Letter to Families: Closing Bothell High School on Feb. 28

I want to begin by thanking every community member who contacted us over the course of the day to share their thoughts and concerns about the closure of Bothell High School.  I appreciate the feedback and continue to be authentically reflective about the best path forward.

In my letter last night, I informed you of a Bothell High staff member whose family member is being tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and my decision to close the school so that crews could go in and disinfect all of the buildings. I am pleased to report that the crews made it through a large portion of the school campus today. In addition, I stated that we were waiting to hear the test results for the family member, but these test results are not back yet and they are an important part of my decision-making process. After much consideration and information gathering from multiple sources, including our partners at Public Health Seattle & King County, I have decided to keep Bothell High School closed on Friday, Feb. 28. This will provide us an opportunity to complete the cleaning and hopefully receive the results of the test.  All evening activities on the school campus are cancelled. Our staff across the District are working to move or reschedule those activities. Also, we will make a decision on weekend activities as soon as possible on Friday.

I do not make this decision lightly. Similar to our process yesterday, I considered the information in front of us, the conversations with our state and local health partners, and the evolving international situation. We recognize that Public Health Seattle & King County did not recommend closing Bothell High School as they believed the risk of the coronavirus exposure to students and staff is low. They shared with me that in the end, it was my call. Because I heard “low risk” and not “no risk,” I feel it is my responsibility to extend the closure through Friday.

We know for many of you this will be an inconvenience, and for others it will raise some concerns about health and safety for your family and your students.  We understand, and are working with health department officials and outside agencies as we continue on a reasoned, thoughtful, informed path forward--a path that we hope will inspire confidence in our priorities and decisions.

Please stay in touch as we move through this evolving, dynamic situation by emailing communications@nsd.org.  My commitment to you is to listen, be authentically responsive, and resolutely commit to transparently making the tough decisions to support the health and wellbeing of our Northshore family.

Michelle Reid, Ed.D.


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