In a special afternoon press conference on Monday, April 6, 2020, Washington State Governor Inslee announced that schools across the state would be closed for in-person learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
Governor Inslee and Washington State Superintendent of Schools Chris Reykdal held the joint press conference to announce the closure, after temporarily closing schools in mid-March in response to the coronavirus crisis.
The governor said the health and safety of the community must come first, acknowledging it will be difficult for families to find a ‘new normal.’ He said as new data comes in they will evaluate whether graduation ceremonies can happen, but said seniors in ‘good standing’ will get their diplomas.
Inslee said, “I know this is no small feat. We have 150 years of experience with our traditional learning model. We can’t make that up overnight. I’m asking our students and our educators to be flexible. We all have our students’ best interests at heart. We must continue to be proactive in our response to COVID-19. Listening to, and acting on, the best available science will continue to save lives. We’ll get through this together.”
Reykdal commented, “These next two months will be tough. I won’t diminish that. However, learning must continue. It will look different than we are used to. It will be more flexible, and it will evolve as we learn more and gain experience in the tools available to us.”
Snoqualmie Valley School Board President said, “We acknowledge that this is a very difficult time for everyone in our community, and we hope that taking this step will help keep our community healthy and safe. Converting onsite learning to distance learning is difficult, and our district staff is working hard on developing solutions for student learning during this tough time, which now has been extended to the end of the school year.”