Dear NTPS Families and Staff:
As you know, we are facing an unprecedented public health crisis in our state and world.
We have kept our schools open as long as possible, as recommended by state and local public health authorities. We know that in addition to education, schools provide vital support to our communities and that closure will have a major impact on our families.
On March 12, Governor Jay Inslee ordered the closure of all schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties until April 24. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal echoed the governor’s urgency in a statement posted on the agency website. “Schools and families throughout the rest of the state should be actively engaging in contingency planning now for potential closures in their region,” he said.
Thurston County Superintendents met early this morning and have agreed to a unified approach around school closure. Starting Monday, March 16, NTPS schools will close through Friday, April 24, 2020. Other Thurston Co. public school districts will make their own announcements today. Public health officials have advised us that a sustained closure can help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, all staff access to the schools will be limited to essential staff needed to ensure business operations. Staff can expect further guidance via an email shortly.
We wanted to get the message about school closure out to you as soon as possible. We are currently in the process of developing district plans to support students with non-educational services as requested by the Governor and OSPI. Further communication regarding these services will be forthcoming.
Public health guidance
We encourage you to continue to follow existing guidelines to protect your own health. The Washington State Department of Health recommends:
- Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds; use alcohol-based sanitizer if no water is available
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with those who are sick
- Stay home if sick Note: Temperature should remain normal (below 99.6 F degrees) for 72 hours without any fever-reducing medication before returning to work or school.
- Cover cough or sneeze with tissue, throw tissue in trash, wash hands
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched object and surfaces
If you have other COVID-19 questions please visit our website FAQ or the Washington State Department of Health website.
We recognize that this disruption in our normal school year has an impact on our students, our families and our staff. We know that this exceptional moment has prompted lots of conversation and questions which we will address in the coming days.
We want to express our appreciation for the patience of our North Thurston Public Schools community as we work through the daily challenges COVID-19 has presented to all of us.