Coronavirus Information

April 6, 2020 6:00 p.m.
Good afternoon CSD staff!  First, I hope that you are all doing well and adjusting to our "new norm" as we know it.  Please keep each other in mind and don't forget to check in with your colleagues and family often during this time.  Although we are a "learning organization" and students will always be at the forefront of our thoughts and plans, we need to continue to support each other during this time of uncertainty.  Please take a moment to stop each day and reach out to your family, friends, and colleagues.
As for today's announcement, Governor Inslee closed all schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  Although not surprised, this still is a tough day for many staff, students, and parents across our community.  Many people are working through a feeling of loss from our Senior class to other students across our district now coming to terms that they will not be back on site with their friends.  I continue to say with steadfast stubbornness that as things continue to develop around us, schools must continue to provide stability for our community and students.  With our world upside down, we must continue to reach out with that same stubbornness and connect with our students.  Following today's announcement, personnel connections to families and students must be our number one priority!   
Where do we go from here?  That is the question that is probably on all your minds.  As of today, we are just starting spring break and I will be "virtually" attending an OSPI Zoom meeting tomorrow at the end of the day where I am hoping to learn more.  Until we get more information this week, our mission has not changed.  We will continue to serve meals beginning next Monday and preparing "continuous learning" materials for students next week while reaching out with calls, cards, and flooding our community with communication.  Probably the most asked question parents will have is the same question you have now, "What will school look like for the remainder of the year?"  If you are asked that, be honest and transparent that we are working on it as we speak, but until then you can expect to continue to get materials and contact on a weekly basis.  As I get additional information, I will be sure to pass this along to you including information specific to continued distance learning, grading, report cards, IEP guidance, Senior class requirements, graduation, and what the start of next year will look like. 
We have many challenges and obstacles to overcome over the next few months, but I am proud to be working with all of you to solve these dilemmas as I have seen the dedication of those serving on site to those working at a distance preparing work and communicating with our families.  It is my hope that ultimately we can provide stability to our community during this time and even at a distance, connect with our students and educate our youth.  We cannot replace the experience of on site learning, but we can still make the difference for students and families across our community.  There are still so many unanswered questions out there and I look forward to working with you to finish off what will obviously be a year we will never forget.  Thank you for your patience and effort during this time.  We will overcome this and remain Burbank Strong!
March 19, 2020  2:30 p.m.
Columbia School District would like to update our community on breakfast and lunch opportunities for children during the statewide school closure.  This past week, students began picking up breakfast and lunch at Columbia Elementary School from 11:30-12:30 PM.  We've had so many families take advantage of this program as we have served 69 children/young adults on Tuesday, 103 on Wednesday, and 119 on Thursday.  We are so excited that so many families are taking advantage of this service.  We feel privileged to be here and able to serve our community providing additional support during this time of uncertainty. 
We are happy to announce that beginning Monday, March 23rd, we begin taking meals out to students via school buses at specific locations throughout our district so meals are available to those that may not be able to pick their breakfast and lunch up at Columbia Elementary School.  Meals will continue to be served at CES and buses will be at the following locations serving the same meals from 11:30-12:30 PM:
  • Westbourne Loop/Basin Drive: Blue Mountain Farms on Quincy Rd. 
  • Wallula: Wallula Post Office on Columbia Way
  • Burbank Heights: Blue Mountain Farms on Lake Rd.
  • Charbonneau: Fire Department Building on Lakeview Dr.
Just look for the big yellow buses.  Children from birth to 18 can get a lunch, but must be present to pick up a meal.  You do not have to be enrolled in Columbia School District to be eligible to pick up a meal.  It is our hope that this support eases some of the anxiety over the next few weeks.  We are anxiously awaiting the return of students back to school on April 27th, but until then we want everyone to be safe out there and take precautions to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will continue to do our part and find ways to support our community along the way.  Wishing you the best and as always, Go Coyotes!
March 19, 2020 10:30 a.m.
Child Care
Attention Columbia School District parents and guardians.  We appreciate your patience over the past week as our district has worked around the clock to respond to the statewide closure in an effort to support the needs of our students and community.  Beginning today, child care application forms are available at the district office.  Childcare will be provided for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 for parents of first responders and health care workers such as doctors offices and hospitals.  Childcare will begin Monday, March 23rd from 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. and run five days a week.  As of today, planned childcare will run from March 23th through April 24th with exception of no childcare during the week of April 6-10th (the regularly scheduled spring break).  If you have any additional questions, please contact the district office at 547-2136.    
March 16, 2020 10:50 a.m.

On Friday afternoon, Governor Jay Inslee announced that all schools in Washington will be closed, beginning Tuesday, March 17th. All schools will be closed through at least Friday, April 24th. CSD schools will be open on Monday, March 16th and be on our regular Monday Late Arrival Schedule. Beginning Tuesday, March 17th, based on the Governor's statewide proclamation, schools will be closed to all students, parents, and community members.

Food Service Grab/Go will begin Tuesday, March 17th. Drive thru pick up will be at Columbia Elementary from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. All students will be served, however, students must be present to receive their meals. At each pick up, students will receive lunch, and breakfast for the next morning. 

District administration are currently working over the weekend to make plans for nutritional services, child care, and other services for our students and families. More information on food service and childcare for emergency personnel/first responders and health care providers will be shared in the coming days. We realize a closure of our schools will impact our entire community.  We are working diligently to plan and prepare to support our community as best as we can through this situation. Please visit our district website ( for the most up to date information. As new information becomes available, we will get that information out to you as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and partnership as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

We will be holding an Emergency School Board Meeting Monday, March 16th at 7:00 p.m.

March 13, 2020 2:35 p.m.
Many of you may have heard by now but at 1:45 pm today, Governor Inslee passed a proclamation to close all K-12 public and private schools beginning on Tuesday, March 17th through Friday, April 24th.  Obviously this just happened so we are still working to figure out all the details associated with this, but here's what we know right now.  At this time, we are projected to return to work on Monday, April 27th with no change in hours or services.  The mandated closure begins Tuesday.
OSPI has given schools directives regarding food services and childcare.   We will be providing breakfast and lunch to our students and even families that may find themselves in need.  We don't have a complete picture of how that will be served, but we are working on it.  We will also be offering childcare for children of first responders and healthcare workers as directed by Governor Inslee's office.  Again, we haven't established how we will run this program, but will have the answers very soon.
We will be working diligently throughout the weekend to plan and make the most of this situation.  I am confident we will all pull together and rise to the occasion as that is what being a Coyote is all about!
March 13th, 2020  9:40 a.m.
Another day has come and gone and with that comes new information and updates concerning COVID-19.  With Governor Inslee and State Superintendent Reykdal's announcement yesterday concerning the extended closure of all schools in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, we are continuing to elevate our planning for the possible closure of schools.  As of yesterday (March 12th) at 5 PM, there are still no positive cases of COVID-19 in Walla Walla County.  We are aware of a second confirmed case in Umatilla County and now one case in Columbia County.  Both cases have been in home isolation.  Unfortunately, the reality of our situation is that it's just a matter of time before our local communities confirms it's first case.  As a school district, we want you to know that we are monitoring the situation on an hourly basis and are engaging our local health department and seeking council of other leadership at the county and state levels.  Our number one priority has always been and will continue to be the safety of our students and staff.  As you are probably aware of by now, yesterday our fourth grade elementary concert was postponed to protect our community members most at risk.  We feel an obligation to our community to come along and do our part to slow the spread of this outbreak.  
As of yesterday, the Walla Walla Health Department recommended to schools to limit the risk of exposure from out-of-county travel.  The recommendation includes canceling both school-sponsored out-of-district student events and events hosted at schools where outside participates would be traveling into the community through the end of March 2020.  This includes home and away athletic contests, student field trips, music events, and other program-related events or competitions.  Limiting the unnecessary movement of students and staff outside the community will help ensure the health and safety of Columbia Burbank students, staff, and community as we respond to this pandemic.  With this in mind, effective Friday, March 13th Columbia School District will cancel all athletic events scheduled for the month of March and postpone student activities and events such as concerts and competitions.  Practices and after school clubs, meetings, etc.. may continue as planned.  We are just eliminating the travel and competitions as advised by our local health department through the end of March.
As new information becomes available, we want to get that information out so that you are able to plan and prepare for whatever comes next.  With yesterday's extended closure announcement to schools in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, we believe that it's important for families in the Burbank community begin planning and preparing for the possible extended closure of schools.  While we do not have any information telling us that decision is imminent, we feel it is necessary to prepare our community if that were to become a reality.  District leadership has already begun planning for a possible school closure if that becomes necessary.  Below you will find a few questions and answers that you will want to be aware of as we continue to plan for extended closures.  As always, if you have any questions regarding any of this information, please contact the district office at your earliest convenience.  
Todd Hilberg
Columbia School District #400
Q- How will parents be notified if a school closure occurs?
A- If school closure is recommended at the local or state level, CSD would communicate with parents and community via our instant messaging system, district webpage, and local news.
Q- Will cancelled school days have to be made up in the summer?
A- OSPI (Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction) has given schools guidance on make up days.  Schools would have to make up school dates up through Friday, June 19th.  Currently the last day of school is scheduled for Tuesday, June 9th.  Staff and students would have to make up eight days through June 19th.  Any days cancelled beyond June 19th could be waived as part of a district waiver and not be required to be made up.
Q- Would students have to make up work while school is out?
A- Columbia School District students would not engage in distance or online learning during the school cancellation due to the fact that not all students and families have access to technology or wireless access.  Our high school students do have access to Chromebooks, but in able to count school days by using an online platform, OSPI has been very clear that ALL students must have access to the services plus students with an IEP must have their instructional services and support met as per their plan which would not be possible under the circumstances.
Q- My son/daughter relies on school breakfast/lunch each day.  Do they still have the opportunity to get meals on these days?
A- Yes, district officials are working on plans to continue breakfast and lunch services for students in need of meals each day.  Meal times would be established and communicated to families and students/parents would have a single site established for pick up.  We are working on plans to possibly provide extended locations for pick up support such as in the Wallula and Charbonneau areas.  Stay tuned for additional details on this if it becomes necessary.
Q-  Would the school closure change the date of graduation for my high school senior?
A- Typically school closures would necessitate a change in graduation due to snow days on a regular year, however OSPI has given school districts guidance and permission to maintain the current graduation date so CSD would maintain our current date of Friday, June 5th.  
March 12, 2020  9:30 a.m.
Good morning Columbia School District.  I'm sure you are all aware of just how quickly things are changing across our state, nation, and world concerning the response to COVID-19.  It seems as soon as you send an update, it becomes outdated within minutes.  We are continuing to monitor the situation and confer with our local and state level health departments.  While Walla Walla county continues to be an area considered low risk at this time, as of 5 pm yesterday we still have zero confirmed cases in the county.  The Benton Franklin Health Department is now recommending taking additional precautions for social gatherings with audiences that are considered higher risk.  Specifically, they are stating the following:
Gatherings: Benton Franklin Health Department is recommending additional social distancing for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.  If your event has an intended audience of those that would be considered higher risk, we recommend cancellation of those events.
Those at higher risk include people who:
* are over 60 years of age
* have an underlying medical condition, like heart disease, lung disease or diabetes
* have weakened immune systems
* are pregnant
With this in mind, Columbia School District is postponing tonight's fourth grade concert.  The plan is to reschedule this event in the future, but due to the uncertainty surrounding this we do not have a date set yet.  Stay tuned to our district website for additional information on a future make up date.  Tonight's change is strictly a precautionary measure as we have many grandparents, expecting mothers, and others with possible weakened immune systems who may attend these events.  We are just simply doing our part to protect our community.  As for the impact on school and other upcoming school events, we are continuing to maintain normal school schedules with heightened precautions on universal recommendations such as hand washing and cleaning.  If we adjust any future parent/community events, those details will be communicated to families via our district webpage and instant messaging system.     


March 11th, 2020  1:00 p.m.

With the new announcement today that Governor Inslee has limited gathering of more than 250 people in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties, we want to update parents and our community on the latest regarding Columbia School District.  As of today, our county health department has confirmed that Walla Walla County still has no positive cases. While this may change in the near future, as of today we are considered to be at low risk of exposure.  


We continue to operate school business with heightened precautions on hand washing and other suggestions as previously described.  Our custodial staff continues to provide additional attention to address high traffic surfaces and common areas. We will monitor our activities closely and maintain contact with local and state agencies.  At this point in time, there are no plans to cancel any of our normal activities. 


In the event that it becomes necessary to close school, district officials will notify our community via the district website, text via our messaging system, as well as communicate with local news to get the information out.  If you have not signed up for the text messaging service, please contact our district office for additional information. Our team continues to meet and adjust district plans should a cancellation of school or any activity occur.  Should a closure become reality, school days missed would have to be made up at the end of the school year. Plans would be communicated regarding breakfast and lunch services for those that rely on school breakfast and lunch options.  It is our hope that this information may calm some of the anxiety that comes from external sources. Please continue to visit our district webpage for the most up to date information.     

March 6, 2020 12:00 p.m.
We continue to take the safety of our students and staff seriously. In doing so, with the scheduled absence of students today, our food service, custodial, and transportation staff are taking advantage of this opportunity by performing a deep clean of our district buildings and buses. An emphasis has been placed on common and high traffic areas such as desks, door handles, etc...
March 5, 2020  8:30 a.m:
It has come to the attention of our district administrators that a student has posted erroneous information on their social media account concerning our school district and the COVID-19 (CoronaVirus) outbreak.
There are no known cases of any staff member or student that have the Coronavirus, nor been exposed.  At this time, there have not been any events cancelled.
We will continue to post updates at this as they become available.  Please refer to our district website, or call our district office (509-547-2136) if you have any questions.


  • Message to our community:

With the recent confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Washington State, Columbia School District feels it is important to communicate up to date information as well as community resources provided by both local and state level agencies.  The Novel Coronavirus is a virus strain that is spread from person-to-person much like the flu. We are working closely with our local health department and are working to follow recommended practices and procedures in order to minimize the risk of exposure.  People who have been diagnosed with the virus are reporting symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Our county health department recommends the general precautions taken to prevent the spread of the flu or common colds will also help prevent coronavirus:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Stay at home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
  • Urging students and staff to get a flu shot during the flu season

Columbia School District will continue to seek guidance from our local and state health authorities.  In addition, our custodial staff continue to emphasize and implement best practices in cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing methods.  We want our students, parents, and community to be well informed of the latest information as it becomes available. Please continue to visit our district website for additional updates.  The following links will also provide up to date information:

Walla Walla County Department of Community Health

Washington State Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention