Information for Families
Taking care of yourself and your family is taking care of your community.
If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and can come to school:
- Wear your mask. We will provide masks for those who need them.
- Keep distanced when able.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water.
Our teachers and staff will be reinforcing these routines and practices.
School Day Information
Information for students:
Students 12 years and older are now able to get vaccinated. Currently, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is FDA approved (for 16 and older) and is the only vaccine available to children 12 years and older. Parental consent is required.
We encourage all families to consider immunizing their student against COVID-19 to protect their child’s and family’s health and also the health of our schools and community. View the Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine informational flyer "What Parents of Minors Should Know."
Getting fully vaccinated will allow your student to do some things they couldn’t before. For example, if your student is fully vaccinated and has been around someone who has COVID-19, they do not need to quarantine.
- Parents/guardians can look for eligible vaccine appointments for their children by going on https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/ and searching for vaccine locations in their area.
- Call Washington State Department of Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-VAX-HELP (833-829-4357) for assistance. They can tell you which locations near you offer the COVID-19 vaccine, and help you schedule an appointment if needed. This line also has Spanish, Russian, Punjabi and other language options.
Vaccine facts from the CDC:
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and help protect you from getting sick or severely ill with COVID-19.
- You may have side effects after vaccination, but these are normal.
- Vaccines are available at no cost to you and health insurance is not required. The vaccine will be provided at no cost. It will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance. The cost of the vaccine will be covered for people who are uninsured.
- It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.
- If you have already had COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you still get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Learn more facts about COVID-19 vaccines at the CDC website.
Update: Aug. 2, 2021
We follow Washington DOH, OSPI and L&I guidance for masks. All students and staff are required to wear masks in school. Some students may be unable to wear a mask due to medical or other conditions. Our behavior and health teams work with these students, families, and classrooms on an individual basis to support them in safely accessing their education.
Students will be provided masks to wear at school, and are also allowed to wear their own as long as it fits our requirements. Students will need to launder their masks at home. We will also have disposable and reusable masks available in case of forgotten, lost, or soiled masks that need to be changed.
According to Department of Health K12 COVID requirements, a cloth face covering is anything that completely covers the mouth and nose and fits securely on the sides of the face and under the chin. It should be made of two or more layers of tightly woven fabric with ties or straps that go around a person head or behind their ears.
If a student or staff member needs a cloth face covering, we will provide them with one. If a student or staff member needs an accommodation, they should work with their principal or supervisor individually.
Regardless of vaccination, staff and students should not come to school if they are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19. Review the symptom flow chart to determine if testing is needed and when you can return to school, or check with your school.
- Fever (100.4° F or higher) or chills
- Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat, nasal congestion, or runny nose
- Recent loss of taste or smell
- Muscle or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Unusual fatigue
Staff and students should not come to school or work if:
- They are unvaccinated and a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
- They tested positive within the past ten days or have been told to self-isolate or self-quarantine because of concerns about a COVID-19 infection.
Review the symptom flow chart to determine if testing is needed and when your child can return to school. If a negative COVID test is required prior to returning to school, you can request and schedule a COVID-19 test at:
- Your health care provider
- Whatcom County Health Department 360-778-6075
- OR through the Bellingham airport site at testdirectly.com
Students and staff will need to have improving symptoms and a negative test in order to return to work and school.
A molecular PCR test is needed to return to school before 10 days. A home rapid antigen test will not be accepted.
Students should have masks on when they arrive to school.
At elementary school, students may arrive 30 minutes before the school day.
At middle and high school, students may enter 15 minutes before the start of the school day and depart within 15 minutes of the end of the school day.
Students will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when they enter the building.
At the end of the school day, students will go to their bus, pick-up line, on-campus athletics or activities, or bike/walk home. If waiting for pick-up or buses, students should maintain physical distance from other students and wait for transportation.
Classroom space has been designed to allow each student to maintain physical distance and have independent workspace. This may be a different classroom or common space depending on the school building.
All school meals are free of charge for the 2021-22 school year; students may also choose to bring a meal from home.
Students will practice good health hygiene by washing (preferred) or sanitizing hands before and after mealtime.
Student eating areas will be dependent on the school; in most cases, flexible indoor and outdoor seating will be available to honor physical distancing.
Masks are optional when outside. Students can use recess as mask break time. When students re-enter the school building, they will put on their mask.
If a student begins to feel unwell during the school day, they will be directed to a designated screening room. There a school nurse or trained staff member will assess their symptoms. Parents will be notified if their child needs to be picked up from school.
We have adopted a districtwide philosophy of “all screening, all the time,” where all adults are asked to screen students for symptoms of illness. We use this symptom flow chart to guide next steps for students with symptoms of illness.
Every family is required to have up-to-date contact information and emergency contacts in Skyward and Seesaw. Families can visit our Skylert instructions webpage for instructions on how to update their contact information.
Using Infofinder to find your bus stop and time:
If your child will be riding the bus to/from school, you can find their bus stop and time at Infofinder. Enter your street address (no zip code or school) and you will be able to see the location and times for your child. Please note that as enrollment changes we will make adjustments to bus stops and times as needed, and you can always see the most up-to-date information by checking Infofinder.
Key safety reminders:
- Please arrive at the bus stop five minutes prior to the scheduled time in the morning.
- Masks are required while on the bus. Please have your mask on when the bus arrives.
- Siblings will sit in the same seat as possible.
For transportation help or questions:
If you have any questions about transportation, please contact your school office, or call transportation directly at 360-676-6546.
- Custodians will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at the end of the day.
- Custodians will clean and disinfect during the day as needed.
- Teachers may use school-provided cleaners for spot cleaning during the school day. This cleaner is effective at removing virus and is safe to use.
- No students or adults should bring their own cleaning supplies, as all cleaners used in schools must meet state and district environmental standards.
Here are the steps we follow for confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- We learn of confirmed case through parent/guardian reporting or notification from the health department.
- Our schools each have COVID site safety teams who help initiate contact tracing. If there are close contacts of a confirmed case, we notify them and their families.
- We work closely with the health department on our case response and in providing close contacts with public health information on what to do (e.g. quarantine, testing, date of return, etc.).
- We update the COVID-19 dashboard for transparency with our community.
Learning for Students in Quarantine
During the 2021-22 school year, some students will need to be remote for periods of time due to quarantine or illness.
Our number one priority is for your child and family to be healthy. Families will determine the level of participation based on their child’s health. When students need temporary remote instruction, here is the learning support you can expect.
Individual Quarantine: Communication will take place between the teacher and family to connect and facilitate student participation and progress. Student may complete assigned learning tasks or other online or independent learning activities as determined with the teacher.
Classroom or school quarantine: Class may move to online instruction using Zoom or Teams. Students could follow the class schedule with their teachers and classmates, following the 2020-21 school year schedule:
Information for Staff