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School fire and return to Endeavour update

Jan. 5, 2024 EN family message

Subject: Endeavour family update

Dear Endeavour families,

As promised, I am providing an update on the restoration progress at school. I’m happy to confirm that the work needed to welcome all students back on Monday, January 8 is complete! We received permission to reoccupy the school from the city of Mukilteo late this morning. Please read below for a few important topics you should know before Monday.

Restoration continues: Please keep in mind that the restoration work will continue in the coming weeks. The crews have been innovative in finding ways to mitigate disruptions to learning as much as possible. For instance, some areas of the school do not yet have replacement carpet as that can take longer to arrive. Other areas are still under construction but have been shielded with plywood walls to keep a physical boundary between workers and students for safety.

Walking and driving impact: If you drive your student to school, you might notice that the city is in the middle of installing an ADA ramp near the school driveway entrance. This may cause traffic issues during drop off and pick up times. We are working with the city of Mukilteo and with school and transportation staff to mitigate the issues on Monday and as the project continues. Please use extra caution and give yourself extra time to arrive at school on Monday and as the project continues.

Student laptops: On Monday morning, please send your student’s laptop and charger along with them to school. Students will give their laptops to their classroom teacher.

Family visits: I am sure many of you are anxious to see the school and your student’s classroom since the fire. However, to help students and their teachers settle in and re-establish their in-person connections, we ask that on Monday and Tuesday families drop off their students as they would on a typical day. On Wednesday through Friday, we’ve scheduled a rotation to accommodate families who want to walk their students to their rooms from 8:45 – 9 a.m. to see how things look:

  • Wednesday, January 10 – kindergarten through grade 1
  • Thursday, January 11 – grades 2-3
  • Friday, January 12 – grades 4-5

Frequently Asked Questions:

We’ve received a few excellent questions from families and thought they would be helpful to include here for others who share the same wonderings.

Question: Is mold a concern in the school?

Answer: No, mold is not a concern because the restoration company addressed that with special equipment that kills mold spores as it removes moisture from the air. They also removed items from affected parts of the school, ensured the items were dry, cleaned each item, and returned them to the school.

Question: Were the library books destroyed?

Answer: No. Most books in the library were thankfully preserved. However, there may have been library books in classrooms or classroom libraries that may have lost books to the smoke and water damage. We are still figuring out what was lost.

Question: Does my child’s classroom look the same as it did before the fire?

Answer: Mostly. The restoration team took photos of classrooms before removing items from them to clean and as furniture was cleaned and replaced, they took care to put items back how they found them. This week, Endeavour staff and administrators from around the district have been helping to put smaller items and bulletin boards back. Most classrooms will look very similar to their pre-fire setup, but some smaller items may have been damaged and not returned to the classrooms.

I want to add one last thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigated this situation as quickly and efficiently as we could. I know the few weeks of distance learning was not easy, and I appreciate all that you did to help us continue learning from home during the restoration. I think we can all share a sigh of relief that students and staff will be back at school on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend!

Sincerely,

Dr. Alison Brynelson
Superintendent

 

Dec. 29, 2023 EN family update

Subject: Endeavour Elementary School reopening update

Dear Endeavour Elementary School families,

I hope you are enjoying Winter Break and the holiday season. As promised in my message from before break, I have an update for you about the cleaning and repair process at school.

I took another tour of the school yesterday, Dec. 28, along with district facilities directors, the restoration company, and the school board president and vice president. I was impressed to see how much progress has been made since I last walked through the building before break. The crews have done amazing work though there is still more to complete before the school is ready for students to return.

Based on the progress so far, we are very optimistic that all students will be able to return to Endeavour on Jan. 8. However, we are still cautious as we know much will depend on the coming week’s progress. We will send a final confirmation to families by Friday, Jan. 5.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the rest of break and have a very happy new year! We’ll proceed with the plan for distance learning Jan. 2-5 as I shared in my previous message. I appreciate your patience as we continue to monitor the progress of preparing Endeavour to welcome students back very soon!

 

Dec. 13, 2023, 5:30 p.m.

Subject: Family update

Dec. 13, 2023 Endeavour family update

Subject: Endeavour family update and return to school plans

Dear Endeavour families,

Thank you for your patience as we continue to meet with several agencies about Endeavour to gather information about the extent of the damage. That information is critical as we draft plans for school after Winter Break. Yesterday afternoon, we received assurances from local agencies such as the fire department and contractors that they would be available to continue the work through Winter Break. We have been coordinating daily with contractors. Today we walked through the school and received more details on progress and remaining work to be done. I know families are anxious to hear more details about the school and plan for January, so I’m sharing with you details about both.

EXTENT OF DAMAGE

While the fire was localized to one area of the school near entrance B, southwest of the library and office, all the main building and classrooms sustained damage from smoke and water. The classrooms and areas (office, library, hallways) closest to the fire sustained more damage than those furthest from the fire, but all main building areas were affected to some degree. The portables were not affected. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Returning the school to a suitable state for in-person learning involves extensive cleanup and restorative construction work.

REPAIR PROGRESS

Response was immediate and a company with extensive expertise was hired. They leveraged their nationwide workforce to bring in crews from 21 states. Between 70 and 100 people have been working onsite each day since work began on December 4 and will continue to do so nearly every day during Winter Break. They have exceeded their progress benchmarks and are making swift progress removing the damaged debris, filling six industrial sized dumpsters thus far. They are also cleaning everything that is salvageable.

Cleanup involves:

  • Addressing smoke infiltration throughout the building by working to circulate and clean the air
  • Removing standing water and then drying out any involved areas
  • Removing carpeting, walls, or other materials damaged by water
  • Removing all ceiling tiles
  • Assessing all items in classrooms or other areas damaged by smoke infiltration to determine what could be cleaned and then working through the process to clean and remove for storage so flooring, painting, and other work could proceed

 

Once cleaning is complete, reconstruction will begin. That work will include repairs to the roof and its structure, repairs to walls and painting throughout the school, replacement of removed flooring, repair or replacement of damaged cabinets and shelving, cleaning or repair/replace of ceiling grid, and repairs to other critical systems such as electrical, network cabling, ventilation system, and fire alarm system. Additionally, any damaged equipment or vital supplies need to be replaced. Progress is day-to-day and will be ongoing until completed. Each day, the timeline becomes clearer as we see the results of work completed.

Response efforts also involved coordination with many agencies and parties including the district’s insurance company, investigatory experts, fire department officials, city officials, engineers, multiple trades workers, the Health Department and Labor and Industries. All officials are working closely with the district to prioritize reopening the school as soon as possible.

PLAN FOR STUDENTS’ RETURN

Because timing will depend on progress made in the next few weeks, we have two plans for returning to in-person learning after break. Both include starting in-person learning on Monday, January 8, which means four days of distance learning January 2-5. We would continue school day supervision at Discovery Elementary School for those who need it. Students in the Connections Program who are currently attending at Odyssey Elementary School will continue their attendance at Odyssey January 2-5. Meals will continue to be available at Pointe of Grace Lutheran Church during that time and follow the same schedule as they have this week.

Plan A (most probable scenario): All Endeavour students return to Endeavour for in-person learning beginning Monday, Jan. 8.

Plan B: On January 8, A portion of students return to in-person learning at Endeavour Elementary School while some students attend school at Discovery Elementary School’s newly constructed wing until their classrooms at Endeavour are ready to reoccupy. Transportation would be provided to and from Discovery Elementary School for the two grades attending there.

If Plan B is the only option, the following classrooms would temporarily attend school at Discovery:

  • Kindergarten classes: Parks, Schmidt, and Groehnert
  • Grade 1 classes: St. Onge, Denny, and Meyer

 

WHAT TO EXPECT IN JANUARY

Both plan A and B would involve ongoing re-construction work happening at Endeavour during school, weekends, etc. We will work with contractors to minimize the impact to instruction and learning. The elevator will likely not be working yet, and some classrooms may not yet have carpet. Many classrooms will look different as teachers will have limited time to replace wall décor and supplies before students return and some items may still be being cleaned before they are returned to the classroom.

NEXT STEPS

Staff will closely monitor repair progress during Winter Break. By Sunday, December 31, we’ll send Endeavour families an update and confirm which plan for return we can meet for a January 8 return to in-person learning. While I know a few more days of distance learning is not ideal, we have supports in place to support students and their families during those four days. If you will need school day supervision January 2-5 at Discovery Elementary and your student is not currently signed up, please contact the Endeavour office staff at 425-366-2800.

Again, thank you for understanding as we work as quickly as possible to put all the necessary pieces in place to welcome students back to Endeavour. I hope you have a peaceful break with special time with loved ones.

Sincerely,

Dr. Alison Brynelson
Superintendent

 

Dec. 11, 2023, 1:30 p.m.

Subject: Family update

Dear Endeavour families,

Last week was a flurry and I again want to thank you for your patience and flexibility as we arranged for meals, distance learning materials and schedules, and school day supervision for those who needed it. Huge thanks to the many Endeavour and district staff for their work to make the above services happen and to the PTA for their support. The offers to help and words of encouragement have come from all corners of our community and school district, and for that we are so grateful. 
I know we are all anxious to hear more about the school’s condition and how it might affect school when we return from Winter Break on Jan. 2. Efforts to address the water and smoke damage from the fire began immediately and we are grateful for the rapid response from all organizations involved. Work is underway to fully determine repairs needed to safely reopen the building. District leaders are working closely with the agencies and jurisdictions who have authority to determine those details and timelines. We will update you before the end of this week about plans for January. Our goal is to have students back in an in-person classroom environment as soon as possible.


This Friday, Dec. 15, is an early release for Winter Break. The distance learning schedule for Friday is below. I hope students have a productive week of learning! On Friday, I visited several Zoom classes, and it was encouraging to see so many smiling students’ faces. They are truly showing their resilience through this experience!


Friday, Dec. 15 distance learning schedule:

9 – 10:30 a.m.: Learning time
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.: Break
10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Learning time

*Each class will have one 30-minute specialist time that will be embedded into the learning time for the day.

Again, you’ll receive an update this Friday if not sooner with plans for school after Winter Break. Thank you for extending your understanding while we continue gathering information from the various agencies involved. At Endeavour, we often say, “We can do hard things.” What a great opportunity for us to prove we can make it through this hard situation if we work together.  

 

Dec. 6, 2023, 3:15 p.m.

Subject: Family update – schedules, links, childcare update and more!

Dear Endeavour families,

Great news that we’ve confirmed we’ll be ready to start distance learning tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 7. The daily schedule is below, and teachers will send classroom Zoom links later this afternoon and evening in preparation for tomorrow. Families with students in the Connections Program will receive a separate message a little later today.

In addition to the laptop distribution today between 1 and 7 p.m., we have student learning packets, paper and pencils to hand out to families. Even if you’re planning to use a personal computer for Zoom, please stop by to pick up a student learning packet. If you can’t make it today, you can pick up your student’s packet at the District Office after today. If you need help getting it, please contact the school office staff at 425-366-2800.

Daily Zoom Schedule:

  • 9-10:30 a.m. – Class Zoom
  • 10:30-10:45 – Break
  • 10:45 a.m.-12 p.m. – Class Zoom
  • 12-1 p.m. – Lunch and break
  • 1-1:45 p.m. – Specialist 1
  • 1:45-2 p.m. – Break
  • 2-2:45 p.m. – Specialist 2

Daily Specialist Schedule:

All grade levels will have two special classes per day. The schedule of classes and Zoom links can be found here: Specials Schedule and Links.

Childcare update:

So far, we’ve received about 30 requests for daytime supervision and the district is arranging staffing to provide school day supervision beginning Monday, December 11. Again, the supervision would only be available for the school day hours and transportation must be provided by families. We’ll send a confirmation to families who requested it with further information including location and instructions in the next day or two.

Laptop instructions:

If you receive a student laptop today, please make sure you follow these steps when you get home today so that it’s ready to use tomorrow morning. Full instructions are on the Endeavour website.

  1. Plug in to charge
  2. Once at least somewhat charged, power on and connect to wi-fi first
  3. Click on the network icon in the bottom right of the screen and choose your home wi-fi connection from the list, then select “Connect.”
  4. If prompted for a password, type the wi-fi password for your home network and then select “Next.”
  5. When asked about being discoverable by other PCs and devices, choose “No.”
  6. When the device shows as connected, you can login with the student login.

Thank you, again, families for your patience and flexibility as we have quickly adjusted to these unfortunate circumstances. Teachers are excited to see you kids on Zoom, and excited to continue learning together remotely until the time comes when we are back together in person.

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Dec. 5, 5:28 p.m.:

Subject: Endeavour family update - Meals, laptops and childcare

Hello, Endeavour families. I hope you are doing well despite the circumstances.

Laptops: Tomorrow we’ll distribute student laptops outside of Endeavour Gym for any student who needs a device to participate in distance learning. If you have a personal laptop or computer at home, your student is welcome to use that to join class zoom meetings. To help ease traffic, we recommend the following schedule, but if you cannot make it during your recommended time, please come when you can:

  • 1 to 4 p.m. - Families with last names starting with A through M
  • 4 to 7 p.m. - Families with last names starting with N through Z

Please remain in your car and follow the traffic coordinator’s directions. We’ll provide information about charging the laptop and connecting to your home network when you pick up the laptop and through ParentSquare to aid with translations.

Meals: Beginning tomorrow, we’ve partnered with nearby Pointe of Grace Lutheran Church, located at 5425 Harbour Pointe Blvd, Mukilteo, to have a more permanent meal distribution site. Families may pick up one sack breakfast and one sack lunch per Endeavour student per day beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, December 6.

Families may choose between two pick-up times:

  • Morning: 8-8:30 a.m.
  • Afternoon: 12-1 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays

Watch for signs that say, “Endeavour Student Meal Pick Up.”

Childcare: We have been grateful to partner with the Boys and Girls Club of Snohomish County for childcare at Endeavour. For families who were already receiving before and after school care with Boys and Girls Club may have school-day care at the Mukilteo Boys and Girls Club location. Please call them at 425-355-2773 if you need daytime care. For families who are not currently attending Boys and Girls Club, but who need school day supervision for their student, let us know through this ParentSquare form. The district is gauging need as we are exploring other ways to support families until Winter Break begins if possible.

Communication: After this alert, we’ll switch to our regular ParentSquare posts which will also be posted to the Endeavour website. The posts should send you an email and a text message if you have a mobile phone number on file. If you’ve downloaded the mobile app, you should receive notifications there as well. I’ll only use alerts with a recorded voice message for critical or emergency announcements moving forward.

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Dec. 4, 5:15 p.m.:

Subject: Fire update and plan for next two weeks

Dear Endeavour families,

Thank you for your patience while we assessed the fire damage at Endeavour Elementary School. We are still waiting for the Fire Marshall’s investigation report about the cause of the fire. It will take significant time to clean and repair the school to have it safe and ready for students to return. Sadly, it will not be ready to reopen before Winter Break begins on Dec. 18. We are hopeful it will reopen Jan. 2.

We’ve looked into alternative plans including moving classrooms to other schools, but the logistical challenges are too many, especially for a temporary move. To continue student learning between now and Winter Break, we must temporarily shift to distance learning.

Student computers: We are assessing the school’s student computers to ensure any smoke damage is addressed. Once we confirm student computer availability, we will update you about a distribution plan. Our hope is to distribute student computers on Wednesday and begin distance learning on Thursday, Dec. 7, but it will depend on the readiness of the student and staff computers. We’ll confirm that plan in tomorrow’s family update.

Childcare: For families who work during the day and are unable to arrange other options to supervise their student during the school day, we’re working with the YMCA to provide childcare and supervision at their Mukilteo location while students are learning online. We’ll provide more information in tomorrow’s update.

Student meals: For tomorrow, Dec. 5, any families who need an emergency meal may pick one up at the Columbia office again between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. We are looking into providing a longer-term nearby location to pick up student meals after tomorrow.

Help for families: I know this is an unexpected situation that may affect families in many ways. If this situation poses undue hardship for your family, please let the school counselor, Ruth Mensah, know by email or ParentSquare. We are working with the PTA and community organizations to provide help as best we can where needed.

During these unexpected circumstances, I am very grateful no one was injured, and the fire happened when students and staff were not on campus. It reminds me that our school community is not special because of our property or building; those can be replaced. This is a beautiful community because of the incredible, resilient, kind humans who create it. We can make it through this difficult chapter, together.

You’ll hear from me again tomorrow with an update as plans are confirmed.  

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Dec. 4, 11:30 a.m.:

After assessing the damage by the fire last night, I wanted to give you an update. The fire happened in the ceiling in the hallway south of the library and office. That section of the building has some significant damage, and we are determining if there was any structural damage. While the fire doesn’t appear to have damaged any classrooms or the library, there is some smoke and water damage throughout much of the school.

Because we are still assessing the extent of the damage, the school will not be ready for school to open tomorrow. As staff continue working on a plan to continue school for Endeavour students, we wanted to let families know as soon as possible so they can make necessary plans for tomorrow.

In the meantime, if any Endeavour family needs an emergency lunch, they may pick up a bag lunch at the Columbia Elementary School office through 1 p.m. today. Just let them know you’re from Endeavour and picking up an emergency lunch. Supplies are very limited, but please pick one up if you are in need.

We are thankful to the fire crew who extinguished the fire and the district staff who responded in the middle of the night. We’ll continue to update you as soon as we know more.