Important updates due to COVID-19

A message from Superintendent Dr. Balderas

Monday, Jan. 10, 2022

Dear Edmonds School District families,

We have several important updates to share with you today as we continue to navigate the latest challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the information below.

Thank you for staying flexible and supporting our students. We will continue to keep you updated on any changes.

In partnership,

Dr. Gustavo Balderas

Important changes due to spike in COVID-19 cases

Postponed until further notice:

* Concerts
* Performances
* In-person meetings

Positive case school emails to families:

* Due to the increased number of cases, school communication on positive cases are taking longer than before, thank you for your patience

Afterschool activity and academic bus runs suspended:

* Due to the shortage of bus drivers, these bus runs will be suspended for both middle and high school until further notice

Snack breaks suspended for all grade levels:
* Only breakfast and lunch will be served as a way to limit more time students are not wearing their masks * Elementary classrooms can have snacks outside

WIAA activities (athletics and music competitions):
* Athletic and music competitions through WIAA will continue as we are WIAA member schools with obligations to other schools in our leagues. WIAA has made no decision to cancel activities at this time.

Preparing for the possibility to temporarily shift to remote learning

How will the district decide whether to change to remote learning?

The decision to transition to remote learning will be based on either the direction of the DOH, Snohomish Health District or the district’s ability to have enough staff given absences due to illness.

What happens if my student’s classroom(s) or entire school shifts to remote learning?

Staff will have one day to prepare and plan after the decision is made to shift to remote learning. On that same day, students will have an independent learning day and will follow assignments and instructions given by their teacher(s).

The second day of remote learning will operate on the student’s regular start and end times and will include live instruction via Zoom and also independent learning time.

How can I prepare and plan ahead for my student shifting to remote learning?

To help prepare for the possibility of a quick pivot to remote learning, we ask students who currently take their district-issued Chromebooks to and from school daily to continue to do so. For those whose Chromebooks are left at school, there will be an opportunity to pick up the devices.

Since the change to remote will be based upon events out of our control, we may not have much notice before we need to quickly shift to remote learning. We ask that you think through what might be needed for your family if this happens, such as childcare for younger students.

COVID-19 Dashboard update

The volume of cases being reported to our schools, as well as staffing shortages, is impacting our ability to quickly update our COVID-19 Dashboard with the latest information. We will continue to work diligently to get this information updated as quickly as possible. In the meantime, here is the latest information we have:

Transportation update

There is a severe shortage of school bus drivers in Transportation due to illness and Department of Health requirements. About 10 percent of our riders will have changes to their busing effective tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan. 11. Pick-up and drop-off times, route numbers, and stop locations may change. Families affected will be notified by phone today and the changes will update in the Edulog Parent Portal and in Skyward overnight.

Students/staff quarantine and isolation requirements

As of Jan. 10, 2022, the Washington State Department of Health and the Edmonds School District are using the following guidance for students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 or are close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case.

Positive for COVID-19 = Isolate at home, regardless of vaccination status

Students/staff who tested positive (regardless of vaccination status) can return to school after the following criteria has been met:

  • At least 5 days have passed since experiencing symptoms or 5 days since the date they took the positive test

  • Test on day 5 or later and submit a medically verified negative test result

  • Have been 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications

  • Symptoms have improved

  • Must wear a well-fitted mask around others through day 10 for all school activities including extracurricular activities and during sports

If the medically verified test result is positive on day 5, students/staff must continue to isolate until day 10.

Close contacts = Quarantine if not fully vaccinated

What do students/staff need to do if they are identified as a close contact to a positive COVID-19 case?
**Please note all staff (and students 18 years and older) must have received a booster to be considered fully vaccinated. If you are 18+ and have not received your booster shot, please follow the guidance for unvaccinated individuals. Students ages 5-17 are fully vaccinated if they have received the two primary vaccine series for COVID-19.**

Fully vaccinated students/staff

  • Do not need to quarantine

  • Monitor for systems

  • If symptoms develop, stay home and get tested

Unvaccinated students/staff

  • Quarantine for at least 5 days after their last contact with the positive COVID-19 case

  • Quarantine means to stay home, symptom watch and stay away from others in case they are contagious

For household exposures the quarantine period could be longer, as the quarantine time would start from the last day the person with COVID-19 is considered infectious.

If close contact has been positive with COVID-19 in the last 90 days

  • If the student/staff member can provide a confirmed medical record of having COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they do not need to quarantine regardless of vaccination status

When can an unvaccinated close contact return to school?

  • Must get a COVID-19 medically verified test on day 5 or later

  • If test is negative, can return on day 6

  • If no test is taken, must quarantine for 10 days

Acceptable negative test results must come from:

  • School testing program

  • Health care provider

  • Mass testing clinic

  • Pharmacy

  • Local labs

At-home tests are not accepted.

If the test is positive, staff and students will need to complete the appropriate isolation requirements.

Medically verified testing results need to include:

  • The first and last name of the individual tested

  • Date of birth, preferred

  • The type of test performed (molecular or antigen)

  • The date the specimen was collected

  • The result of the test

All close contacts, whether in quarantine or not, are expected to watch for symptoms for a full 14 days after exposure. If symptoms develop anytime during the 14 day period, stay at home and get tested for COVID-19.