As I attended the virtual meeting and discussion with Public Health – Seattle & King County earlier this week, I felt affirmed in our decision to take a slow, cautious approach to our re-opening. The downward trend is positive, but we were reminded this is a dynamic situation; it can fluctuate and change. Currently, we have staff members who are staying home as a precaution as persons with whom they have been in contact are not feeling well and are being tested. We also are aware of families in our community who are in quarantine. We are a big community and statistically prone to seeing cases. In a return to in-person instruction, we must meet this reality. Preparation and cooperation are key factors in dealing with these situations as they are bound to happen. Here again, are the recommendations we shared at the virtual Town Halls this week from Public Health – Seattle & King County.
Recommendations and support from PHSKC
- DOH guidance recommends our younger students be the first to gradually come back to in-person learning if schools are able to implement the recommended COVID-19 health and safety measures
- We recommend a phased approach to hybrid and in-person services for this age group during this period so that we don’t quickly overwhelm schools’, districts’, and PHSKC’s response to cases and potential outbreaks.
- If we stay in the moderate level, schools can begin in-person or hybrid learning in early October, as long as schools can meet the requirements from the state.
- Over time, hybrid learning can be considered for middle/high school students, if there is continued reduced transmission in the school and community.
Schools, teachers, and administrators are on the front lines planning and explaining to families about decisions about how and when to re-open schools. The current downward trend in cases is due to people across the community practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and keeping gatherings small – all behaviors that we know reduce transmission. For schools to re-open with minimal COVID-19 transmission, transmission in the community needs to be as low as possible. All of us can help by continuing to double down on these safe health practices.
We are planning and coordinating multiple mitigation strategies to reduce risk when students are back on campus: physical distancing, mask-wearing, constant hand-washing, and frequent wiping down and sanitizing of surfaces. We are also asking for your cooperation. Please do not send your children to school if they have runny noses, sore throats, congestion, or any one of the symptoms on the list. Students who stay home because they have symptoms can still access instruction through our remote learning channels. If your children have runny noses or teary eyes due to allergies, we will need a note from your pediatrician; otherwise, we will send them home. These precautions are necessary. While we miss our students and are eager to have them back on campus, it is the responsibility of each one of us to care for the common good. I must look out for my students and my faculty and staff.
These preparations are also in place for the Jog-a-thon. We are not going to miss one of our favorite events! It will be different, however. The leadership team has spent many hours organizing this distanced run. Make sure that you read the information. Thank you to all of you who have already made your pledges! We are well over half-way to our goals, and we haven’t even started running! The 6th grade is in the lead to win the Mystery Award, with 8th grade and Kindergarten hot on their heels! Well done, Middle School and Kindergarten! Go Eagles!
You are also taking care of our neighbors! Broadview Thompson School and the Parish send you a huge shout-out for your generosity last week. You filled two SUVs with donated food which is already being distributed to families in need. Thank you.