Washington students will not be returning to schools this spring

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Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday that students in Washington will not be returning to schools this spring.

Inslee initially closed schools March 13 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

He said if there is an opportunity, there still is hope for graduation ceremonies for high school seniors.

“This closure is guided by science and is our greatest opportunity to keep our kids, educators and communities safe,” Inslee said.

Distance learning efforts will continue and grow

Inslee was joined at a press conference by Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, who talked about how districts have begun providing distance learning.

He said that effort will continue to grow and improve.

Inslee said students’ grades will not suffer as a result of schools being closed.

There have been positive signs Washington is getting through the worst of the outbreak, he said.

“We do believe we are making some progress in our state, and Washingtonians should be proud of this,” Inslee said. “It’s reasonable to expect that this time will give us what we need to feel secure we have come through the worst of this pandemic.”

He said, however, residents must continue to follow his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order so the progress that has been made is not undone. Last week he extended that order until May 4.