I hope you have had a relaxing and safe summer. Planning continues for an exceptional year at Saint George’s School for our scholars, athletes, artists, faculty, and staff. This includes our ongoing diligence to provide a safe in-person educational experience because of the continuing issues related to COVID.
Some key changes for the coming school year include in-person classes for all grades (no Distance Learning planned), no Golden Tickets (attestation forms), and a return of bus transportation on express routes (with details coming later this month).
As a result of the DOH mandates (See Regulatory Oversight Update below), Saint George’s School will require masks for both students and adults indoors and on busses no matter their vaccination status. Students and adults are not required to wear masks outdoors in most situations. Saint George’s will only be offering in-person instruction, unless there is some type of incident (closure or large quarantine) related to COVID. This status will be continually monitored as the situation evolves.
Face masks and vaccines continue to be shown to help reduce the spread of the virus. The Delta strain is more contagious and is prevalent in the most recent cases. The vaccination rate among our students eligible for the vaccine (students 12 and older) is between 61%-78% per class.
Initial Planning for 2021-22 (As of 8.2.21 – these plans may change.)
1. Five days a week of in-person learning.
2. Social distancing will be reduced to 3 feet; class cohorts will continue when possible.
3. We do not plan to offer any Distance Learning unless necessitated by a quarantine situation.
4. Bus transportation services will be provided. (masks required)
5. Vaccines are strongly encouraged for the well-being of the community.
6. On-site testing is available and will be used to mitigate exposure to unvaccinated students and in cases of close contact. There will be additional guidance from DOH and SRHD forthcoming.
Proposed Calendar for August 30 – September 3 (NO SCHOOL on September 6 – Labor Day)
Operational Issues Update:
• Self Attestation (Golden Tickets) will not be required.
• Busses – There will be bus service provided and all students transported will be required to wear face coverings no matter the vaccination status. Busses will be operating on express routes, with 3-4 stops per route. This will provide shorter routes and limit the amount of time on busses. More information on the routing will be sent later in August.
Regulatory Oversight Update:
Governor’s Office and WA Department of Health:
The Department of Health, in conjunction with the Governor’s proclamation and CDC, released the K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for the 2021-2022 School year on July 28th. There are several mandates for schools that must be followed as we start the school year fully in-person.
Summary of July 28, 2021 Changes from DOH
• Updates in this version reflect recently released CDC recommendations and seek to achieve two primary goals:
1. Minimize transmission of COVID-19 among students and staff in K-12 schools and to their families and broader community.
2. Maximize in-person instruction.
• Vaccination and face coverings/masks are the most effective tools to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
• All staff and students must continue to wear face coverings/masks, regardless of vaccination status.
• Physical distancing requirements have been updated to support provision of full time in-person instruction.
• Information on how schools should “layer” mitigation strategies for the best outcome is provided.
• Quarantine protocols have been updated to reduce student exclusions from instruction.
• Expanded information on diagnostic and screening testing is provided.
• Updated links to relevant State Labor & Industries orders are provided.
• General alignment updates to COVID-19 language are made.
• Extra- and Co-Curricular requirements will be published in early August for the lifting of mask restrictions for vaccinated persons.
For the 2021-2022 school year, schools must plan to provide full time in-person education for all interested students with the following required mitigation measures: face coverings/masks, physical distancing*, improving ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and disinfecting, staying home when sick and seeking evaluation, testing as indicated, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, responding to cases of COVID-19, and meeting the reporting requirements to public health. (*Physical distancing should not prevent a school from offering full-time, in-person learning to all students/families in the fall.)
While vaccination is not a requirement for in-person education at K-12 schools, it is the strongest protective measure against COVID-19 available to individuals 12 years of age and older. Testing strategies, while also not generally required other than as identified below, are also an effective mitigation tool. Vaccination and testing should be promoted for all eligible students, teachers, staff, volunteers, and families. -DOH July 28, 2021
The Spokane Regional Health District:
SRHD reported COVID Virus activity over the last 2 weeks has been increasing in Spokane County.
Variables that could impact plans:
1. Outbreak of 2 or more students in the same classroom during a 14-day period.
2. Change in the State’s Re-opening Phase status.
Thank you for your continued support and partnership in keeping our community safe.
Head of School