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COVID-19

News >  Spokane

Central Valley Schools cancel classes Monday, other districts prepare for extended break

UPDATED: Sun., March 15, 2020

The combination dial on a brand new locker is seen at North Pines Middle School in the Central Valley School District on Aug. 23, 2018. Classes in the district will not be held Monday, as other area districts brace for an extended break due to spread of the coronavirus. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
The combination dial on a brand new locker is seen at North Pines Middle School in the Central Valley School District on Aug. 23, 2018. Classes in the district will not be held Monday, as other area districts brace for an extended break due to spread of the coronavirus. (Libby Kamrowski / The Spokesman-Review)
By Jim Allen and Emma Epperly The Spokesman-Review

The Central Valley School District will not have school Monday over concerns about potential ties to a robotics competition where an attendee tested positive for COVID-19.

“We have been made aware of many connections to the Robotic competition in West Valley,” said Central Valley Superintendent Ben Smalls in a statement Sunday.

A Medical Lake School District staff member and adviser on a robotics team tested positive for COVID-19 last week. They spent time at Hallett Elementary School and Medical Lake High School.

While those connections have not been confirmed by the Spokane Regional Health District, the district decided to cancel the final day of school before statewide closures go into effect Tuesday.

The district will continue with plans to provide meals to students starting Tuesday, according to a statement.

Elsewhere, school districts throughout Spokane County are working to formulate plans ahead of the six-week statewide school closure set to begin on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

All districts plan to issue regular updates during the closure, via their websites, social media or direct emails to families.

Here is a district-by-district rundown of plans as of Sunday afternoon. All districts except Medical Lake, West Valley and Central Valley will be open on Monday.

At Spokane Public Schools, provision for day care will begin soon at 10 sites with priority for children of first responders and medical workers. Groups will be limited to 25 students. Express child care will be open Monday, but closed the rest of the week. The district will issue an update on Wednesday. Academic support will be through paper materials or online, with more details forthcoming this week. On Monday, teachers will have materials for students to take home or access online. Grab-and-go meals will be distributed every day beginning March 23 at sites to be announced.

At Central Valley School District, only K-5 children with parents who are first responders or in the medical field will receive priority, with service beginning March 23 at sites to be announced. Breakfast and lunch will be available at designated sites beginning Tuesday. Homework packets will not be given out on Monday, but according to the district, more details will be provided “in a later communication once specifics have been determined.”

Mead Public Schools offered no details as of Sunday, but the district promised on Friday that it will be “communicating details regarding student learning opportunities, child care services, and nutrition services to you through email, text, on the district website and through social media.”

The West Valley School District is in the process of refining plans for child care for the children of first responders and healthcare providers. However, YMCA childcare at Pasadena or Seth Woodard elementary schools will continue for those already enrolled. Grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches will be available beginning Tuesday afternoon at Pasadena Park, Seth Woodard, Ness and Orchard Center elementary schools. Regarding academic support, school staffs are working on plans for providing educational opportunities for all students.

On Sunday, East Valley School District Superintendent Kelly Shea issued a statement promising to “Focus to find ways to support our students and families during this closure (meals, child care, learning activities, etc.). Shea promised to send more communication Monday night.

Plans are still evolving at the Cheney School District. On Friday, Superintendent Rob Roettger issued this statement: “In the coming days we will continue to work diligently to plan and prepare for how best to support our students, families, and community. Planning will include the areas of nutrition services and potential child care options.”

In the Medical Lake School District, where a staff member tested positive last week for the coronavirus, Superintendent Timothy Ames said the district will issue an update on Thursday. No other information was available on the district’s website.

The Deer Park School District plans to offer day care for children, ages 3-13, of health services personnel and first responders, with details to be provided soon. Free grab-and-go meals will be provided at some point. Academic options are still being weighed, the district said Saturday.

The Nine Mile Falls School District officials decided Sunday night to cancel school Monday.All school buildings will immediately closed to the public; however, students will be able to get their personal items at a later date.

In the Riverside School District, free childcare will be provided beginning Thursday for preschool through fifth-graders in families of medical field workers and first responders, at Chattaroy Elementary School. Sack breakfasts and lunches will be provided simultaneously beginning Wednesday at off-school sites. An academic plan will be rolled out on March 23, the district says.

Families in the Freeman, Liberty and Great Northern school districts are encouraged to check the districts’ respective websites for further information.

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