On Monday, staff throughout the district focused their efforts on organizing student services and preparing necessary communication as we embark on this long-term school closure. I’m immensely proud of the ways I saw folks stepping up to meet the new and unique needs this situation presents – DPSD employees are amazing and have been exceptionally helpful as we find ways to support families going forward.

As I’ve shared in previous updates, despite needing to close our doors, we’re committed to ongoing communication throughout this closure. In the days ahead, you can expect a number of updates and information notices from teachers, principals, and the district providing necessary details about services and learning opportunities – we’ll use all the tools at our disposal to get you the information you want and need.

While it appears the main offices of school buildings will be closed for most of the next 6 weeks, our district office will be open. Should you have questions or specific needs, please feel free to reach out (464.5500).

Thank You!

 

 

Travis W. Hanson  ||  Superintendent


 

SUPPLEMENTAL & EXTENDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

As are so many of you, we’re concerned about the impact this closure will have on student learning. Teachers met throughout the day on March 16th and discussed the types of enrichment activities and learning tools we can realistically provide to assist families to keep kids’ brains stimulated and engaged academically in the weeks ahead. At least initially, the vast majority of what’s provided will be sent directly to parents (via provided email address), directly to students (via their scho0l email address), and may also be posted to building websites – lots more to come!

 

FOOD/MEAL DISTRIBUTION:

Starting Thursday, March 19th free meals will be available to anyone in our community ages 1-18 through the end of the statewide school closure – food service will not be offered during spring break (April 6 – April 10). The “grab and go” meals being prepared will include both breakfast food and a lunch meal in one sack – this food is provided at no cost to ALL children.

Beginning on Thursday (March 19), food will be distributed at the schools listed below from 11:00am to 12:00pm (noon). Federal rules require that meal recipients (age 1-18) are present to pick up their meal. Students do not need to qualify for free or reduced meals to receive a meal and no forms or registration are required.

Deer Park Elementary
1500 E. D Street
Deer Park, WA 99006

Deer Park Middle School
347 S. Colville
Deer Park, WA 99006

Deer Park Home Link (Service at this site starts on Monday, March 23)
North 428 Main Ave.
Deer Park, WA 99006

We’re working on a plan to begin using school buses to deliver the “grab and go” lunches to remote distribution points beginning on Monday, March 23. Our hope is to increase participation and convenience for many families by taking meals out into more remote locations.

Reminder: Meals will not be provided / delivered during the week of spring break (April 6 – April 10).

 

CHILD CARE:

Governor Inslee has directed schools to provide childcare to health services personnel and first responders. Deer Park School District is collecting the following information to best serve you and your family.

If you have students currently enrolled in the Deer Park School District ages 3-13, need childcare during the school closure, and are an eligible health service worker or First Responder, DPSD can provide childcare. Child care is available exclusively for these families from Monday – Friday 7:30 – 3:30 at Arcadia, starting the week of March 23rd.

  • Who is an eligible First Responder?
    • Those working in law enforcement, as a paramedic, or the fire dept.
  • Who is an eligible health service worker?
    • Those working for a facility that provides medical care (including at nursing homes/assisted living facilities), a doctor’s office, or a hospital.

If you work in one of the specified groups believe you will need childcare, please use the link below (the link will take you to a Google form) as soon as possible so we can staff the program accordingly. A district representative will contact you with further details via e-mail or phone by Friday, March 20th.

We’ve temporarily removed the link to the sign-up form, as initial capacity has been reached. Following the first couple days of our childcare program (Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24), we plan to repost the link to the sign-up and make staffing adjustments as necessary.

 

March 17-20:  For the remainder of this week, we’ve sent the vast majority of our employees home as we allow employees to observe recommended social distancing measures, meet with state and local officials regarding next steps, and create a plan for the weeks ahead.

 

March 23-27:  Starting the week of March 23, it is our goal to have teachers working (most likely working remotely) to provide learning opportunities for all students. Our mission is to serve students equitably, and as you might imagine, that comes with some significant challenges. We’ll work to ensure that all students can access learning resources either electronically or by picking up hard copy versions (perhaps at the food distribution locations?). You can anticipate more detailed communication in the days ahead, including school office hours as well as locations for material pick-up.

 

Thanks for your continued patience and understanding. While educating kids has always been the core of our mission, we maintain our concern for and our steadfast commitment to the health and well-being of our students, families, and staff during this unprecedented health situation.

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