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COVID-19 --- Latest Information from Gar-Pal Schools

COVID-19 Resource WebsitesWhitman County Public Health - Washingon Dept of Health - Center for Disease Control




LATEST INFORMATION from Garfield-Palouse Schools (scroll down for previous information)

Note that the lastest information supersedes previous information as the situation changes regularly.

The latest information about student meals is in a separate story on the website.




March 29, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

This is a reminder that supplemental/enrichment packets are available tomorrow (March 30) for PK-5 grade students, from 9 am to 12 pm at the Garfield and Palouse schools.  Middle School students please visit Garfield or contact the Garfield School for information (635-1331). Elementary students PK-5, please contact your respective school for information (Garfield, 635-1331; Palouse, 878-1921).  Staff in both buildings are checking their email regularly, please direct specific questions to staff or contact their school directly with the above phone numbers.

For HS students, 3rd quarter ended on Friday, March 28.  Staff is checking email regularly and can be reached via email and classroom.  Check your email regularly and google classrooms.  IF you have difficulty reaching staff, call the school or Mr. Jones (288-2630).

** Palouse Kindergarten already have their materials (March 23 packet)

** Students receiving meals will receive their packets with their meals

Zane Wells – Garfield Principal

Mike Jones – Palouse Principal




March 27, 2020

For updated High School Course Information please see the story in our headlines section with detailed information on this topic.




March 22, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

This is a reminder that supplemental/enrichment packets are available tomorrow, March 23 from 9 am to 12 pm at the Garfield and Palouse schools.  Middle School students please visit Garfield or contact the Garfield School for information (635-1331) and High School students please visit Palouse or contact the Palouse School for information (878-1921).  Elementary students P-5, please contact your respective school for information.  Staff in both buildings are checking their email regularly, please direct specific questions to staff or contact their school directly with the above phone numbers.

For HS students, 3rd quarter ends on Friday, March 28.  Please check your skyward and contact teachers if you have assignments out for this grading period.  Grades will be finalized on Friday so credit can be granted.

Zane Wells – Garfield Principal

Mike Jones – Palouse Principal




March 17, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Thank you for all of your patience and understanding as we navigate this difficult time and work through the covid-19 crisis that has hit our region.  The following letter identifies services the Garfield and Palouse Districts are providing for the next six weeks and opportunities available for your student.  Safety and concern for both staff and students are our primary considerations and decisions being made are being done with that in mind.

Based on the guidance from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), we will not be providing direct educational services to students during the cancellation of schools (March 17 – April 24).  Starting April 27th, we expect to return to school and resume all student services.

Although we are not in session, it is valuable for students to work to maintain their skills and therefore we hope to have students participate in supplemental/enrichment activities provided by the school. Teachers are working to prepare suggested activities and resources for students to do from home, these will be available starting March 23rd and can be picked up at the Garfield Cafeteria and Palouse School Library each Monday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  These activities and assignments are optional for all students and are not graded or mandatory, they are meant to help maintain skill and provide opportunities to improve.

Many parents are currently generating schedules at home, identifying specific times for activities while their students are home during this extended break.  Activities provided can be done as often as you choose and packets are created weekly.  Staff is available via email and will be working to help provide additional resources.

Elementary

Elementary staff are putting materials together that is specific to their grade with a focus on Reading, Writing and Math material.  Teachers are providing hardcopy sources as well as options for online resources for students.  These include activities that students are already familiar with and have experience in using.

Middle School

Teachers are providing hardcopy resources for students.  These include activities that students are already familiar with online and have experience in using.  Middle School resources are focused on English, Math, Science and Social Studies.  Please be in contact with teachers via their school email if you have questions or would like additional ideas.

High School

The High School is providing both online and hardcopy resources for students to engage in while on the break.  This includes core English, Math, Science and Social Studies courses as well as some elective options.  Please be in contact with teachers via their school email if you have questions or would like additional ideas.  Students should check their email regularly as well and are welcome to take chromebooks home.

Hardcopy resources are available at the school starting March 23 and available to be picked up every Monday.  Google classroom is being utilized as an online resource if you choose and teachers are providing login information for their classes.  These are separate from their current classes.

Students are a week away from the end of 3rd quarter, no new assignments will be given by teachers for 3rd quarter and all late and/or make up work required for a class should be submitted by next Friday (March 28).  Grades will be posted by April 3 and the 4th quarter will officially start April 27th, upon our return.  If you have questions, please email your teachers and/or call the school so we can have them contact you.

Facility Use

To help curb the potential spread of the covid-19 virus and provide us the opportunity to sanitize and clean our buildings, there will be limited access to the schools in both Garfield and Palouse.  Please contact the school and make arrangements  if you plan to pick up materials outside of the Monday 9:00 to 12:00 window.  School activities, and community activities including open gym and gatherings are being suspended until further notice.  The front doors of each building are the only entrances open to the public. 

Meals

GarPal schools are working on a plan to insure the meal needs of students are provided during this extended school closure.  As the situation is constantly changing, modifications may be forthcoming, but for now we will proceed as follows:

CURRENTLY - WEEK OF 17th-20th

If you have an immediate need for school breakfast or lunch please contact the appropriate school – Garfield 509-635-1331 or Palouse 509-878-1921 so we can meet your needs.

Next Week - March 23rd- 27th!

On Monday we plan to provide Grab & Go (sack) meals for those needing school breakfast & lunch support during the closure. Exactly how this will materialize depends on the number of students participating, so in order to prepare we need an approximate number. 

If you plan to participate in the Grab & Go breakfast/lunch meals please contact the appropriate school ASAP so we can be prepared for implementation on Monday. You do not need to commit for the full six-weeks at this time and you can join at any time, we just need to plan for next week at this point!

Exact details, pick up locations etc. will be shared as we know the number of participants and develop the appropriate plan. 

Finally, we appreciate all of your support and patience.  Our primary concern is the safety and well being of staff and students alike, we continue to get direction from OSPI, the governor and federal government.  We will continue to update and communicate with parents, please check our website frequently (www.garpal.net).

Sincerely,

Mike Jones

Zane Wells




March 15th, 2020

TO         :  GARPAL Parents, Staff and Community

FROM   :  Garfield - Palouse Schools

RE         :  Covid 19 Update -School Closure

We have been in communication daily with several agencies on the school closure situation. Today we met for discussions and are sharing the following information. Please understand that we are (and have been for weeks) receiving guidance from ESD101, OSPI and State/Federal agencies several times per day as this situation continues to develop.  We are also kept current on what other districts across the state and especially in eastern Washington are planning to implement.

We attended a meeting on Friday the 13th at ESD101 with other school leaders where we discussed with the Spokane County Health Department precautionary measures and what they were expecting down the road, only to have all of this negated by the sudden closure order which we were notified of as we traveled back that afternoon. Thus, we had little information to share with staff (or you) as this accelerated the process by 2-3 weeks over the planning discussion in which we had just participated. 

With the main issue of the need to close school now decided for us, we will now focus on efforts to adjust to the closure. At this point few decisions can be determined or answers provided until we have had time to receive the latest guidance and determine the implications for GARPAL Schools.  Also, please keep in mind that the guidance we receive is very fluid and constantly modified by those in power as the situation changes.  Hence, what we report or the direction we pursue one day, may be totally different the next day.  Thank you for your understanding and patience!

  

IMMEDIATE PLAN for the week of March 16-20!

  1. No school, events or activities in Garfield-Palouse schools until later in April. 
  2. Monday – No school for most employees do to the scheduled snow day!
  3. Monday – Our administrative team will meet to develop further plans.
  4. Tuesday – all staff meeting at 10:00 in each building!
  5. Tue/Wed. – Parents/students can stop in to pick up medicines and personal items.
  6. Please check the Web Site for further updates!
  7. As of Tuesday, the offices will be staffed 8:00 – 3:30 until spring break!

Tue. - Friday

As we receive updated guidance this week, we will be discussing the options available for us to consider with staff/Board and share that information with you.  We will provide updated information as we receive it, so please check the Web Site often.  We know some of you have questions, (so do we) but it would be premature and irresponsible for us to start making guesses or to provide you with answers that are inaccurate. 

Thank you for your patience!

Garfield/Palouse Administration

Zane Wells

Calvin L. Johnson

Mike Jones




March 15, 2020

Today we became aware of the potential exposure of some of our students/staff at an event in the Spokane area last weekend.  There have been comfirmed cases in the Spokane area and we wish you to be aware.

GarPal Schools




March 11, 2020

Dear Garfield-Palouse School Families,

With recent events and serious concerns regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) front of mind for citizens across our nation and across the globe, we as a school district recognize, and take very seriously, our responsibility to be as informed as possible, and as prepared as possible, as this circumstance evolves.  Of our many commitments and priorities, the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff are paramount.

Over the past number of weeks, we have been working closely with experts and government and educational partners to learn as much as is known, and to be prepared as possible for the impacts and implications that COVID-19 may have for schools and school districts.  Expert information continues to be provided by the public health and medical professionals associated with the Center for Disease Control, the Department of Health, and the local Regional Health District(s) that has jurisdiction in our school district.  We are also in continual communication with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Office of the Governor, our educational service district, and with fellow school districts and institutions of higher education in our region and across the state.

As the science of this virus comes into sharper focus, and as its impacts continue to be felt in our state – albeit more significantly in other areas of the state at the current time – we are mindful of the potential for its impact to affect the normal operation of schools.  In addition to our routine and now even increased attention to the cleaning of our facilities and buses, we know that growing concerns may lead to recommended decisions that could alter our regular operations.  We respect that the Office of the Governor holds emergency powers and authority in circumstances like this, and assuredly that public health agencies share in the authority relative to making decisions about a public-school district’s continued normal operation.

With a deep commitment to learning from the experts about the science and impacts of COVID-19, as well as to the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff and the larger community, we are continuing to make plans for a variety of outcomes and for any adjustments that may be needed or mandated.  We will continue to keep you informed as we move forward, and we appreciate and value your partnership with us as we travel this new road.

Sincerely,

Zane Wells: Garfield Superintendent

Calvin Johnson:  Palouse Superintendent




March 11, 2020

OSPI (Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) has developed a parent guide related to COVID-19 in K-12 schools. It is intended to help schools and families navigate the current guidance surrounding school closures, attendance, online learning, and more.

Download the parent guide here.




March 9, 2020

GARPAL is working with Local, State and National health agencies on prevention and
management of the COVID-19 situation. Last week the Whitman County Health Dept. met with
superintendents to provide us with updates, guidance and their current recommendations for
schools. As we continue through this process, weekly meetings are scheduled to insure
accurate and consistent information from our Health Care experts is reaching our county
schools. As we deal with the many unknowns of COVID-19, recommendations could be
modified as we progress forward, thus adjustments may be needed if the situation changes.

CURRENT HEALTH CARE RECOMMENDATIONS:
Health officials now tell us people (adults/students) should stay home for 72 hours after a fever
breaks.
Children are a low risk group and most would have few, if any symptoms.
Older adults with pre-existing conditions are the high-risk group.
They are not recommending school closures and even if a case was verified it would not be
automatic as several factors would be weighed before a closure recommendation was issued.
Normal cleaning is adequate and shutting down for a “deep clean” is not necessary, but
providing extra attention to high touch areas during the day could be beneficial.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Do not bring your student to school if they do not feel well or have cold or flu-like symptoms
(elevated temperature, fever, cough, shortness of breath). Keep your student home for 72
hours after their fever breaks.
 Do not come to work at the school if you do not feel well or have cold or flu-like
symptoms (elevated temperature, fever, cough, shortness of breath).
 Wash hands often with soap and water. If you do not have soap and water, use alcohol-
based hand sanitizer.
 Sneeze and cough into a tissue, elbow or sleeve instead of your hands. Throw used
tissues in a garbage container immediately after use. If you use your hands to cover a
sneeze or cough, wash your hands immediately with soap and water or alcohol-based
hand sanitizer.
 Avoid rubbing your eyes, touching your nose or putting your fingers by or in your mouth.
 Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

Extra CLEANING/SANITIZING precautions we have implemented in addition to our daily
cleaning/sanitizing routine?
 We are encouraging all students to wash their hands constantly through-out the day.
 Buses have been cleaned/sanitized!
 High contact areas (door knobs/panic bars, lockers, light switches, restrooms, desks,
keyboards etc.) are cleaned/sanitized during the day!
 Locker rooms are receiving extra attention!

RESOURCES:
Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) share
information about COVID-19 at:
https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus#beprepared
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
A Washington State DOH phone line is also available for any questions. Call 1-800-525-0127
and press #.

The GARPAL Coop takes this health risk seriously and will continue to work closely with our
Health Care professionals.  Information will be posted on the district website as updates or new
information becomes available. We will make educational adjustments when/if needed, but at
this point our primary concern is safety. Education can come at any time, so please keep your
children home if they are sick.

Sincerely,
Zane Wells:  Garfield Superintendent
Calvin Johnson:  Palouse Superintendent