Courtesy Photo, Kent School District

Courtesy Photo, Kent School District

State Department of Health releases updated K-12 school guidance

Schools must plan to provide full time in-person education this fall

The state Department of Health (DOH) released guidance Thursday, May 13 for the 2021 summer school session and 2021-2022 school year.

Under the updated guidance, schools must plan to provide full time in-person education for all interested students for the 2021-2022 school year with the following mitigation efforts, according to a May 13 state Department of Health news release:

• All students, school personnel, volunteers, and visitors must wear at least a cloth face covering or an acceptable alternative when indoors, as well as outdoors where a minimum of six feet distancing cannot be maintained.

• Schools must have basic ventilation, cleaning and infection control plans updated to reflect what is currently known about COVID-19.

• In preparation for the potential of COVID-19 infections while at school, schools must have a response plan in place that includes communication with staff, families, their school district, and local health jurisdiction.

• Schools should prepare to provide instruction for students who are excluded from school due to illness or quarantine.

• Physical distancing of at least three feet or more between students in classroom settings and at least six feet or more in most situations outside of the classroom to the degree possible is recommended. However, physical distancing recommendations should not prevent a school from offering full-time, in person learning to all students/families in the fall.

• While COVID-19 testing programs and vaccinations are not required for providing in-person learning, these measures can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools and the broader community.

“Schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being,” said Umair A. Shah, state secretary of health. “They provide children with academic instruction, support for developing social and emotional skills, safety, reliable nutrition and more. We are releasing this guidance early to give the schools districts in Washington the opportunity to put plans in place for a safe and successful 2021-2022 school year.”

In addition to mandatory mitigation efforts that schools must put in place, schools will need to follow all relevant Healthy Washington: Roadmap to Recovery guidance with regards to extracurricular activities. This includes sporting activities, overnight camps, performing arts and special events.

DOH will continue to monitor the science, disease burden, and uptake of vaccination and periodically update the guidance accordingly.

Private and public schools must continue to follow existing guidance for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

Screenshot from Google Images
Hot housing market forces out many first-time homebuyers

Housing experts concerned about the long-term impacts on generational wealth.

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17, 2020. Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan
Vaccination data reveals disparities among regions and race

South King County and certain minority groups are far behind on COVID-19 vaccine goals.

A protective mask hanging on a front door. (Sound Publishing file photo)
King County to lift indoor mask mandate on June 29

About 1.3 million county residents have completed their COVID-19 vaccine series.

File photo
King County leaders propose emergency funding for gun violence prevention initiative

Sixty-nine people were reportedly shot during the first quarter of 2021.

Pills taken during police investigation (photo credit: Bellevue Police)
Renton man charged with homicide after selling fentanyl pills to a Bellevue woman

Law enforcement warns of an alarming increase in fentanyl deaths.

Entrance to the Tukwila Library branch of the King County Library System. File photo Tags
King County libraries move to Phase 4 this month

Libraries across King County will advance to Phase 4 on June 30,… Continue reading

Jackie Hoernor winces as she gets her Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination during a Walgreen’s Vaccine Clinic at South Pointe on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, in Everett, Washington. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Washington no longer on pace to beat June 30 vaccine goal

Reaching 70% of adults with at least one shot would trigger the state to drop most COVID-19 restrictions.

t
King County Council approves facial recognition technology ban

Software ban applies to King County Sheriff’s Office

t
PSE’s electric customer rates increasing slightly

The new rates will go into effect July 1

Most Read