Blaine School District to close beginning Monday, March 16, 2020
Good afternoon Blaine School District Students, Staff, Families and Community,
We know the past few weeks have been stressful for many in our communities because of the continued spread of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. We are grateful to all our students, staff and families for navigating this situation in partnership with our school districts.
Today the Whatcom County Health Department made a recommendation to close all schools until at least April 24, 2020 (WCHD release). All Whatcom County superintendents have agreed to follow this recommendation and close schools no later than March 17, 2020. (Superintendent’s release) The decision was made not in response to any case(s) in Whatcom County, but in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. Today’s announcement followed one yesterday from Washington State Governor Jay Inslee (video link / statement) to close school districts in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties from March 17 through April 24, with the indication that an order for other counties would follow.
As the Governor and Washington State’s Superintendent Chris Reykdal have charged school districts to do, we are working on childcare options and nutritional services. We are moving forward to develop systems to allow for food delivery and pick up for children in our community, as well as providing childcare for those who serve our communities in health care, as first responders, and in other essential areas, such as utilities. We want to do as much as possible to ensure the critical systems of healthcare and safety can continue to respond to the needs of our community. If you are a family who works in one of these areas, and the closing of schools will lead to you needing childcare during regular school hours, we are preparing to provide assistance. Visit this link to complete our survey. We will use the information you provide to be best prepared to help.
We expect to receive further guidance from state officials in the coming days and will provide updates as soon as we are able. As new information becomes available we will communicate through our website, app notifications, social media channels, and email.
We recognize and understand the multiple impacts this will have on our families. We also recognize our responsibility to support early, comprehensive, and sustained social distancing measures in order to lessen the pressure on our health care system and potentially save lives. We are learning from the experiences other communities are enduring around the world.
I want to assure you this is not a decision we have made lightly or without considerable thought and consideration. Making challenging decisions is a part of what we must do at times, and this has been one of the most difficult. We will continue to communicate and partner with you as we navigate this difficult time.
Dr. Christopher Granger, Superintendent
Every Student. Every Day.