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Northshore School District puts classes online amid coronavirus concerns

More than 23,000 students will take classes online. The district's schools are expected to be closed for up to two weeks.

BOTHELL, Wash. — Students in the Northshore School District are preparing for a new level of precaution amid coronavirus concerns.

Sadie Herring, 15, is among the more than 23,000 students who will be staying home on Monday and taking her classes online.

"It stresses me out a little bit, but honestly, my teachers have been very attentive and given me a lot of information, telling me what I need to do," said Sadie.  

Leann Herring, Sadie's mom, approves.

"I think at this point in time, it is good to just err on the side of caution. I mean, it is spreading pretty quick so I am just glad that we live in a place where we can do this," Herring said.

Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid said 26 of Northshore School District's 34 schools have had direct or indirect exposure to coronavirus.

RELATED: Northshore Schools closed Tuesday while district prepares for coronavirus response

RELATED: Bothell HS re-opens on Monday after closing for cleaning amid COVID-19 concerns

"We've had one confirmed case of a parent volunteer that was on an elementary school site for several days. We still have two teachers awaiting results, and have been awaiting the results for over a week," Reid said.

The district has taken several steps to get ready for this transition. Teachers have received training on how to convert to online learning. Almost 2,700 laptops were delivered to students who did not have one. For those who rely on free or reduced lunch, a plan is in place to have school buses deliver meals.

While some parents might view this step as an overreaction, Reid said that she was keeping the safety of the school community in mind.

"I would want to say that we had simply too many staff that fall into one of those four high risk categories to safely open and operate school," Reid said. 

Northshore School District has about 500 employees over the age of 60. According to the CDC, older adults have an elevated risk of serious illness.

RELATED: Real-time updates: 19 coronavirus deaths among 136 total cases in Washington state

Spencer Makanui is a freshman at Bothell High. 

"Basically just treat it like a normal school day at home," said Spencer, who will still have track practice after school.

The district is not cancelling its spring sports teams.

About 280 families have reported to the district that online learning at home creates childcare issues. The district is working with community partners to set up centers by Tuesday where students could go and do their online learning.

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