All schools in the Northshore School District (NSD) will be closed beginning Thursday, March 5 for up to 14 days.
NSD will communicate plans to transition instruction from classroom to cloud (online learning) beginning March 9.
“This decision was made thoughtfully and with the support of a variety of district and community leaders,” NSD Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid said in a message to families.
Following school closures at Bothell High School and Frank Love Elementary, Reid said 26 NSD schools have been affected via direct or indirect exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
“We are receiving numerous calls and emails from parents and staff who are self-quarantining or are choosing to keep their students home. Today, our absentee rate for students districtwide was 20 percent,” Reid said.
Education will continue via the Internet, Reid said.
“Our job is to provide quality instruction to our students in a safe and welcoming environment, and we are no longer able to provide quality instruction and maintain an environment that is safe for our staff and students to learn as we do not have sufficient staff to safely operate our schools. By transitioning from the classroom to the cloud, we are also giving medical/public health officials and the community time to get some critical answers regarding incubation period, level and length of contagious status, and fatality rates, as well as a communication strategy that includes all necessary partners,” Reid said. “We want to do our part to slow the spread of this coronavirus.”
After Tuesday’s training, Reid said the district is now prepared to transition from the classroom to the cloud.
“Our instructional staff have and will continue to develop their skills for providing instruction to our students within an online environment. The team worked with students today to make sure they are acquainted with the online platform(s) they will be using and that students are equipped with a device and wifi to engage in virtual learning,” she said.
The Northshore Learns page has more information.
For students without access to a computer, the district will loan devices to them.
For families who use the free and reduced lunch program, the district will offer more resources and information in the coming days.