COVID-19 Update #9


March 20, 3:00 PM

I have sent a daily email message to staff and parents since March 13. My objectives in those messages to you were to share timely and accurate information and to stress the point that the Auburn-Washburn team cares tremendously for you and your children. This message, COVID-19 Update #9, will be my final daily message as our principals and teachers will begin communicating directly with families and students moving forward. I will continue to communicate with timely and accurate information, as needed, just not daily.

Last year I had the opportunity to listen to inspirational speaker Dan Meers who said that every one of us has a choice to make each day. He said every single day it your choice to “Rise and Shine” or “Rise and Whine”. He delivered that message over a year ago when life was normal. Our lives are far from normal today, perhaps for the foreseeable future, but the way in which we approach each day is still a choice that every single one of us can make. Many things feel like they have been taken away from us recently, but that choice each day has not. I choose Rise and Shine! My wife Heather and I choose Rise and Shine because our three daughters need that modeled for them each day now more than ever. I know, an overly simple concept, but every little thing helps to keep our mind and spirit right during unprecedented times.

In Auburn-Washburn, we will proceed through the final nine weeks of the 2019-20 school year with a Rise and Shine spirit by prioritizing the following principles:

  1. Protect and promote health and wellbeing.
  2. Base all decisions on what is in the best interest of students.
  3. Lead, act, and respond with passion and heart.
  4. Communicate effectively in a timely and accurate manner.
  5. Be resilient!

This list below will continually be updated, but based on currently known facts, here are updates and questions that we need to answer:

  • Schools are closed to students for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.
  • The 2019-20 school year will end, officially, on May 21, 2020, per the Board of Education approved school calendar.
  • Students are not to congregate on school property due to guidelines issued by the Shawnee County Health Department.
  • Schools are “open” for adults who work in them, but due to health and safety guidelines, they will remain closed to the public until further notice. The most effective way to communicate with your child’s school is to call or email. Please do not come to school until approval has been given to do so.
  • KSHSAA has cancelled all spring athletics and activities for the 2019-20 school year.
  • “Grab and go” breakfast and lunch sacks will be available to students each day schools are closed to students. Currently, these are being distributed at Pauline Central from 9:00 am to 10:30 am. Additional “grab and go” pick-up sites will open soon.
  • Learning opportunities will be provided to students beginning the week of March 23. Details will be shared via email and/or contact from your child’s teacher. The information will also be available online at
  • Updates will be sent to seniors and their families about graduation requirements and graduation as soon as possible.
  • Updates will be sent to students and parents about grades, high school credits, and transitioning out of the current grade and into the upcoming great next school year as soon as possible.
  • Guidance will be provided early next week on how and when students can pick up personal belongings from school.
  • Guidance will be provided early next week on how students can return school-owned supplies and materials to school.

I wish each of you and your families well. It has only been one week and I can say from the bottom of my heavy heart, we miss your children! Until my next message to you, stay well.

Rise and Shine,

Dr. Scott McWilliams
Superintendent of Schools