform in place after Spring Break. With this extended closure, and as we return from Spring Break, we will be increasing our academic outreach to extend beyond our current Authentic Academic Engagement Opportunities.
The need for safety through social distancing means our schools will remain closed through the remainder of the school year, but teaching and learning will continue!
Our weekday free meals for all kids will continue, and with our community partners our Food for Thought program providing weekend meals for children in need will also continue. Through the remainder of the school year, we will continue providing last resort childcare for the children of healthcare workers, first responders, and grocery store employees.
Today’s decision means that we are canceling all athletic events, extracurricular activities, and school-based events until further notice. In addition, playgrounds and athletic fields will remain closed to reinforce social distancing and prevent further spread of the virus.
In the coming weeks, we will be working closely with our high school seniors and families on how to make the most of the rest of their senior year. We will find ways to recognize, celebrate accomplishments, and honor the Class of 2020.
We have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic that we need to remain vigilant, be willing and able to change direction when needed, and remain connected to each other. More information will be available in the coming days and weeks as we address challenges, solve problems, and create opportunities.
Since March 16th, Central Valley Schools have been closed under the statewide school closure order to combat the spread of COVID-19. Yesterday, the Governor extended the Stay Home order to May 4th. As you know, this will undoubtedly change the date the Governor allows schools to reopen. As soon as we receive further information regarding the remainder of this school year, we will send a Blackboard message personally to all parents.
In Central Valley, students are the center of our focus. We want to assure you that we are working diligently to provide continued support to our students, families, and community through these challenging times.
Our teachers are connecting with families through our Authentic Academic Engagement Opportunities and we continue to add online resources for students.
Although next week was originally Spring Break, we are committed to continuing our free meals for kids at our 15 meal sites, our Food for Thought program providing weekend meals for children in need, as well as providing last resort childcare for the children of healthcare workers, first responders, and grocery store employees. These services will continue through the remainder of the school closures order and any extensions to the original timeframe.
As parents, educators, and community members, we know that none of this is easy, but we are Central Valley and we will get through this together. We appreciate the outpouring of support for our students from our staff, parents and our entire community. It will take all of us working together to stay healthy and safe during these uncertain and unprecedented times.
As we finish our first week of the extended statewide closure of schools, I wanted to provide you with this update. Shortly after announcing the closure of our schools, our Governor and Superintendent of Public Instruction issued a set of priorities for local school districts. For us in the Central Valley School District, these goals were tightly aligned with ours. First, we need to do our part to keep from spreading an outbreak of COVID-19.
Secondly, we wanted to provide meals to our children as soon as we possibly could. Beginning on Tuesday, March 17th, our Nutrition Services Department staff began providing meals to students at 11 sites around the Central Valley School District. We will expand that service to 15 sites by the end of next week. By the end of the day today, we expect to have served nearly 18,000 meals to children in Central Valley. Our Transportation Department bus drivers and dispatchers, and Nutrition Service Department staff accomplished this with a team effort. These staff members often do their work behind the scenes and we want to make sure to recognize them for their excellent work in accomplishing this task!
Our next priority was to create last resort childcare for our healthcare workers and first responders. This coming Monday, March 23rd, we will open four of our school buildings to provide last resort childcare for our healthcare workers and first responders. As this outbreak continues, we will need to rely on our friends and neighbors who work in these fields to keep us safe and cared for. In order to keep them at work, we will offer this critical service. Information and a registration form is now posted on our District website, as are details and locations of this service.
As we were able to meet the health and safety needs of our community, our attention then turned to providing academic engagement for our students. Our first priority in this endeavor is with our high school seniors as we work with them on credit requirements and plans as they transition to life beyond high school. As I have said in my previous emails, we cannot replicate the work done in a classroom, but we can provide learning opportunities to our students.
As of next Wednesday, March 25th, your child’s teachers will begin posting authentic academic engagement opportunities to their Google Classroom, Seesaw, or ClassDojo sites. These activities are designed by our teachers and are meant to be reliable ways for your child to engage with academics and their teacher. Our teachers are very excited to launch this next phase of our response and you will hear directly from them in the coming days with more details. Further, our high school counselors and teachers will begin outreach efforts to our senior students with the goal of supporting them to graduation and beyond.
In order to facilitate these authentic academic engagement opportunities, we will be loaning Chromebooks to our students who need a device for their academics. At this time, we want to distribute Chromebooks with a priority to those families who do not have devices at home. To pick up a Chromebook, please visit your child’s school. You will be asked to complete an agreement with your student’s information prior to receiving a Chromebook. You will receive an email from your principal outlining times and distribution processes for your school.
I sincerely thank you for your commitment to our community and for your patience as we work to respond to this ever-changing situation. We value this to opportunity to serve you, work with you, and now, more than ever we commit to staying connected with you and our students.
Our district team has worked today to evaluate whether or not to continue operating school on Monday. We have been made aware of many connections to the Robotic competition in West Valley and although these connections may not yet be confirmed by Spokane Regional Health Department, we have made the decision to cancel school on Monday, March 16th.
We do not take this decision lightly. We do so out of an abundance of caution and with a heavy heart for our students. However, we believe it is the best decision for our students, staff and community at this time.
We will continue with our plans to provide meals to our students beginning on Tuesday, March 17th. More details on the meal service to follow by tomorrow morning.
Thank you for your continued patience and support during this uncertainty! As we work through this situation together as a Central Valley community, we will do so with the care and compassion for which we are known.
We as Central Valley School District are aware, as of tonight, that the West Valley School District is closing schools on the advice of Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) on Monday, March 16th. We will evaluate any connections between the West Valley closure and CVSD and will communicate any changes to our plans tomorrow. Thank you for your patience as we continue to put the safety and health of our staff and students in the Central Valley community as our utmost priority.
We are in a very fluid situation. Governor Jay Inslee announced at a press briefing today that he is directing that all school districts in the state of Washington close effective 12:01am on Tuesday March 17th until April 24th. Our current plan is to have school Monday March 16th as a way to connect with our students as we will not see them for an extended period of time. There will be no afterschool activities that day.
This announcement will elicit many questions. We will implement the plans that we have in place in our Pandemic Flu Plan and will work through the weekend to provide answers. Although there may be some disruption of service, we have plans that will be put into play for providing meals for our students.
This is an unprecedented time for all of us. However we have been preparing for and are ready for this eventuality. As I think of this announcement, I am saddened for the impact it will have on our students, staff and community. We know our schools play an important role in our Central Valley community. However, I respect the Governor’s decision.
There is so much more that needs to be communicated and we will do so in the coming days. A lot will play out over the weekend as plans are communicated and we come together as a community in this unprecedented time.
Thank you for your patience.
3/13/20 UPDATE:At a press conference this morning Dr. Bob Lutz the Spokane County Regional Health Director directed social distancing measures for school districts in Spokane County starting now until further notice. As a result the Central Valley School District will act immediately to cancel all events over 250 people and all events that bring a mix of community members and our students together in our schools. We will cancel all facilities use by community groups. Athletics practices and games, activities and student travel are also cancelled. Our administrators have social distancing protocols that will be implemented where practical. School assemblies will not be allowed under these social distancing directives.
It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Spokane County.
We expect a news conference by Governor Jay Inslee at 1:30pm this afternoon and we will communicate more information after that time.
Although there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Spokane County, we continue to follow the scientific experts as it affects various areas of our state: the Washington State Department of Health and Spokane Regional Health District locally.
We are in constant contact with Spokane Regional Health District on guidance and precautions. We continue with increased procedures to disinfect our common school and bus surfaces and encourage healthy habits of our students, families and staff. We know that additional precautions may cause decisions that could change our regular operations. See our daily updates to our Frequently Asked Questions on our web site as we prepare for a variety of contingencies.
Please continue to check our district and school websites under "News" including new information regarding How to talk to your children about COVID-19.
If there is urgent information for our families, we will be in direct contact through our communication system.
The health and safety of our students, staff and community remains our highest priority.
A letter from Superintendent Small:
In addition to this letter to parents, the district is taking the following ACTIONS:
- Reviewing, adapting, and implementing the CVSD Pandemic Influenza Plan for COVID-19
- Asking teachers to review and emphasize proper handwashing, coughing, and sneezing hygiene practices with students—an ongoing effort throughout the school year
- Increasing attention to frequently disinfecting common surfaces in schools by school personnel, including doorknobs, tabletops, countertops, etc.
- Restocking schools with an additional supply of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes
- Stocking school buses with supplies of disinfectant wipes for drivers to wipe down surfaces following each bus trip
- Reminding parents of students with flu-like or respiratory illness symptoms to keep students home
- Asking schools to track and report flu-like or respiratory illness related absences among students and staff
Please check back here for updates and additional information regarding COVID-19 and the Central Valley School District.
As with any newly emerging illness, knowledge about it continues to evolve. For the latest information about COVID-19, visit: