Pathway Forward Update – May 12, 2022
Dear LWSD Staff/Families:
Over the past several weeks, I am sure you have noticed an increase in positive case reporting from our schools. Cases are rising in our community and in our schools. King County moved into the “Medium COVID-19 Community Level” as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): over 200 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.
The ”medium” risk category tells us that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is increasing across our community.
We continue to monitor health and safety conditions while partnering with our public health agencies in order to preserve learning opportunities for our students.
We want to take this opportunity to remind our families of several precautions we can all take to keep each other healthy:
- Keep your child home when sick and notify the school. You can visit our “Too Sick for School” webpage if you have any questions about when to keep your child home.
- Testing – The District is providing access to testing for students and staff in response to increased cases. You can get information about testing on our “COVID-19 Testing” webpage. Please only use the on-site testing if you received an Exposure Notification Letter from your student’s school. If it is your first time requesting a test, ensure you have completed the consent form before signing up for testing. You will only need to do the consent form one time for the year. Please remember to keep students home if they are showing symptoms.
- Hand Hygiene – Schools will continue to remind students about the importance of frequent hand washing and sanitizing. Please remember to wash your hands often.
- Masking – Masks are required for all people entering health or isolation rooms. LWSD will continue to maintain a supply of masks for students or staff. LWSD respects student and staff choice for masking in other areas. Additionally, there may be times when we will strongly encourage masking in a classroom or school in the event of an outbreak of cases.
- Vaccination – Governor Inslee has not modified the vaccination requirement for LWSD employees, contractors and volunteers. Given this, the district continues to implement this order as written. Vaccination resources are available on the Seattle | King County Public Health website: Getting vaccinated in King County - King County.
LWSD will continue to provide notifications of potential COVID-19 exposure as required by the State Department of Health (DOH). Exposure is assumed if a student shares a class, bus or participates in a sport or activity with someone that has tested positive. This notice is provided to all students/staff if they share any of the spaces listed above regardless of whether they were in close contact.
We recognize that in trying to comply with the DOH guidelines on notification that many of you are receiving more communications than in the past. We are currently reviewing our options to see if there is a better way in which we can provide meaningful information about cases and comply with the DOH guidelines while also reducing the amount of communication.
Our goal is to keep healthy students and staff in school to the greatest extent possible. Should an outbreak occur in a school building, we may need to close specific classrooms, or recommend families to take additional precautions such as masking, after consultation with the Department of Health.
I want to thank all our students, families, and staff who have continually been willing to take the steps necessary and to adapt to changes in dealing with COVID-19.
Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District