Tustumena Elementary Newsletter

Special announcement - evening of September 14, 2020

Special Announcement

Dear Tustumena Families,

Well, I knew it was going to happen at some point so it may as well happen now, we have a "student or staff member" who has tested positive for Covid 19. I learned of this at 7:30 tonight and wanted you to know so you could make your own decisions.

I will paste a modified letter template to the end of this newsletter with the necessary information but the bottom line is that it has been determined through contact tracing that there are no "close contacts" here at our school. Also, because of FERPA and HIPAA laws, I cannot identify this person. I have communicated with our district health leadership as well as our community information leadership as to our appropriate protocol. We will follow all of our cleaning protocols as well as continue appropriate social distancing. In the scenario laid out in the district protocol, the suggestion is to contact only the immediate class cohort, but I have decided that since there is no close contacts that can be determined, I am contacting all of our community as to not have any sense of hiding anything from our families.

I will be here at school tomorrow ready to educate our students. I am confident that everything that can be done is being done to keep our school safe. Obviously, sense there is only one case being reported, the case did not originate from our school. Below is the edited letter as per communication protocol:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

A student or staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and as members of the school community, we understand that this raises care and concerns. Each case of COVID-19 is interviewed by public health. As part of this public health investigation and contact tracing at school, and based on CDC guidance and Alaska DHSS protocols:

  • The person diagnosed is being kept home from school until they are no longer infectious.
  • The person's activities when they could have spread COVID-19 were assessed.
  • The people who were close contacts of the person with COVID-19 are instructed to stay home from school for 14 days after the exposure. This is called quarantine and there is no way to test out of a 14-day quarantine when someone is identified as a close contact.

All KPBSD students have the option of 100% Remote Learning with their school. Your school will work with you to make certain your child has what they need to continue learning at home if you choose.

KPBSD honors HIPAA and FERPA privacy laws, so the identity of a student or employee will not be revealed by the school or KPBSD, unless permission is given to do so.

If your child develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19:

  • Follow these isolation instructions
  • Have your child tested
  • Continue to keep your child home from school and avoid other activities around other people
  • Notify the school principal, nurse, or KPBSD Nurse Iris
  • Seek medical care and testing for COVID-19, calling your doctor before you show up

Public Health may recommend or you may choose to have your child tested for COVID-19 a week after they were around the person with COVID-19, even if your child does not have symptoms. A negative test result does not mean that your child will not develop symptoms or become sick after the test. A negative test result means that your child did not have COVID-19 detected at the time of testing. A negative test will not allow your child to come back to school or attend other activities sooner. Medical insurance may not cover the cost of testing for people without symptoms.

If you have questions, kindly contact Nurse Claudette, Nurse Iris, or our local public health agency. You can find specific information for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District on our dedicated COVID-19 in KPBSD Hub webpage that includes communication updates, safety protocols, 2020 Smart Start Plan, sports and activities, risk levels on the Kenai Peninsula, and the COVID19 Confirmed Case in School Response Matrix.