Clarification from the Governor's press conference on extending school closures
After the press conference Monday, we've had several people ask whether Gov. Jay Inslee and Schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal are recommending or requiring students with significant needs (special education, ELL, Title 1) to re-enter our schools to receive services between now and the end of this school year.
WEA checked in with the Governor's office and OSPI to find out.
The answer is no.
Our school facilities are closed for the remainder of the school year, with very limited exceptions (food service, childcare, other social services that are both essential and necessary).
The Governor's order would allow certain services to be provided to students such as:
- Childcare for dependents of essential workers.
- One-on-one connection with a homeless student by a case worker at a school because the county building is closed.
- Connecting a student with a chemical dependency counselor as part of treatment in a school because a local non-profit is closed.
- Behavioral health services for a student by a therapist when the school facility is the safest location to provide those services.
- Food preparation and delivery.
These are very limited exceptions and the Superintendent and the Governor's office have indicated that they would be very concerned if this order was interpreted in a way that suggested 130,000 students would re-enter schools during this period of closure.
The Governor's order also was very clear that these limited services would be allowed only in accordance with public health guidelines, social distancing, and hygiene protocols.