Updates to the Community

District News Releases & Updates

For a complete list of news articles posted by the district, please visit our What's New page. Can't find what you're looking for? Contact our district office at 509-346-2222.


(Update:  4/6/2020)
School Buildings Closed to Traditional On-site Education for Remainder of Year
Posted on 04/06/2020

Today at 2:30 PM, Governor Inslee announced the closure of all Washington K-12 schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, as we work to slow the spread of COVID-19. During this closure, all school buildings in the district will remain closed. While we understand that these long-term closures pose many challenges for students, staff, and families, it is pertinent that we follow the guidance of our public health authorities and not overwhelm the healthcare system.

Not being able to return to school can be disappointing news for many students who miss their friends and teachers. The extended closure also raises numerous questions for all involved. We are working quickly to answer your questions as soon as possible. In the meantime, here is what we know now:

  • Our school staff is committed to partnering with families and community to support our students.
    • As we explore further options for online learning platforms and other possibilities, we will continue to provide weekly learning packets for Royal students in all grades. Packets will be distributed at the same designated bus stops and times each Monday. We will post electronic copies of these packets on our website for students and families to print at home if desired.
  • Teachers and principals have been contacting families to determine each student’s access to technology at home. As you know, all Royal Middle School students already have Chromebooks checked out at home through our One to One initiative from last year. On April 2nd, Royal High School students also received Chromebooks to take home. Plans for Chromebook distribution to intermediate and elementary school students are being developed. Information regarding deployment at these levels will be made available once plans are finalized.
  • High school seniors will receive support from our school counselors, Arlene Delgado and Leo Paxtian, around opportunities to earn and document credits they need for graduation and preparing to transition to college, etc. We are working with the state’s college system to ensure smooth transitions for graduating students.
  • We will continue to provide free meals, Monday-Friday, to all children 18 years and younger. Meal delivery will continue following the current drop-off schedule and locations. You can find more details on our website at royalsd.org/families/covid19/food_services.
  • All field trips and events, including sports, socials and dances, will be canceled during the extended closure. We are engaging with students to come up with creative alternatives to celebrate milestones such as prom and field days. We will keep students and families updated on these decisions so that you can plan in advance to participate.
  • Graduation ceremonies may be modified. A final decision will be shared as further information becomes available.
  • We are awaiting information from the Governor on whether school facilities will be open to provide summer school.

Please stay home as much as possible and stay healthy. Even while staying at home, it is important to practice excellent hygiene and sanitation. Staying home and limiting person-to-person contact appears to be making a difference in slowing the spread of COVID-19, but those measures need to continue in order to be effective long-term. As much as possible, stay home, limit trips outside for groceries, gas and essentials, and stay 6 feet apart from people outside of your home. We urge you to follow the guidance provided by the CDC and Department of Health. You can find links to more information on our district’s COVID-19 webpage at royalsd.org/families/covid19.

We will have limited staff on site at the District Office to answer phones between 8AM to 4PM, Monday-Friday. Our office can be reached at 509-346-2222. Please look for more communication coming from the district in the coming weeks, and feel free to contact us with any questions.


(Update:  3/16/2020, 4:00 PM)

In accordance with recent directives from Governor Jay Inslee, all Royal schools are closed effective March 16 through April 24. All school events, activities, athletics, and facility rentals are postponed until at least April 24.

We understand that these extended closures create hardships for many families. Children rely on the consistent routine, resources, and support people available to them through their schools. Our district leadership is working diligently this week to develop plans that will allow us to continue serving students and families however possible. Please look for further details on food service, childcare, and more by 4:00 PM on Tuesday, March 17th. We appreciate your patience and support as we continue to navigate this unprecedented time. We will continue to provide updates on our website, our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RoyalSD.org, and through our mass notification platform (phone calls/text/emails). Please take care of yourselves!


(Update:  3/12/2020, 5:45 PM)

Dear Royal Community, Families and Patrons,

Governor Inslee announced plans to limit gatherings of more than 250 people in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties and also closed the respective schools in those districts as a result of COVID-19. Because the Governor's announcement has spurred many questions, I wanted to take this opportunity to reiterate our district's Pandemic Response Plan. It includes detailed information regarding our education, prevention and preparation plans that we continue to collaborate and frame our daily actions around in consultation with the Royal School District and County health officials.

As of March 12th, we still have no confirmed presumptive positive cases in the Royal School District. County health officials continue to relay that they consider the community at large to be at low risk of exposure, but that we continue to take everyday precautions to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. However, it is important for those who are medically fragile (students, staff and parents) to be cognizant of the related risks and to seek guidance from health care providers. Additionally, it is important for our community to know that our custodial staff has been engaged in robust cleaning activities including sanitizing and disinfecting all hard and frequent contact surfaces in all buildings and buses. This is being carried out on a daily basis. 

In accordance with our Pandemic Response Plan, we continue to find ourselves in Stage Two. As a result we have limited some after-hours gatherings as detailed in our plan. Should a confirmed case be identified in our community, we will enter Stage 3 of our plan. This stage, like the one the Governor is enacting on select counties on the west side of our state, would include postponement of all school assemblies, after-hours events and outside use of district facilities. To emphasize, we are not in this stage yet and our current plans are to continue with Stage 2 allowable activities. However, it is only prudent that we do consider contingency plans around Stage 3 implications. I would encourage those whose programs may be impacted by Stage 3 event postponements to continue to work with your school leadership and impacted stakeholders to begin developing possible contingency plans should we be forced to implement.

Although this correspondence may raise some levels of anxiety, my hope is to relieve the uneasiness that often comes with unanswered questions, speculation and rumor. It is important that we all remain educated, prepared and informed. 

I hope that reviewing our District's plan provides a level of comfort that we are prepared and ready to respond, ensuring a safe and productive learning environment for our entire Royal Schools Community. Again, Director of Health Services, Janna Benzel and I continue to be available if you have any questions about this matter. 

Sincerely,

Roger W. Trail
Superintendent


(Update: 3/11/2020, 7:10 PM)

We learned today that the original report provided to our school district on Tuesday night was in error. The student was not tested for COVID-19, as it was not deemed necessary by their healthcare provider. The student's condition was unrelated to COVID-19.


(Update: 3/11/2020, 4:00 PM)

On the evening of Tuesday, March 10th, Royal School District administration received a report that a Red Rock Elementary student was being tested for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). After further investigation and information provided by the Grant County Health District as of 2:30 PM on March 11th, we have received confirmation that this is NOT the case and the student has NOT been tested as presumptive-positive.

As you know, this is a rapidly evolving situation with data and guidance from both state and local authorities changing daily if not hourly. Additionally, the protocol for COVID-19 case reporting recently changed in Washington. As a school system charged with the care of your children, we take our responsibility very seriously and will err on the side of caution to keep the safety and well being of our students and staff as our top priority. Our administrators are working with both county and state health departments, as well as the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to move forward with our official district Epidemic/Pandemic Response Plan. This plan will be published on the district website and made available to the public by Noon on Thursday, March 12. A copy of this plan, along with a letter providing guidance and next steps to our families will be sent home with students at the end of the school day on March 12.

At this time, the Department of Health is not recommending closure of our schools. We will continue to address travel, after-school activities, events, and athletics on a case-by-case basis. Any updates will be communicated as information is made available to us. We continue to urge our students, staff, and community members to seek accurate and reliable information and follow the healthcare guidance from these sources:

Washington State Department of Health (DOH): www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus
Centers for Disease Control (CDC): www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
World Health Organization: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI): www.k12.wa.us/about-ospi/press-releases/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-resources

 


 

On January 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Washington State Department of Health announced the first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States in Washington State. Since then, our state has been experiencing a rapidly expanding outbreak, which the World Health Organization officially characterized as a pandemic on March 11th. The following day, Washington State Governor Inslee announced mandatory long-term school closures for all schools within King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. Governor Inslee has continued to expand his directives since then, encompassing all schools in Washington state, as well as bans on gatherings over 50 people.