Cheney Free Press -

By John McCallum
Managing Editor 

Covid outbreak moves Cheney High to Level 2


Last updated 5/6/2021 at 9:21am

CHENEY -- An increase in positive COVID-19 cases has led to school district officials moving Cheney High School into a "level 2" status beginning today, May 3. While the school remains open, additional testing and quarantine measures will be required under certain circumstances and when there are additional cases within a two-week period.

All other schools in the district remain at "level 1" status and will continue to operate as they have in recent weeks, Superintendent Rob Roettger said in an email to the community.

All schools have returned to in-person instruction, with the high school and middle schools being the last to implement the return on April 19. Under the plan approved by the Cheney School Board, students at both Cheney and Westwood middle schools along with the high school will be in class at the school buildings from 9:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday’s will be a late start, with class running from 10:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

The move was made possible partly from the relaxation of the six-foot physical distancing requirement, first by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and subsequently by Washington state officials. Officials now believe three-feet of physical distancing is adequate to prevent spread of the coronavirus, with six-feet still being required under certain conditions such as during meals, between adults and in certain programs such as band, choir and physical education.

"As a reminder, although many people have grown weary of the pandemic and following health and safety protocols (face coverings, hand hygiene, staying home when ill, and distancing), it is crucial that we continue to follow these basic protocols in order to keep our students and schools safe and open for in person instruction," Roettger wrote.

Roettger also said that high school principal Troy Heuett has been working with Northern Quest Resort and Casino on an outdoor venue to hold graduation ceremonies. Details are yet to be finalized, but the plan is to hold Cheney High School graduation on Friday, June 11 and Three Springs High School graduation on Saturday, June 12, both at Northern Quest.

"Specific information, including the number of attendees per graduate, times, required health and safety protocols, etc. will be provided by each of our high schools as soon as possible," Roettger said.

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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