COVID-19 Safety Plan & Guidance
Jan. 10, 2022
Dear Lake Stevens School District families,
I hope that you had a nice winter break, and that last week’s return to school went smoothly for you and your family—even with the stress from the winter weather.
We’re aware that there are a great deal of questions and concerns regarding the Omicron variant and how our schools are being impacted. Like our state and nation, we are experiencing the same tremendous increase in the number of COVID positive cases in LSSD.
I’m writing to you this evening to attempt to answer your questions, and to give you insight into our plans moving forward.
One of the most frequent questions we are receiving is “Will schools shift back to Distance Learning?”
It is our strong belief that students should continue to attend school in-person, on a regular schedule. Our goal remains the same—to keep our schools open while keeping our students and employees safe. However, COVID has had a significant impact on our employees who have had to remain at home due to exposure, and/or to care for their own children and families. As we have shared before, our substitute teacher, bus driver and paraeducator pool does not provide adequate staffing numbers to fill the current rate of absences.
I have been substitute teaching in schools along with my entire Teaching and Learning Team, and we will continue to do so to attempt to provide some relief to our schools. We are actively seeking substitute personnel, and encourage anyone who is interested to apply.
Proactive planning for Distance Learning
Please know that we do have a plan in place should we have to transition a classroom, an entire school, or the entire district to Distance Learning. Any shift to Distance Learning would be a temporary, last resort option due to a lack of staffing because of COVID exposures; or due to a COVID outbreak in a classroom or school.
Employees, families and students would receive detailed communication about how to navigate teaching and learning during the shift.
Secondary students would follow their current schedules, and would utilize Google Classroom. Elementary students would remain with their current teachers and routines and would utilize Seesaw. We would once again provide Chromebooks to any student who needs one.
Again, we have no scheduled date or timeline for a transition to districtwide Distance Learning, and will continue to do everything we can to keep students in schools for in-person learning.
Updates to health and safety guidelines
Now more than ever, it’s essential that our students continue to adhere to these important health guidelines. These guidelines have also been emphasized with our employees:
- Maintain social distancing in classrooms, learning spaces, hallways, cafeterias, and on buses to the greatest extent possible.
- Properly wear approved masks/face coverings at all times, except when actively eating or drinking.
- Continue to wash and sanitize your hands throughout the day.
- Stay home when you are sick and watch for symptoms of COVID-19.
Quarantine and isolation guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed the nation’s COVID isolation and quarantine timelines earlier this month. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has now also updated its guidelines for K-12 public schools, which are followed by school districts throughout the state.
We are following these new guidelines, effective immediately. We are not retroactively changing isolation or quarantine dates for students or employees.
Students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate themselves at home for at least five days, regardless of their vaccination status.
They can come back to school/work after five days if:
- It’s been five days since symptoms began, or a positive COVID test result; and
- They are NOT symptomatic, or symptoms are resolving; and
- NO fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
Symptoms should continue to be monitored, and the student/employee should wear a mask through day 10 anywhere outside of their home.
Quarantine is when someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home and away from others for a recommended period of time.
Who must quarantine?
Students and employees who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for at least five days (day 0 through day 5) after their last close contact* with a person who has COVID-19 if they are in one of the following groups:
- Ages 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccine but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
- Those who have received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (completing the primary series) more than two months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
- Those who are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.
*For household exposures this would be the last day the person with COVID-19 is considered infectious.
Who does not need to quarantine?
Students and employees who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they:
- Are ages 18-years-old or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
- Are ages 5- to 17-years-old and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
- Had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days.
There were other minor changes that can be reviewed on the DOH website.
We must work together to maintain health and safety in our schools. I know how incredibly difficult this pandemic has been, and I appreciate your continued partnership and cooperation as we move forward.
Ken Collins, Ed.D.
Learn to Return Program in Lake Stevens School District
Lake Stevens School District (LSSD) is participating in the Learn to Return Program through the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to offer rapid antigen COVID-19 tests for diagnostic and screening. This program is designed to reduce the number of days students and staff who are identified as COVID-19 close contacts at school/work must quarantine. More information is being shared with families later today.
Testing is available for students and employees who were determined to be close contacts at school/work. You must wait at least five (5) days after exposure to be tested. Remember that fully-vaccinated students/employees do not need to quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 unless they are symptomatic, per the DOH guidelines.
Testing will occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 3:30 to 6 p.m. at our secondary schools—Lake Stevens Middle School, North Lake Middle School, Cavelero Mid High School and Lake Stevens High School.
No appointment is necessary, but the following forms must be completed:
The test is a self-collected nasal swab. Individuals will receive results from the test in 15 minutes. District staff, under the direction of our School Nurse & COVID Supervisor, have been trained to observe the specimen collection and results of the test.
Testing locations | 3:30 to 6 p.m.
Lake Stevens High School
Team Room/SE 101
Enter through the southeast doors near the pool, adjacent to the batting cages
Cavelero Mid High School
Lake Stevens Middle School
Main Office (formerly Portable 6)
North Lake Middle School
- Anyone who tests positive will be sent home immediately to isolate.
- Any student/employee who has symptoms or is a known close contact to a person who tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home and not attend work or any other function during their quarantine period.