WOODINVILLE, Wash. -- Hundreds of thousands of parents learned Thursday their kids won’t be going to school for at least the next six weeks. Gov. Jay Inslee ordered all public and private K-12 schools to be closed in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties through April 24th over concerns of the coronavirus.
It has left parents scrambling to find accommodations while trying to make sure their kids continue to learn.
Woodinville mother Rachel Young has turned her dining room into a classroom, making sure her 7-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son stay on task academically during this time.
Her kids attend Wellington Elementary in the Northshore School District. Northshore was the first big district in the state to close last Thursday. Her kids have been attending online learning sessions since this past Monday.
Young said, “When they canceled schools, I was one of those who said 'Really. OK, we can do this.'”
She's been doing it, creating a daily schedule and putting it up on a whiteboard for the kids to see. The teachers at Wellington lead roughly an hour of online instruction per day to kids all tuning-in, many on district-issued devices.
“As long my kids are learning something," Young said. "I think we’re doing the best we can."
Then today came the news their school and all others in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties will be closed for coronavirus concerns for at least six weeks.
“I mean I broke down today," Young said, "Feeling like we’re only on day four of this and out of school until (April) the 27th.”
Her son Tyson said, “So I won’t be able to see my classmates in school for a month.”
Young knows she’s fortunate. She works her skincare business from home. Her husband Justin also has the flexibility to be home when needed.
“I realize that if we both worked jobs that are not remote working, we wouldn’t be able to pull this off," she said.
It makes her wonder how other parents will manage during this time when kids can no longer go to school.
“This could be our new normal for a little bit. We don’t know. There’s so much that’s unknown and I think that’s troubling for us,” Young said.