March 15, 2020
Closure Update from the Superintendent
Dear Students, Families, Staff, and Community Members of the Cle Elum-Roslyn School District,
I know it’s late in the afternoon, and like many families in America and across the world, you have been heavily impacted by the information on the news, social media, and conversations at our local grocery store. I sit here this afternoon, reflecting on the whirlwind of the past 48 hours and quietly reflect on the impact this closure will have on our community. This message will not be short, and for that I deeply apologize; however, I feel that it’s important for you to have quality information in order to support your loved ones, one another, and our most precious investment; our children.
Many of you have asked about what to expect during the closures. Here is what we do know; information from OSPI, CDC, and the Governor’s Office is evolving and changing daily. We are attempting to focus on day-by-day decision making and information outreach. As things begin to settle, we will move to a week-by-week decision making and planning model. I ask that all staff, students and families continue to give grace and understanding; be assured that we are and will continue to communicate our plans and answers when we have them. I understand how frustrating that this can be; however, we are living in a time of uncertainty and need to embrace each challenge as an opportunity. An opportunity to come together as a community, support one another, and be innovative and creative in our work as a community.
Our Priorities this week are:
- Protect life, promote safety and minimize the spread of the virus.
- Provide food to the young people in our community.
- Work with community partners in supporting childcare options for our first responders, medical employees and families in greatest need.
- Develop innovative ways to support ongoing student learning.
Resources and Information
Food Service for the week on March 17 – March 20:
- Beginning Tuesday March 17th, we will be conducting food deliveries (breakfast and lunch) at our regularly scheduled after school bus stop locations. You can view the bus routes and stops on our transportation page here (Link to Bus Routes).
- In order to receive food, student(s) or parent/guardian must be present to receive.
Academic Enrichment Learning Plans and Information:
- Our children will be watching how we handle these challenges. I’m confident that our staff, families and community will demonstrate great leadership and courage. Talking with our children is also important and here is a link (CDC Talking with Kids about COVID-19) to some suggestions on how to do that.
- Our students will be coming home tomorrow with a packet of information which also includes an outline of how to maintain a “normal” school day from home. Although nothing can replace a classroom educator, we will be sending home academic enrichment learning plans to support the learning process during the shutdown. These will be updated each week thereafter, during the remainder of the closure. We encourage you, as a family, to support your students by working through these learning plans.
- We will be asking families to complete an electronic survey (one survey per family). The link is provided here (Student Needs Survey) and will also be available on our web site. Staff will be conducting a follow up to this survey later in the week. The information collected in the survey will help us determine the capacity for childcare needs, nutritional needs and other related needs. Please take time to complete this survey in the next 24 hours.
- All state testing is canceled for this year. While state testing provides us with some meaningful information, we also know it takes up a lot of school time; this will lessen the impact of the days of lost instruction.
- Schools will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17th, but the district is still in operation.
- All district athletic and activity events are suspended until further notice effective Tuesday, March 17th.
- Remote meeting tools, such as Zoom, will be used to minimize in-person meetings.
- All non-essential travel on behalf of the district is suspended.
- All district employees are encouraged to work closely with their building representatives on your working calendar. More guidance will be forthcoming.
- We will implement extra measures to clean and disinfect surfaces and provide additional hand sanitizer dispensers over the next few days.
- We will increase prevention education efforts.
- All essential meetings will be held with maximum social distancing.
- Our FAQ is continually updated to serve as a resource for parents and staff.
- The CDC and Kittitas County Health Department websites provide a lot of information about COVID-19, including symptoms, testing and hygiene.
- OSPI has also developed information (COVID-19 in Schools) for parents regarding COVID-19.
On behalf of our school board and staff, for those of you that are already medically impacted by this virus, our thoughts, support and love go to you and your families. To our first responders and medical providers, we thank you for your commitment and service to our community.
I also want to recognize our district employees. This week has been particularly challenging as they navigated the rapidly changing information while maintaining a calm, safe, and caring environment for our students and families. I also want to recognize and thank our district staff. From our bus drivers, cafeteria staff, teachers, paras, administrative assistants, nurses, custodians, union leaders, building administration, and central office staff- you are amazing! Tomorrow, our staff will continue to be there, supporting our students with much needed love and care, as they send them off and say “see you later.”
I also want to extend my sincere appreciation to our school board, who are deeply committed to our students, staff, and families. They have been a tremendous support to me, and our staff, and have graciously provided us the supports we need to engage in this challenging work.
Lastly, I would not have been able to get out the amount of details and information to families without our district leadership team, who have worked tirelessly this weekend to work out details for services and supports for our community. We will continue to work long hours, work through complicated issues, and keep equity and care at the center of our conversations and decision making. Thank you for believing in me and keeping our focus on our students.
It’s hard to believe that it has been one year since I was blessed with the opportunity to serve as your superintendent. It was also one year ago, that I heard from many of you that one of the things you are most proud of as a member of this community, was the power of the community. Henry Ford once said, “coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” When critical times impact us, we stand beside one another, united. I am confident in the power of this community, the power of standing together in support of one another. We will survive.