March 11th, 2020 - Posted in Alerts

Here’s a message from Vashon Island School District Superintendent Dr. Slade McSheehy District leadership met in a video conference with Gov. Jay Inslee, OSPI Superintendent Chris Reykdal, and the King and Pierce County Superintendents. It was clear from both of these conferences that we will see massive school closure announcements in Snohomish, King, and Pierce Counties within the next few days. In addition to connecting with local and state health experts,Dr. McSheehy has been in continual conversation with the School Board.

In order to blunt the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to protect the health of our students and community members, Vashon Island School District will close all schools beginning Friday, March 13th. The last day for students will be Thursday, March 12th which is a PDD day. VISD is planning on being closed until Friday, April 24th for a total of six weeks.

Dr. McSheehy encourages all students who are not sick to attend Thursday’s school day.

Teachers will report to schools on Friday to participate in team planning meetings, collaborate with leadership on staffing solutions, and make preparations for the extended closure.

Families will receive more communication and details about these programs at a later time as the District gets closer to implementing plans currently under development.

Food Services: VISD is prepared to provide food services beginning Monday the 16th as a “Grab ‘n’ Go” lunch. “Grab ‘n’ Go” meals will be provided to ANY VISD student.

Targeted delivery services are part of this planning.

Child Care: VISD is setting a goal to provide limited child care services by Wednesday the 18th. Their primary goal is to provide services for families who work in the health care services as well as for families who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program.

VISD understands they must play a part in keeping families who work in health care services available to help those in the most need. Once they are able to provide services for these two groups of families, they will consider expanding the program to assist other families. It is important to note that the District will be working from Public Health guidance and implementing Social Distancing practices as well as enhanced sanitation practices.

Supplemental Learning Activities: VISD is working with staff to coordinate the delivery of supplemental learning activities by Wednesday the 18th or earlier. They will be able to provide laptop devices to those students who require a device. These supplemental learning activities will be optional and not graded which differentiates them from direct or online instruction. Given more time and opportunities for innovation, these services may evolve and expand. LINK programs can be operated remotely and we do not anticipate any major disruption of LINK services or their students’ instructional program. LINK programs will not be able to accomodate any new students.

The District is taking this one step at a time. Each day in this pandemic they get to solve one problem and then another… and then another.McSheehy says “If we solve enough problems, we get to come out on the other side a much stronger family.” He applauds the staff’s response efforts, and the new direction the District is taking while prioritizing the safety of our students and community.

Stay tuned for more updates as Vashon Island School District grows its capabilities and supports.

This message was posted at 8:00pm Wednesday and will be updated as needed.

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