By John McCallum
Managing Editor 

Cheney School District to close until April 24

Governor orders all K-12 schools shut down in response to COVID-19 spread


Last updated 3/14/2020 at 10:40am

OLYMPIA -- Gov. Jay Inslee signed several executive orders today extending previous requirements to close K-12 public schools and limit large gatherings to no more than 250 people in efforts to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. School districts will be closed beginning Tuesday, March 17 through April 24.

Inslee took similar measures earlier this week with schools and large gatherings in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. In taking the action the governor noted the virus has spread to 15 counties in Washington representing 75 percent of the state's population.

In a letter for students, parents and staff, Cheney Schools Superintendent Rob Roettger said all extra-curricular activities and athletics have been postponed indefinitely and all after-school events have been postponed until further notice.

"In the coming days we will continue to work diligently to plan and prepare for how best to support our students, families and community," Roettger said. "Planning will include the areas of nutrition services and potential childcare options."

Inslee also ordered all public and private universities and colleges to restrict their operations as much as possible at least through April 24. The order allows the universities to proceed with robust online academic courses, but most in-person classes are not allowed. Class labs can continue as long as social distancing (keeping people six feet apart) is practiced.

In a March 13 news release, university officials said the orders align with measures they have already taken and plan on initiating. The university stated that spring quarter will begin as scheduled on March 30 and will be conducted entirely online.

"We are committed to the well-being of all our students, faculty and staff,” EWU President Mary Cullinan said. “We applaud the Governor’s decision and will continue to refine spring quarter plans as needed.”

The university’s main operations remain open. Key functions include:

● Spring Term/Financial Aid – Spring Term begins Monday, March 30, to provide students with maximum financial aid benefits.

● Housing – Students can continue to live on campus and have access to student support services although some adjustments may be made.

● Dining – Campus dining remains available but with limited hours, menus, and locations.

● Library – The main EWU library remains open, but with modified hours.

● The PHASE and Rec Center – These campus areas will be closed for recreational purposes, March 16 - April 27.

● Child Care Center – The campus Child Care Center remains open at this time.

● Events - Events will be scheduled on EWU campuses only in accordance with the Governor’s directive.

John McCallum can be reached at

Author Bio

John McCallum, Managing Editor

John McCallum is an award-winning journalist who has been with the Cheney Free Press for over 20 years. He has received 10 Washington Newspaper Publisher Association awards for journalism and photography, including first place awards for Best Investigative, Best News and back-to-back awards in Best Breaking News categories. He has been serving as editor of the Spokane Valley News Herald since March 2020.

Phone: 509-235-6184
Contact John McCallum


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