As students and staff have returned from spring break and are settling in to their routines consistent with the Stage 5 Learning Model status, I have checked in on a number of our buildings. From all reports, the transition is going smoothly with necessary adjustments being made quickly and efficiently as we monitor and adjust. I want to thank our amazing Northshore staff as well as students and families for working together on these important next steps; together, all things are possible.
This week is our first full week of COVID testing for students in grades 2-12 who are attending in the school buildings. Teams across the District pivoted to do continued research on best practices in many other districts across the country and reviewed health department and CDC guidelines. We’ve received a lot of great feedback that is helping us refine the testing process which will likely be with us for a while. I want to thank everyone who has contributed to this effort to help keep schools open.
We've also received a number of questions from families wondering why we are testing - or who may be a bit hesitant to participate in the testing. This past Thursday morning, infectious disease specialist, Dr. Sara Mostad, joined me on Northshore Learns News to answer many of those questions and provide insights to the current COVID-19 surge and what we might expect in the coming year. I hope you’ll take a moment to watch here.
Our school administrators and staff are playing critical roles in informing families about the importance of the COVID batch testing program. If you haven’t already received a reminder about the testing program and instructions on how to provide consent, you will receive that information today. My ask is that every family review the testing details. If you have any questions, you can submit them here and a member of our staff focused on COVID-19 testing will respond. If you are ready to provide consent for your student to be tested, your principal should have sent you the unique school code and link to do so. The more participation we have in this program, the easier it will be to respond to positive COVID-19 cases and keep our school buildings open. If you do not plan to have your student participate in this program, please complete the opt-out form that will also be linked in the communication from your school. I am so appreciative for everyone’s commitment to keeping our students, staff and community safe and to keeping our school buildings open; together all things are possible.
I also want to share that our amazing staff members have collaborated on a COVID-19 dashboard that will provide up-to-date information on positive COVID-19 cases in students and staff as well as quarantine data. On the same page, you will find a graph that reflects transmission rates in King and Snohomish counties. I hope you will take the time to review this information as it provides insight to the importance of our batch testing program.
Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.