Greetings Meridian Students and Families,

I want to share recent developments with respect to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. We resumed classes today. It was not without angst and concern. I appreciate all who reached out and asked questions, engaged in conversation and shared their perspectives. I completely understand the concerns and also want to reinforce the idea that if a family is hesitant to send their child to school it is absolutely their decision to keep them home.

Many who kept their children home today shared it was out of concern for not knowing the status of our affected staff member. Unfortunately, as of late this afternoon we have yet to hear the results. Rest assured, as soon as it is made available, the findings will be shared.

A press conference was held today by Governor Inslee and State Superintendent Chris Reykdal. The purpose of the press conference was to share more definitive steps by Governor Inslee to close all schools in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. These 43 school districts, serving over 600,000 students in these counties, will be closed at least until April 24. This action is an intentional effort to minimize social interactions and help slow the spread of the virus.

It is anticipated we may see similar circumstances in Whatcom County in the near future. Once again, I participated in a conference call today with the Whatcom County Health Department and area superintendents to discuss the growing concern for the spread of the virus. MSD has been following the direction of the governor’s office and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to develop potential contingency plans for continuing educational programs, nutritional support, and childcare for our students should there be a prolonged closure. Providing these services are revealing complex challenges we are working to solve.

All of this continues to move at a fast pace with rapidly changing information and circumstances. We will share information with you as it becomes available. If you have questions or concerns, please continue to reach out.

Have a pleasant evening,

James

Dr. James Everett