Finn Hill Falcon Flyer

Week of January 24, 2022

Good Things

  • Thank you to the 35 parents who joined the FHMS PTSA general membership meeting on Tuesday night! We were happy to share all of the positive things going on at Finn Hill and were grateful for the opportunity to answer questions about hot topics. We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting in March!
  • Kudos to our long-term substitute teachers (Mr. Derscheid, Mr. Marsh, and Mr. Taylor) for successfully completing their tenure with us. Congratulations on a great first semester! We wish you the very best and hope you might be able to return to FHMS one day.
  • We welcome back teachers Ms. Alvarado, Ms. Jackson, and Ms. Margolis on 1/31!
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This Week at FHMS

Week of 1/24

  • FastBridge Winter Benchmark Testing-Math

Monday, January 24

  • 9th Grade JHS Counselor Registration Visit

Tuesday, January 25

  • Registration Day (6th to 7th Grade)

Thursday, January 27

  • 9th Grade JHS Counselor Registration Visit

Friday, January 28

  • End of 1st Semester
  • Registration Day (6th to 7th Grade)
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Looking Ahead

Monday, January 31

  • Beginning of 2nd Semester

Tuesday, February 8

  • Election Day

National Science Bee

FHMS has been invited to join the 50,000+ other middle and elementary schoolers who are participating in this school year’s National Science Bee competition across the USA. Interested students will take the free Online Regional Qualifying Exam during College Prep next week. Approximately 40% of students then qualify for the nearby Regional Finals, and the top half of students at Regionals qualify for our National Championships in June in Orlando. Parents pay for and accompany their children to Regionals and Nationals. Falcons, take a shot to prove your science smarts on a state and national stage!

See Ms. Coleman for more information.

From Superintendent Holmen: Pathway Forward Update

Dear LWSD Community,

In mid-December, we all became aware of the next COVID-19 variant that would ultimately create the rise in cases that we are currently experiencing. In early January, the Washington Department of Health and Seattle-King County Public Health updated their guidance for schools. The Washington Department of Health has been explicit that we are transitioning into the next phase of responding to and mitigating the effects of the pandemic. Their updated school guidance is reflective of these shifts.

For the past two years, the public health guidance has required us to look at case rates as a key metric for decision-making. The recent modifications to the Department of Health guidance for schools have shifted away from this methodology. Based on a large data set from schools across the state, the Washington Department of Health has made modifications to their guidance that we are incorporating into our COVID response plan.

Our leadership team has been connecting regularly during this surge with Seattle King County Public Health to identify areas of priority for our health and safety responses. Public Health has continued to emphasize a layered safety approach for responding to the pandemic. Here are steps that we are taking and steps that we need our students and families to take to help us keep our schools safe and open for in-person learning moving forward.


We are continuing to work with our health partners in the community to create vaccination opportunities. We are thankful for our partnership with SVNA in offering pediatric clinics last November and the booster clinics this month. We are currently exploring additional opportunities to support smaller, more local clinics in the coming weeks and months. Additional vaccination resources can be found here:


Currently, we are operating under a masking directive per the Department of Health and our local public health officer, Dr. Duchin. It is expected that students and staff comply with this directive. Additionally, the Department of Health has continued to emphasize the importance of wearing well-fitted masks particularly during this current phase of the pandemic. We have accelerated our orders of masks to be able to support staff and students needing masks. We will be re-emphasizing the requirement and importance of wearing masks properly (fully covering the bridge of the nose and the mouth) with our students over the next few weeks. We ask our families to continue to emphasize this requirement and encourage their children to wear their masks properly when at school.

Staying Home When Sick

Now more than ever it is important that people stay home when sick. If your child is experiencing symptoms of COVID, please keep them home and seek testing options if more than one symptom is present for greater than 24 hours.

If your child tests positive for COVID it is important for you to notify your school as soon as possible and keep your child home.

We are adopting the Department of Health’s new guidelines for isolation. As a reminder, isolation refers to when people are sick with COVID-19 and are needing to stay home to prevent infecting others.

Previously, people who had tested positive for COVID-19 had been required to isolate for 10 days. This new guidance asks people to:

1. Isolate for 5 days after symptom onset or since positive test results if no symptoms are present.

2. If after 5 days a person has no symptoms present or symptoms are resolving AND that person has not had a fever within the past 24 hours (without having to use fever-reducing medication), then that person may return to work or school.

3. Students who return to school after 5 days should continue monitoring for symptoms and continue wearing a well-fitting mask around others through day 10 (days 6-10).

For students who are currently isolating, if you believe that you may be eligible to return under this protocol, please contact your child’s school.

Expanded Testing

We have ordered tens of thousands of rapid antigen tests and as those tests come into our warehouse, we will begin distributing them to our schools so that students will be able to access them. As our supply increases, we will begin phasing in a test-to-stay model where students can opt to test rather than quarantine. Currently, the supply chain is constrained, so it will take time for us to phase in the test-to-stay model.

Additionally, we are continuing to operate PCR testing centers for students and staff if they develop COVID symptoms. Please contact your child’s school if they are experiencing symptoms for longer than 24 hours and need assistance in scheduling a PCR test.

Additional testing resources can be found here:

Prioritized Contact Tracing and Notification

The Department of Health has provided schools with additional guidance on contact tracing to better facilitate timely notification of close contacts. This guidance has schools focus on indoor areas where students consistently do not mask for sustained periods or during high aerosol-generating activities.

We are also working to streamline our processes so that we can respond more quickly to positive cases and focus the efforts of our staff on those areas where public health officials have indicated are most important. Here are some of the things you may notice in the coming days as we put the changes into place:

  • Close contact letters will include instructions for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals on the same letter.
  • Schools will provide a single daily notification if they have had a case or cases that day rather than sending a schoolwide notice for each case.
  • In the event that a school receives a high volume of cases on a single day such that contact tracing would take multiple days to complete, an entire schoolwide message would be sent to provide notice of the possibility of close contact.

As our testing supply increases and we can phase in a test-to-stay model, those schools will shift to a place-based contact tracing model. When schools move to that model a schoolwide message will be provided to inform families of the shift.

We are adopting the Department of Health’s new guidelines for quarantine. Quarantine refers to when people are asked to stay home because they have been in close contact with someone who was infected with COVID-19, these people may or may not contract COVID-19 or develop symptoms but are asked to stay home to limit the potential for spread of the disease.

Students and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should quarantine for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after their last close contact (for household exposures this would be the last day the person with COVID-19 is considered infectious) with a person who has COVID-19 if they are in one of the following groups:

  • Ages 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccines but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • Those under 18 who are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.

Students and staff must wait to receive a negative test result from a test taken no sooner than day 5 post-exposure and provide the negative test documentation to the school before returning. For families of students that are currently quarantining, if you believe that you may be eligible to return under this protocol, please contact your child’s school.

Students and staff who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine if they:

  • Are ages 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
  • Are ages 5-17 years and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days.

Finally, we will continue to be updating our COVID dashboard on a weekly basis with the data and timeframe that we provide to Seattle King County Public Health. Public Health’s reporting requirements are changing to report on positive cases only and are no longer requesting close contact data. This change will be reflected in our dashboard. King County maintains several COVID dashboards that can be helpful for families wanting to track vaccination rates, case rates, and other data across our community.


Dr. Jon Holmen, Superintendent
Lake Washington School District

LWSD Partners with SVNA to Offer Additional Free COVID-19 Booster Vaccination Clinic

Lake Washington School District is partnering with Seattle Visiting Nurse Association (SVNA) to offer an additional free COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Clinic. Booster vaccinations are available to everyone age 12+ and had their second dose at least five months prior to the date of the clinic.

When: Sunday, January 23, 2022
Where: Redmond Middle School
(10055 166th Avenue NE, Redmond, WA 98052)

Register in advance. No walk-in appointments available:

When registering, select the Pfizer booster option from the drop-down menu to access the clinic details.

There are a limited number of vaccines available at this clinic. In the event that the clinic fills up, interested persons can find booster appointments using - Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you.

Future Finn Hill Falcon Night 1/25

Please pass this information on to any incoming fifth grade parents who are interested in learning more about FHMS's sixth grade programming:

On Tuesday, January 25, 2022, all incoming sixth grade families are invited to an information night at 7:00 pm. Families may join the meeting on Teams by clicking here. This will be a virtual, synchronous event and will be recorded and linked on our website the following day. Families will have the opportunity to watch a short principal presentation, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the Finn Hill administration.

The Finn Hill staff is preparing an informational video that will be posted on our website by Tuesday, January 25th. This video will provide an opportunity to “tour” our building and “meet” many of the teachers and staff who will be working with sixth graders next year.

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The PTSA Perch

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The Falcon's Nest-January Edition

We are pleased to share the FHMS PTSA newsletter with you all! with you all! It will be published on the third Wednesday of each month.

Upcoming Events

FHMS PTSA is hosting a FREE Family tech talk. Trend Micro and PTO Today present a virtual tech talk focusing on inspiring digital responsibility. All are welcome. To join the conversation, go to the following link:
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Spring 5K Help Wanted

The PTSA is in the planning stages of organizing a virtual 5k. If you are interested in helping, please contact
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Information about LWSD Levies

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Finn Hill Middle School


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Every student future ready: Prepared for college, Prepared for the global workplace, Prepared for personal success