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News >  Education

Spokane Public Schools adds food-access sites, closes playgrounds

UPDATED: Sat., March 21, 2020

Spokane Public Schools is widening access to food but limiting playground opportunities in the face of the COVID-19 threat.

In a letter sent to families Friday night, the district announced that meals will be served beginning Monday at 24 sites, an increase of three from last week. The new sites are Audubon, Bemiss and Cooper elementary schools.

Meals will be available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Any child up to age 18, or who is enrolled in high school, is eligible, but children must be present to receive meals.

At the same time, the district is conforming to an order from the Spokane Regional Health District closing all play structures. Under current orders, however, playfields and athletic fields can remain open, using appropriate social distancing.

Laptops are available for families who lack them. Families who would like to check out a laptop should fill out a form at the district website.

All districts in the area continue to issue regular updates during the closures, via their websites, social media or direct emails to families.

Here is a district-by-district rundown of plans as of Saturday afternoon:

The Central Valley School District is moving ahead with plans for child care and academic support, Superintendent Ben Small told families in an email sent to families Friday. The next priority is to create last-resort child care for health care workers and first responders. On Monday, the district will open four school buildings to provide child care for health care workers and first responders. Information and a registration form are posted on the district website, along with details and locations. The district is providing meals to students at sites around the district.

In the Mead School District, food will be distributed beginning Monday at selected sites. For families of health service workers and first responders, day care will be in place by Monday.

The Coeur d’Alene School District released details on food pickup. Free grab-and-go meals for school-age children are now available, with distribution via buses from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the following locations: Fernan STEM Academy, Bryan and Skyway elementary schools, Lakes Middle School (front parking lot) and Ramsey Magnet School of Science (west parking lot). Emergency K-5 child care is now available at Ramsey Magnet School and will be limited to district students whose parents or guardians work in health care or emergency services. The hours are 6:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

The West Valley School District is in the process of refining plans for child care for the children of first responders and health care providers. YMCA child care at Pasadena or Seth Woodard elementary schools will continue for those already enrolled. Grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches are available at Pasadena Park, Seth Woodard, Ness and Orchard Center elementary schools. Children must be present to receive meals. School staffs are working on academic support plans.

On Tuesday, the East Valley School District finalized details for food distribution at sites throughout the district, beginning immediately. To receive child care, families of first responders and medical workers must fill out an online form. Child care will begin Monday. Educational resources for parents will be posted on Monday.

In Cheney Public Schools, plans were finalized for breakfast and lunch, which began Wednesday. Academic updates on “optional learning resources” will be sent out as resources become available.

In the Medical Lake School District, meal distribution is scheduled to begin Monday. These will be grab-and-go lunches that include provisions for the following day’s breakfast. The district has created a survey with distribution locations to identify the number of meals needed. The district is still working on a plan to provide child care.

The Deer Park School District plans to offer child care for children, ages 3-13, of health services personnel and first responders, but a questionnaire must be completed first. Free grab-and-go lunches are being provided from 11 a.m. to noon, the district said Tuesday. Academic options are still being weighed, the district said Saturday.

In the Riverside School District, free child care will be provided beginning Monday for preschool through fifth-graders in families of medical field workers and first responders. Sack breakfasts and lunches will be available at off-school sites. An academic plan will be rolled out Monday, the district said.

The Freeman School District is offering free sack breakfasts and lunches but requires applicants to fill out a form.

In the Nine Mile Falls School District, families are asked to fill out a form that covers food as well as child care.

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