12:36 PM: Seattle Public Schools are closing, according to an announcement sent to staff.
“Together, we are facing an unprecedented health crisis in our community. In our response to COVID-19, we must depend on the wisdom of our health experts and elected officials and lean on the resolve of our strong community.
We have been following the guidance of Public Health Seattle & King County and implementing preventive and responsive strategies, but in light of Governor Inslee’s request that all citizens practice measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is now time for the district to act swiftly. Starting tomorrow, Thursday March 12, Superintendent Denise Juneau and the Seattle School Board will close Seattle Public Schools for a minimum of 14 days as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently guides. This necessary action is an effective way to disrupt widespread infection.
Beginning Thursday, March 12, all school building activities including school day instruction, childcare, health services, enrichment, etc. are canceled until further notice. Today, March 11, childcare and extended day supports will continue as planned. We have an emergency food plan which will be put into place on Monday, March 16. More information will be provided directly to families by Friday, March 13.”
12:51 PM: A letter has now been sent to families too. (Thanks for the forwards!) It’s now on the SPS website. The district is having a media briefing at 2:30 pm.
2:35 PM: The news conference is under way – watch here – and we will add any notes of interest. Superintendent Denise Juneau reiterates that not offering online instruction is a matter of equity. … School Board president Zachary DeWolf addresses students directly, both asking them to do their part, and saying the district is working to address questions such as how this lost time will affect on-time graduation. … Also speaking, Seattle Council PTSA president Manuela Slye, a West Seattleite, asking families to reach out to her organization t help coordinate volunteer help – firstname.lastname@example.org .
2:59 PM: They’ve clarified that 14 calendar days means not the school calendar, but the actual calendar, two weeks.