3/11/20 Letter to Families: Coronavirus Update

3/11/2020 Letter to Families: Coronavirus Update
Posted on 03/11/2020
SSD LogoMarch 11, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Community Members, 

During Governor Jay Inslee’s news conference today, we became aware that in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, several changes will be made effective immediately. Specifically, Governor Inslee announced that starting today, people will be prohibited from gathering in groups that include 250 or more people. The events and gatherings impacted include social, recreational, spiritual, sporting, and other similar events. This order does not apply to grocery stores, restaurants, airports, and schools.  This order includes King, Snohomish and Pierce County and could be extended to other counties as needed and will be in place through the end of March; this prohibition will be reassessed at that time.

While it is good news that school-aged children appear to be relatively free of serious complications associated with the virus, it is important to remember that they can be carriers and transmit the virus to others, including vulnerable populations. Governor Inslee advised school districts to begin contingency planning in anticipation of upcoming closures. We want to assure you that we are in close communication with the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Snohomish Health District, and all of our county school districts. All of us share a common interest in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 and other infections in our schools. 

While we have done some planning for a potential school or district closure, we now have more specifics we can use to create a timeline and to inform our planning. At the suggestion of health officials, planning will include options for a closure period of a few weeks to a closure period of a few months. We are looking at a variety of different aspects regarding this situation, but we are generally focused on the following areas:
1. Continued student educational engagement
2. Meal service for children
3. Other essential services or solutions to unforeseen challenges

As details and clarification become available, we will communicate this information using the various channels we have utilized including automated robo-calls and emails, website posts, social media, and direct communication. We are committed to working together and we understand that school closures can have a big impact on students and families, staff members, and the community. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate this new territory. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Dan Chaplik, Superintendent
Sultan School District