• Message to Parents January 2, 2022

    Posted by Donald Hay on 1/2/2022 2:00:00 PM

    January 2, 2022


    Dear Parents,

    I would like to wish everyone a very happy new year and thank you for your continued support for all our students.

     

    I would like to remind everyone that students must not come to school when sick - even the sniffles.  Please keep your student at home and let the school office know, 360 532-3128.  Sick students must be sent home.  The only exception to this is a documented alternate diagnosis, such as allergies, from a medical provider.

     

    Then, follow the attached decision tree (flow chart) from DOH for instructions on what to do next.  Your student will be able to receive a COVID test at the school and return in as little as 24 hours.  If you have any questions or want to schedule a test, you can call the school office 360 532-3128 and we can help you decide what to do.

     

    According to our local department of health, masking, social distancing and vaccinations, have all proven effective at reducing the spread of disease and keeping kids in school.

     

    Wishkah Valley has operated in person continuously for over a year now!  Let us all, parents and staff include, stay vigilant and continue to work together to provide in person leaning for our students.

     

    Best wishes for a good and prosperous new year.

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • New DOH Guidance for High-Contact Indoor Sports

    Posted by Donald Hay on 12/19/2021 5:00:00 PM
    New DOH guidance for high-contact indoor sports
     
    Washington DOH updated their health and safety requirements for high contact indoor sports following a multi-school, multi-county outbreak linked to wrestling tournaments held in early December that resulted in around 200 COVID-19 cases. High-contact sports and activities (basketball, wrestling, water polo, and competitive cheer) effective immediately are:
    • Required to do screening testing of all athletes, coaches, trainers and supporting personnel, regardless of vaccination status.
    • Must increased testing frequency to 3 times weekly. Among those screening tests, at least one must occur no sooner than the day before the competition; ideally the day of the event.
    Comments (-1)
  • NEW DOH FAQs Document - November 24

    Posted by Donald Hay on 12/18/2021 8:00:00 PM
     
    DOH generated a NEW separate FAQs document in early December: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/820-236-K12SchoolsFAQ.pdf 
    This info will be incorporated into the larger round of updates in January:
    • Close contact on school buses - definition has changed to align with classroom - if 3ft apart, masked, good ventilation and windows open, then no longer considered close contacts. 
    • Sports - if run by a K12 school, would need to follow DOH guidance even if a retreat off of school grounds. 
    • Musical performances - clarifications about extra curricular performing arts that allow fully vaccinated individuals or those undergoing twice weekly testing: they can remove their mask for a theatre production. Crux is that if singing in a group - all students must remain masked. However, if solo artists are separated, they can remove masks for that portion of their performance. 
    • If someone has tested positive in last 90 days, they should not participate in testing. After that time they should either become fully vaccinated or return to testing protocol.
    Comments (-1)
  • COVID Update 11-30-2021

    Posted by Donald Hay on 11/30/2021 9:00:00 AM

     

     Cold, Flu, and COVID season is upon us with three weeks to go until break. 

     

    Unfortunately we are seeing an increase in students coming to school sick.  Students must not come to school when sick - even the sniffles.  Please keep your student at home and let the school office know, 360 532-3128.  Sick students must be sent home.  The only exception to this is a documented alternate diagnosis, such as allergies, from a medical provider.

     

    Then, follow the attached decision tree (flow chart) from DOH for instructions on what to do next.  Your student may be able to return in as little as 24 hours.  If you have any questions, you can call the school office and we can help you decide what to do.

     

    According to the decision tree, time away from school can be significantly reduced if the student has a negative COVID test result.  We are able to test students here at the school.  Just call the school for an appointment.  We can test each morning and have results in about ten minutes.

     

    According to our local department of health, masking, social distancing and vaccinations, have all proven effective at reducing the spread of disease and keeping kids in school.

     

    Wishkah Valley has operated in person continuously for over a year now!  Let us all, parents and staff include, stay vigilant and continue to work together to provide in person leaning for our students.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Vaccine Update for Students Ages 5-11

    Posted by Donald Hay on 11/7/2021 11:00:00 AM

    Earlier this week the CDC recommended the vaccine for 5-11 year olds. This of course is good news for parents who would like to have their students vaccinated.  Currently, fully vaccinated students and staff do not have to miss school for 14 days if exposed to COVID.  The vaccine is readily available at local pharmacies, the health department, and medical facilities.  Parents who are unsure can discuss the issue with their personal family physician.

     

    Some parents are wondering if the vaccination will become mandatory for students.  Here is what we know as of today.

     

    Currently, the WA State Health Board is using their established protocol for consideration of adding any vaccine to the school immunization schedule to review the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. 

     

    At the OSPI press conference held on October 28, State Superintendent Chris Reykdal stated that he does not think a student vaccine mandate is appropriate right now (minute 12:51). However, he clarifies that he would be willing to think more seriously about a mandate for the fall of next year.

     

    Student immunization requirements to attend school make allowance for medical, religious, or philosophical exemptions, except for the MMR. The MMR had to go through many added steps before the philosophical exemption was voted to be removed. 

    Comments (-1)
  • New Quarantine Guidelines Explained

    Posted by Donald Hay on 11/3/2021 5:00:00 PM

     

     

    Being a close contact does not mean that your child has COVID-19, but it does mean that you will need to quarantine your student and watch for symptoms.  If you, your student(s), or anyone else who lives with you begins to have symptoms, consistent with COVID-19, please stay home and call the school.  Contact your health care provider or the Grays Harbor Public Health call center (360 964-1850) immediately. 

     

    If your child has been identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  Wishkah Valley under the direction of Grays Harbor Public Health provides you with the following options for quarantine.

     

     

    You have the following options:

     

    1. 7-Day Quarantine with a Negative Test: Students and staff must quarantine at home. Quarantine can end after 7 full days beginning after the last close contact if no symptoms have developed and after receiving a negative test result. Students can return to school on day 8. The test should occur no sooner than on or after day 5 post-exposure. Continue monitoring for symptoms until day 14. Negative test results may come from Wishkah School’s testing program, a health care provider, local health jurisdiction, pharmacy, or other community-based test site. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test includes the original, a copy, or a photo of a document or other communication from the test provider.

     

    1. 7-Day “Test to Stay” Quarantine (students only): K-12 students who are close contacts to an infected person in school may “Test to Stay” for 7 days. Students will test first thing in the morning be allowed to attend class as long as they test negative.  During this time, the student may attend school but otherwise must remain at home away from others (e.g., the student may not participate in extracurricular or before/after school child care or activities and should not attend social gatherings, etc.).

     

    1. 14-day Quarantine: If an individual who is a close contact chooses not to get tested they must do the full 14 day quarantine after the last close contact with the COVID-19 positive person. Monitor for symptoms during this time, and if any COVID-19 symptoms develop during the 14 days, get tested.

     

    1. Fully Vaccinated/Or Proof of Positive COVID-19 Test in the Last Three Months: Fully vaccinated individuals or individuals who can prove that they had COVID in the last three months (90 days) do not have to quarantine. But should be tested 5-7days following a known exposure.

     

     

    As always, if you have any questions, please call the school, 360 532-3128.

    Comments (-1)
  • Updated guidance documents for K-12 schools October 27, 2021

    Posted by Donald Hay on 10/31/2021 5:00:00 PM

     

     

     

    WA State announced updates to the four main documents used by schools on October 27:

    1. Supplemental Considerations COVID-19 in K-12 Schools October 27, 2021
    2. K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for Summer 2021 and the 2021-2022 School Year October 27, 2021
    3. Symptom Decision Tree October 27, 2021
    4. COVID-19 Contact Tracing Guide and FAQ October 27, 2021

     

    Highlights of updates:

    • In addition to the significant shifts listed below, all four of these documents now cite testing recommendations of fully vaccinated close contacts to be 5-7 days post-exposure, per a recent CDC update, instead of 3-5 days.
    • Focus contact tracing on priority locations/situationswhere transmission of COVID-19 is most likely. Schools can divide tracing into High & Low priorities in case you do not have the resources to do it all at once: 
      • High- buses, meal locations, classes generating aerosol (gym/cheer, band), classes where physical distance is below goal.
      • Low- outdoor classrooms, or well-spaced classes with full masking. 
    • Performing Arts(theater, dance, speech, debate, etc.) now aligned with Athletic High Contact Sports. Individuals that are fully vaccinated can unmask. Unvaccinated participants can potentially unmask by participating in a screening testing program.
    • Game-day testing- Clarifies language to test the day of or the day before a competition. 
    • Shift on quarantine requirements - Schools must offer the 7-day with negative test quarantineon day five option for students and staff who are close contacts. This reduces the number of days students are quarantined away from school. If families do not want to get their child tested, the school must offer options of 14 or 10-day quarantine. For schools that have approved the use Test-to-Stay, students will continue going to class with repeat testing but should otherwise quarantine at home during their 7-day quarantine period.
    • Decision Tree 1: With only one blue symptom present – added: “Did the symptom resolve within 24 hours OR are they consistent with a diagnosed chronic illness?” If so, they may go back to school.
    Comments (-1)
  • Basketball COVID Testing Required (DOH, WIAA)

    Posted by Donald Hay on 10/17/2021 11:00:00 AM

     

    Updated October 4, 2021

     

    Screening Testing Requirements for K-12 Athletics

     

    To ensure safe participation in athletics, schools must institute screening testing protocols for athletes, coaches, trainers, and other personnel who work with athletes who are not fully vaccinated participating in high-contact indoor sports. (Pg. 17 of DOH Guidance)

     

    "Screening testing is required for all unvaccinated athletes in high-risk indoor sports (basketball, wrestling, water polo, and indoor cheer)." Testing is NOT Required for High Contact Outdoor Sports at this time!

     High Contact

     

    DOH provides this table for testing frequency:

     Frequency

     

     

    A rapid antigen test must be performed on all unvaccinated athletes the day of competition. The WIAA has provided this list of examples:

    • If I have three games in a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, I am only testing on those three days. 
    • If I have a contest on Tuesday and Saturday, I am only testing on those days.
    • If I have only one contest during the week on Thursday, I am testing on Monday and that Thursday to be compliant. 

     

    Schools may consider screening testing for unvaccinated students participating in other co-curricular or extracurricular activities, such as those that generate aerosols, including singing and some music.

     

    Many schools will be screening the entire team whether players are vaccinated or unvaccinated, but this is each school's choice.

     

    Spectator Masking Requirements

    Updated October 4, 2021

     

    Masking is required universally for all spectators attending indoor K-12 sporting activities, regardless of vaccination status. Audience members should be seated in “family units” and those small groups should be spaced at least 6 feet apart.

     

    Masking is required outdoors for all spectators if there are 500 or more people present at the event.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • What Can Parents Do?

    Posted by Donald Hay on 10/2/2021 8:00:00 PM

     

    Everyone wants kids in school learning and involved in activities.  School is a safe place for kids.  They are watched and nurtured by caring professionals.  So far the home and school have done a fantastic job working together to keep school open. 

    Parents and school staff are naturally frustrated and disappointed when students have to miss school to isolate for 10 days or quarantine for 14 days or more.

    So parents ask, “What can I do to help keep kids in school?”

    1. Make sure we have current contact information, phone numbers, emails, addresses, etc.
    2. Encourage your household to mask and socially distance in situations where COVID is easily contracted.
    3. Please keep you student home when sick, even if they have the sniffles and call the school (even if you are sure it isn’t COVID). We are trained to help you know what to do.  Email your child’s teacher to get make up work.
    4. If symptomatic, please get your child tested. We can help you find a location where you can get a PCR test.  Then please let us know the results as soon as you get them.  We do not start contact tracing and quarantining until we know that we have a positive test.  If you do not let us know, then the chances of spreading COVID in the school are greater.
    5. Please talk to your child about the importance of mask wearing and social distancing. Wishkah Valley must follow the state indoor mask mandate, we have no choice.  While our mask compliance is very good, some students have a hard time understanding why they have to be masked.  If students are socially distanced throughout the day, then they cannot be a close contact.

    As always, if you have any questions please call the school, 360 532-3128.

    Comments (-1)
  •  Do close contacts have to quarantine the full 14 days?

    Posted by Donald Hay on 9/26/2021 1:30:00 PM

     

    There is now a test-to-return option that can trim the 14-day quarantine period for individual students. This option is not available when an entire classroom or school are directed to go remote.

     

    A student may come back to school after the 7th day of quarantine with a negative result on a PCR test, which can be taken on Day 5. That is, students may return on Day 8 with proof of a negative test. This only applies to a return to the classroom. Extra-curriculars and other activities remain at 14 days.

     

    If you want to exercise this option, it is recommended to make your appointment as soon as a quarantine is ordered as an appointment might not be available for a couple days and it can take several days for the results.

    Comments (-1)