School Closure FAQs
Last updated: 04-27-20
Why are schools closed?
Governor Inslee announced that all schools will continue to be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year in order to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19. As a result, all schools in the Kelso School District will remain closed through the end of the 2019-20 school year (June 19, 2020).
This continued closure is difficult for students, staff, families and the entire community. This can be particularly disappointing news for students who miss their friends and teachers and raises some additional questions about events and activities that would typically be happening at this time in our school year.
We want to reassure you that moving forward, we will continue providing educational services, and we will be answering questions about alternative plans for events and activities as we know more information. It is important to stay connected to our district websites for the most recent information.
Is there a chance we could be back in school if the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order is lifted?
No. The Governor’s decision to close schools for the remainder of the year is separate from the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Even if that order is lifted, schools will remain closed for the remainder of the year to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Meals, Childcare, & Personal Items
WILL MEALS BE PROVIDED FOR STUDENTS DURING THE CLOSURE?
Yes. We will provide a sack breakfast and a sack lunch simultaneously Monday – Friday at specific schools and community locations. We will start distribution on Thursday March 19th. Current specific site information and times are listed here.
Will our school district provide childcare?
We recognize that closing schools has a major impact on our communities ability to staff hospitals, health care facilities, and other fire and medical departments. The Governor has asked us to help our families who are in the medical field or who are first responders to find temporary childcare during this outbreak.
Because many school districts do not have the staff or space to offer childcare during these times, we are now being advised to direct families to the following website https://childcareawarewa.org or to call the Child Aware Family Center directly at 1-800-446-1114. The Child Aware team will help you find child care in our local area.
When can I get my child’s belongings from school?
Projected dates are May 4 – 8. We’ll be finalizing a schedule and will send it out soon.(Click here for schedule)
Teaching & Learning
Will students be learning from home during the closure?
Yes. Elementary students are receiving paper packets in the mail. Secondary students may choose either paper packets or online learning.
Does my child have to do the homework assigned? If so, will it be graded?
- Students are expected to make a good faith effort in continuing their education via remote learning during the school closure. It is important for their learning to remain engaged in schoolwork.
- For information on high school grading, click here.
What is the guidance for how much time at home to do school work each day?
The guidance from the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction varies by grade level and is as follows:
- Pre-K: 30 minutes
- K-1: 45 minutes
- 2-3: 60 minutes
- 4-5: 90 minutes
- 6-8: 20 minutes per class (2.5 hours max)
- 9-12: 30 minutes per class (3 hours max)
Are Chromebooks still available? If so, how do I get one?
Yes. If you are a secondary student (grades 6-12), have selected online learning (rather than paper packets), and do not have a comparable device at home, you can check out a Chromebook from 10 AM to noon on Mondays and Thursdays Kelso High School.
What happens if I have an issue with my Chromebook at home?
- Many Chromebook issues can be cleared by fully rebooting the device. Long-press the power button to turn it off, then press again to turn it back on.
- Make sure your power adapter is plugged in to both the power outlet and the Chromebook.
- If you continue to have problems, please inform your teacher, and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- After troubleshooting with the above, if you still have issues you can bring your device and trade it out on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 AM to noon at Kelso High School.
When does the school year end?
What about state testing?
OSPI has decided to cancel all state testing for the 2019–20 school year. This includes the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA), the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS), the Washington Access to Instruction and Measurement (WA-AIM), English Learner Progress Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21), and WIDA Alternate ACCESS for ELLs.
What about graduation requirements?
- There are no additional requirements to graduate. Seniors should check in with their counselors to make sure they’re meeting credit requirements for graduation.
- The State Board of Education offers flexibility in grading and credit accrual to the class of 2020. As a last resort, some credit-based graduation requirements may be waived for students on track to graduate.
ADDITIONAL LEARNING RESOURCES
You can find additional learning resources by clicking here. These activities and resources are optional for students and are not required or graded.
Events & Extracurricular Activities
WHAT ABOUT SPORTS AND OTHER EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES?
Per the directive from Governor Inslee, all sports and extracurricular activities are cancelled this school year. Canceled means no students or staff will be allowed to gather for workouts, practices, or performances.
will there be a graduation?
- Yes, although it will be different than in years passed. More information to come soon.
- Graduation will still be on June 6 at 1:00 PM.
Will there be other senior events?
Yes. Our high school team is working on plans for those events now. A letter about revised senior events will be sent to parents.
IS MY SCHEDULED FACILITY USE OF OUR SCHOOLS AND FIELDS CANCELED?
Yes, all facility use by outside community members, staff, students, and groups have been canceled until further notice.
What will staff members be doing during the closure?
Many staff will still be working, albeit in creative, non-traditional, and flexible ways, and they will still get paid according to information we have received from Governor Inslee and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Will Schools, the District Office, and Transportation/Maintenance be open to the public during the school closure?
No, all facilities will be closed to the public beginning March 16, 2020, and will remain closed until further notice.
What words of advice do you have for students?
- First and foremost: we care deeply for you, your health and your safety. We miss seeing you every day. Please, stay home and stay healthy.
- Second: it is really important that you engage with your teacher and your school work. Not only for your own growth and learning, but also to keep some structure and normalcy to your daily lives.
What words of advice do you have for parents?
- This is a challenging time for all of us. Please have compassion and patience through this process.
- Encourage and support your child to stay engaged in learning.
How will the school district communicate information with families and the community?
- Email through Family Access / Skyward
- Notifications via the Kelso School District app (download for free)
- Website: https://www.kelso.wednet.edu/
- Facebook and Twitter: @KelsoSchools
Who do parents contact with questions?
Depending on the nature of the question, parents should reach out to their child’s teacher, principal, or the district office.