1320R Resolution - Emergency - Suspension of Policy

  • WHEREAS, Chapter 28A.320 RCW authorizes local school boards to govern their respective districts, including adopting, revising, and suspending local board policies;

    WHEREAS, the Board has adopted Policy 3432 – Emergencies which acknowledges school closure in response to a pandemic/epidemic and designates the District Superintendent or a designee to act as a liaison for the school district to ensure the health and safety of students, staff, and the community;

    WHEREAS, on February 29, 2020, the Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in all counties of our state under Chapters 38.08, 38.52 and 43.06 RCW, and directed implementation of the plans and procedures of the state’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19);

    WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic;

    WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the U.S. President declared a national state of emergency and Governor Inslee ordered closure of all public and private K-12 schools in Washington State until April 24, 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19; and

    WHEREAS, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), which has authority to waive instructional hours and school days, to interpret graduation requirements, and to oversee the allocation of resources for nutrition, transportation, and other crucial aspects of public education is providing written guidance to Washington school districts on issues related to COVID -19, including but not limited to student attendance, distance/online learning, high school credit, meal distribution, and other issues;

    NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Yelm Community School Board hereby suspends provisions of its board policies and/or whole policies, as identified by the District Superintendent or designee, if such suspension is necessary to implement written guidance from OSPI relating to containing COVID-19 for the duration identified in the Governor’s order of March 13, 2020 and a subsequent order of school closure, if any.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District Superintendent will consult with the Board as feasible and appropriate and timely report to the Board regarding the emergency closure and efforts to implement written guidance from health and government agencies as disseminated by OSPI.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District Superintendent is authorized to close any school facility without further action by the Board of Directors. Such closure shall continue during the emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic until such time as the Superintendent, in consultation with appropriate health and government authorities, deems it in the best interests of the District and its students to open schools.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District Superintendent is authorized, based upon the needs of the District and the guidance from health and government agencies disseminated by OSPI, to direct staff assignments during District closures, including but not limited to essential employees who must report to work, employees who may be reassigned, and employees whose services are not needed.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that access to public school grounds and public school buildings of the District may be limited as directed by the Superintendent during District closures.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in light of this district-wide emergency closure, the Board declares an emergency in which advertising for bids and competitive bid procedures may result in material injury or damage to the public interest of the district.  The Superintendent is granted the authority to waive the requirements of RCW 28A.335.190 requiring advertising for bids and competitive bid procedures for purchases which may be necessary due to the emergency. The Superintendent will document the reasons prompt remedial action is necessary to prevent physical injury to persons or to property of the school district.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District Superintendent will consult with the Board as feasible and appropriate and timely report to the Board regarding the emergency closure and efforts to implement written guidance from health and government agencies as disseminated by OSPI.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in the interest of public health, the board may encourage the public to attend its open public meetings via live streaming on television and/or the internet and to limit public comment to written comments. The board reserves the right to adjust board meeting dates, times, and locations during the district-wide emergency closure in a manner consistent with the Open Public Meetings Act, and notes that any or all board members may attend board meetings electronically.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that execution of this Resolution is conclusive evidence of the Board’s approval of this action and of the authority granted herein.  The Board warrants that it has, and at the time of this action had, full power and lawful authority to adopt this instrument.

    ADOPTED:  3/26/20