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5 things to know Tuesday

Kent strike lawsuit; Moms provide lunches for students; Gig Harbor trauma aid training; Latino mental health clinic; COVID test program ending.

Proposal to authorize lawsuit ordering Kent teachers back to work fails

There will be no school in the Kent School District on Tuesday due to an ongoing teacher strike, according to an email to parents from Kent Superintendent Isreal Vela.

Negotiations between the district and the teacher's union, the Kent Education Association, continued over the weekend, but the two parties made little progress. 

"We know it is in the best interest of students to be in school and we recognize the hardship this creates for families," Vela said in an email to parents. "After experiencing the educational disruptions and emotional impacts of COVID-19, it is more important than ever that our students return to the classroom." Read more

Two Kent mothers offering free lunch to kids as teacher strike continues

With teachers from the Kent School District (KSD) still on strike, some parents are now stepping up to make sure students, especially those relying on free-and-reduced lunches, are getting the meals they need. 

Two mothers from Grass Lake Elementary School, started a grassroots free lunch program over the weekend, to make sure students don’t have to worry about where they’ll get lunch.  

As of October of last year, about 53% of the nearly 25,000 students enrolled in KSD rely on free and reduced lunches, according to the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Read more

Peninsula School District looks to Army combat surgeon for trauma training

A U.S. Army combat surgeon is helping the Peninsula School District’s medical staff learn how to respond to a mass casualty incident.

Dr. Quinton Hatch brought his expertise and his preferred lifesaving tool, tourniquets, to Gig Harbor’s Pioneer Elementary School on Monday morning.

“This has saved more lives on the battlefield than anything else,” Hatch said, holding a tourniquet up in front of a classroom full of school nurses and medical techs who work in Gig Harbor schools. Read more

New Mount Vernon clinic aims to remove barriers to mental health care for Latino community

From the moment you approach the front desk at Consejo Counseling you can see it is a different type of clinic.

Murals of farmland populated with people of Hispanic descent cover the walls, and the staff very much reflects the community that surrounds them.

"My life experience is very valid to this community," therapist Mary Garcia said. "So, I'm able to provide those services with the understanding of what it feels like."

Garcia is one of six bilingual counselors at Consejo, with a dozen more to follow. Read more

Government to pause free COVID test orders soon

If you're looking to stock up on at-home COVID-19 tests, it may be your last chance to order a batch free of charge from the government.

President Joe Biden committed in January to making 1 billion tests available to Americans, including through covidtests.gov. 

Initially, each U.S. household could make only one order of the rapid antigen tests. The Biden administration later announced a second and then third round of orders were available, totaling up to 16 tests per household. Read more

RELATED: Western Washington Forecast

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