No school Feb. 17 through Feb. 21, for the mid-winter break.
Monday, Feb. 17: All district offices will be closed in observance of Presidents' Day.
Tuesday, Feb. 18 through Friday, Feb. 21: The district office will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Early and Extended Learning Mid-winter Break Camp will be open from Tuesday, Feb. 18 through Friday, Feb. 21.
School will be back in session Monday, Feb. 24.

February 14, 2020 at 1:15 p.m.

Dear Bellevue School District Learning Community:

This message updates you on the coronavirus (COVID-19).

In previous communications, the Bellevue School District provided important information about the virus and recommended precautions.  We remain committed to keeping our learning community informed because your health and well-being are a top concern.

It is also important to use this event as an opportunity to learn and grow as a community of learners.  When our community faces a health issue, natural disaster, or other emergency, we have a meaningful opportunity to reflect on how we interact with each other.

We encourage everyone in our learning community to treat each other with compassion, respect, and openness. This is especially true when dealing with an issue like the coronavirus.  As we interact with one another, we need to avoid undue suspicion, emotion, and fear.  We must focus on the situation at hand, absent judgment and stereotyping.

In this regard, we ask our learning community to follow this guidance from a recent blog posted by the Washington State Department of Health:

All people should feel safe and supported in their communities, especially if they are in need of health care resources. When it comes to infectious disease, country of origin does not mean that people with an association to that area are ill or contagious. In any case, hostility and shame are inappropriate public responses to illness, and only adversely impact public health’s ability to identify and assist people who may be in need of care.”

The Washington State Department of Health is the lead agency in public health crisis situations in our state.  It provides school districts, including the Bellevue School District, with direction on how to manage public health responses.  Currently the Department’s guidance to schools remains unchanged for travelers returning from China:

“The Washington State Department of Health’s guidance continues to only recommend that travelers stay home, away from others, and monitor their health for 14 days. The new guidance only recommends staying home for travelers arriving in the U.S. AFTER February 2, 2020 at 2 p.m. Family members or other close contacts of these travelers who are asymptomatic can continue with their daily routines.”

Here are two helpful links to monitor guidance from the Washington State Department of Health and the Bellevue School District:

Any changes in guidance will be immediately communicated to our families.

As a learning community, let’s remain informed and respectful.

February 4, 2020 at 12:57 p.m.

Department of Health: Update on When to Stay Home

The Washington State Department of Health’s coronavirus school response website has been updated on when to stay home.

The Washington State Department of Health’s guidance continues to only recommend staying home. The new guidance only recommends staying home for travelers arriving in the U.S. AFTER February 2, 2020 at 2 p.m. stay at home, away from others, and monitor their health for 14 days.

From the Washington State Department of Health:

Should all children returning from China stay home from school for 14 days?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all travelers from China (including school students, staff and volunteers) arriving in the U.S. AFTER February 2, 2020 at 2 p.m. stay at home, away from others, and monitor their health for 14 days. This measure was put in place because of the increasing number of cases of 2019-nCoV in China.

There is no recommendation for people without symptoms arriving before this time to restrict their activities. All travelers from China arriving BEFORE February 2, 2020 at 2 p.m. can continue to attend school and should take the following steps:

  • Watch for any changes in your health for 14 days after leaving China.
  • If you get a fever or develop a cough or difficulty breathing during this 14-day period, avoid contact with others. Call your doctor or healthcare provider to tell them about your symptoms and your recent travel.

Washington State Department of Health coronavirus information page

February 3, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.

Dear Bellevue School District Learning Community:

This message updates you on the coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

As mentioned in earlier communications, the Bellevue School District is committed to keeping our learning community informed. Your health and well-being are a top concern.

The Washington State Department of Health is the lead agency in public health crisis situations in our state and provides school districts direction on how to manage responses.

Based on input from the Washington State Department of Health:

The Bellevue School District is recommending that all students, staff, and others returning from China stay home and away from others and monitor their health for 14 days.

If you have come into contact with people that have recently returned from a visit to China, we thank you in advance for helping to monitor for symptoms for the coronavirus.

From the Washington State Department of Health website:

Should all children returning from China stay home from school for 14 days?

Yes. The White House Coronavirus Task Force announced on January 31, 2020 that all people returning from China will be asked to stay at home away from others and monitor their health for 14 days.

Washington State Department of Health’s recommendations to schools: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus/Schools.

What the Bellevue School District is doing:

Student absences will be excused for those who stay home due to this recommendation.  Please contact your school’s attendance specialist to inform them of your situation. Please work with your student’s school to answer any questions.

The district has heightened its focus on maintaining a clean school environment, including providing additional hand sanitizer and focus on cleaning high use areas.

Other helpful information:

Washington State Department of Health coronavirus information page

January 24, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.

Dear Bellevue School District Learning Community:

You have likely seen in the news or on social media about a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We know this kind of news can be worrisome and concerning.  Please know that this matter has our top priority. Our Health Services team is monitoring the situation and tracking guidance from the Washington Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

The Washington State Health Department is the lead agency in public health crisis situations. They provide direction to school districts in how to manage responses. While 2019-nCoV is a serious illness, at this time, the Washington State Health Department considers it a low risk to the public.

To help stay healthy, the Centers for Disease Control recommends:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds; use alcohol-based sanitizer if no water is available
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with those who are sick
  • Stay home if sick
  • Cover cough or sneeze with tissue, throw tissue in trash, wash hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched object and surfaces

The Washington Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control are recommending additional precautions only for those individuals who have had close contact with someone who is confirmed to have 2019-nCoV or is being evaluated by the Department of Health for 2019-nCoV. These recommendations can be found online. The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that individuals who are not symptomatic to continue with their daily activities, such as going to work, school or other public areas.

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV, and are experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your healthcare provider.

If you are unsure whether you should keep your student home from school, please read these guidelines here.

Helpful links:

We will update you with any additional information or guidance that we receive. Families with more questions should contact their school.