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'Heartbroken for our seniors': Vancouver superintendent reacts to Washington's extended school closure

Vancouver Public Schools superintendent Steve Webb said the district’s 24,000 students will use remote learning through the end of the year.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday announced that all schools in the state will remain closed through the end of the 2019-20 school year to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Vancouver Public Schools superintendent Steve Webb said the district’s 24,000 students will use remote learning through the end of the year.

“We are doing the very best we can to meet the academic and non-academic needs of our students,” Webb said in a letter to families on Monday. “I am sorry that this situation puts more strain on families. I know that you are doing the very best you can, too. Now, more than ever, we all need to act with empathy, grace and compassion.”

Webb said the governor’s announcement left him "heartbroken for our seniors."

“I want to assure you that we will do everything possible to help you cross the finish line and graduate on time,” said Webb. “I also want to assure you that our schools are still planning for the special events that make the 12th grade year so special, including senior prom, graduation and senior party, even if they must be scheduled for summer or early fall. They may look different, but we will find creative ways to make them happen if necessary.”

Webb said many families may have questions about how the closure will affect their students’ grades, graduations and other activities. The district is working hard, he said, to address those concerns, and parents are encouraged to visit the district’s website and frequently-asked-questions page.

The district will continue to provide free meals. Learn more at the Family Resource Center website.

To request child care, please call Educational Service District 112 Child Care Resource and Referral at 360-952-3466.

Evergreen Public Schools superintendent Mike Merlino expressed a similar sentiment in a letter to families on Monday.

"This is a difficult time for all of us, but we will get through it together," he said.

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