The Anacortes School District is planning what school Superintendent Mark Wenzel said could be the imminent, “unprecedented” closure of Anacortes schools due to a public health crisis for as long as six weeks.
Wenzel met Thursday afternoon with the School Board to discuss the changing situation of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Wenzel said he has noted, “a heavier feeling in our schools today,” saying that anxiety levels are higher among the 2,700 students and the staff.
Wenzel and other school Skagit school superintendents met earlier Thursday with the county’s Public Health Officer, who may ask all schools in the county to shut their doors in the face of a public health crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Two Skagit County women have, so far, been diagnosed with COVID-19 with their diagnosis pending official confirmation by the CDC.
Wenzel said he expects the county’s Public Health Officer, who he described as “genuinely concerned,” could request, not mandate, that all schools close for what could be six weeks. But, Wenzel said that if or when that request is made, all the school districts would send students home.
The district is planning to put resources online for students, but would not have actual online classes.
Governor Inslee announced mandatory long-term school closures for all schools within King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties on Thursday.
Wenzel will be emailing parents and staff about the preparations.
State funding will continue to flow so that districts can continue to pay employees during the closure period. And, graduation requirements will be modified or accommodated and that statewide testing will be cancelled for all districts.