I trust this note finds you enjoying this beautiful late summer week. I know that there is a great deal going on around us and across the world that brings great concern. I also know that there is a great deal to be grateful for amidst the many challenges in front of us; together all things are possible…
I want to make you aware that yesterday, I sent a staff message following Gov. Jay Inslee’s news conference where he announced a legal mandate that all Washington K-12 employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18, 2021 as a condition of employment. We are committed to supporting our staff in this and want to be sure our community is aware of this commitment.
Also important, Gov. Inslee’s expanded mask mandate requires individuals to wear masks in all indoor settings regardless of current vaccination status beginning on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Masks must cover the mouth and nose. Click here to learn more about mask wearing.
I want to reiterate that we value our staff and volunteers and that we will continue to assist and support everyone wherever possible. We will be launching an online tool where volunteers will submit their proof of vaccination.
Any staff or volunteers who intend to get vaccinated can visit our vaccination site webpage or complete this vaccination interest form by Aug. 27 to receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccination at our Back-to-School Fair on Aug. 28.
COVID Safety Protocols
It is clear that the start to the school year will once again include COVID safety protocols to keep our students, staff and community safe and healthy. We continue to update safety protocols for staff and our handbook for families. This information will be shared early next week to help everyone further prepare, even as we know that the current guidance is always subject to update. A few highlights and updates for the 2021-22 school year include the following:
- Moving to three feet of physical distancing to the extent possible.
- Daily disinfecting of all touchpoints and daily cleaning of all areas in each building.
- Buses will be cleaned and disinfected after each route.
- Running HVAC systems in our buildings for two hours before anyone arrives in the morning, and at all times when anyone is in the building. Overnight we are completing a two-hour air purge to flush the building with fresh, outside air.
- Air filters are being changed monthly to ensure improved air quality.
- Most of our lunch rooms are reopening with distancing requirements. Students will be able to go through the lunch line. Whether or not students sit in the lunch room will be building specific and your principal will share more information.
- When indoors, students will only be permitted to remove their masks during lunch or when consuming snacks.
- Students will not be required to wear masks while actively competing in extracurricular athletics. Masks will be required for those on the sideline.
Our guidance adheres to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). At this time, OSPI and the DOH do not require health checks or temperature checks. Therefore, these will no longer be part of our daily process. To learn more about the guidance in detail, visit the OSPI website here.
As always, staff and students should stay home if they feel sick or are experiencing any symptoms listed on this DOH COVID Basics webpage to keep our Northshore community healthy.
As we approach the start of the school year, we continue to monitor our enrollment for the Northshore Virtual Program and as we are finalizing course and class schedules, we will be closing registration for NVP by 5:00 pm this Monday. More details are available on our website. Thank you for your attention to these topics and I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks.
All the best and take good care,
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.