(Press Release, March 20, 2020)

The organizers of the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee sent the following letter to teachers today:

Dear Teachers,

We know many of you have faced extraordinary circumstances in your own schools and communities recently. We also have closely monitored state and federal guidance regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it affects our local area programs and the national finals. Today, we want to share the difficult decision we have made regarding the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee.

We are suspending our 2020 national finals in National Harbor, Maryland. The Bee recognizes the important responsibility to take action that protects the health and well-being of its participants including the spellers, their families, the local sponsors, employees of The E.W. Scripps Company and others who support the event known as Bee Week. This decision was made in accordance with the executive order from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people until the termination of the state of emergency in Maryland as well as recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The suspension includes all in-person events and the live national broadcast the week of May 24. If possible, we will work with our local sponsors, spellers, convention partners and ESPN to reschedule the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee for later this year.

We are navigating through uncertain times, and while our event is just outside of the eight-week window recommended by the CDC, we believe we are taking the safest and most responsible action. This was a difficult decision that unfortunately will disappoint students who have spent a great deal of time studying and preparing, along with their parents and teachers who have supported them. The focus now shifts to exploring all options to possibly reimagine a competition for later this year.

The Bee will keep our teachers, local sponsors, spellers and parents informed in the coming days and weeks through direct emails, our website and social media as we determine our next steps in this unprecedented situation. You can continue to find the most up-to-date information about our plans at http://spellingbee.com/updates?utm_source=Teacher%27s+Beehive&utm_campaign=6367180fd4-TeacherBeehive_BeeSuspension&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2bfbfeb882-6367180fd4-32468393?utm_source=Teacher%27s+Beehive&utm_campaign=6367180fd4-TeacherBeehive_BeeSuspension&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2bfbfeb882-6367180fd4-32468393

We appreciate your support and hope you take care during these challenging times.


The Scripps National Spelling Bee


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