COVID Safety Protocols
Updated September 23, 2021
A Safe Return to In-Person Learning
We are excited to see students and faculty on campus this Fall as we return to in-person instruction and activities. Look to this page for information regarding on-site preventative measures being taken by West Sound Academy to keep our students and staff safe from COVID-19, as well as WSA’s protocols for safe on-site learning, how the school will handle cases of illness and infection, and rules for students and staff to follow after travel. Also on this page are links to sources of reliable public health information and helpful articles, along with a flowchart for making decisions about returning to work or school after experiencing COVID symptoms. This page will be revised if information changes. (Updated August 11, 2021)
Staying Home When Sick
- Staying home if you have any symptoms is critical to helping make sure we reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our entire community safe.
- Please do not attend school if you or any of your family members have any of these symptoms:
- According to the CDC and WA State Department of Health, vaccination is the most effective prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The school will track the vaccination status of its students and staff.
- Fully vaccinated students and staff who do not have symptoms do not have to quarantine when exposed to COVID-19.
- Regardless of vaccination status, every person must wear a face mask at all times when on campus, including out of doors.
- Mask breaks can only be taken outside at the direction of the teacher or while actively eating or drinking.
- Masks must completely cover the mouth and nose, and fit securely on the sides of the face and under the chin. It must have ties or straps that go around the head or behind the ears and should be made of two or more layers of tightly woven fabric.
- The CDC recommends wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask, using a mask fitter, or using a nylon covering over a mask as strategies to improve mask fitting to more effectively slow the spread of COVID-19.
- In accordance with DOH recommendations, students are not permitted to use masks with exhalation valves or vents, or single layer bandanas or gaiters.
- WSA will provide a 3-ply mask to any student who forgets their mask.
- Distances between student seats in classrooms will be maximized and never less than three feet.
- Efforts will be made to facilitate distancing during passing periods and at lunch.
- Hallways to the upper building back doors are only to be used for going to the restroom or exiting. Only the front doors should be used for entry to the upper portions of the buildings. The back doors will be locked from the outside.
- There is absolutely no lingering, standing, or loitering in the hallways or storage annex areas. If queuing for the restroom, maintain physical distance from others.
- Designated classroom windows will be open.
- Each classroom will have a HEPA air cleaner that cleans all the air in the room twice each hour.
- Outside time will be encouraged. Regardless of the weather conditions, students will be expected to spend considerable time outside throughout the day. Students should dress to wait outside without cover in inclement weather and to walk in the fields. Athletic shoes and multiple layers are recommended.
Students and employees should expect to wash hands for 20 seconds with soap or use a minimum of 60% alcohol content hand sanitizer about six times per day:
- After arrival and screening
- Before and after meals and snacks
- After time outside
- After bathroom use
- After nose blowing or sneezing
- Before departure
Face and Surface Touching
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, and mouth while at school.
- Avoid touching masks. Fresh disposable masks are available if needed.
- Use the towel you dry your clean hands with to turn off the faucet and open the bathroom door when leaving.
- Recognize that most of your efforts to stay away from the virus should be focused on social distancing and mask-wearing to avoid the virus’s aerosolization rather than avoiding touching things.
- One person at a time should be in the restroom, even if it has multiple toilet stalls.
- All of our restrooms have been designated as gender-neutral. Use whichever restroom is available and comfortable for you.
- The bathrooms in Upper Frodel and Upper Baker are designated for faculty use only.
Cleaning and Disenfecting
- The staff will maintain a regular protocol for cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing appropriately. In addition to our daily tasks, a more intensive, thorough clean will be done regularly.
- Students and faculty will be trained on proper cleaning procedures to help with wiping down desks and chairs between classes if used by different groups on the same day. Students will only be using cleaning solutions that are proven not to be harmful.
Arriving on Campus
- Pre-Screening forms are no longer necessary.
- WSA will still be screening students for fever upon drop-off
- Drop-off for students will be done in front of Upper Baker Hall in the outer driveway ring only.
- During drop-off hours, the inner drop-off circle will be closed.
- Students need to queue with masks and three feet of social distancing outside of Upper Baker while waiting for screening.
- Monitored by an employee, students will be screened using a kiosk that provides touch-free temperature screening or by an employee using a hand-held touch-free temperature reader. The employee will also be observing for signs of symptoms.
- Upon screening approval, students will enter Upper Baker, sanitize hands in Baker Hall and then disperse to their designated first-period classroom building.
- Exterior doors to the buildings will be locked during the day, allowing for controlled and staggered access to classrooms and minimizing congestion in common areas. Students need to be prepared and dressed to wait outside socially distanced in inclement weather.
- The earliest a student may arrive on campus and enter the screening queue is 8:00 am unless otherwise arranged with administration. Students need to stay in their car until then. Do not park in the parking spaces in front of the flagpole near Upper Baker.
- Students who drive themselves need to park in a designated student parking spot and then walk around outside to Upper Baker for check-in before entering any other building.
- Students arriving later in the day must also check-in at Upper Baker before entering any other building.
- The illustration below shows where all students need to be dropped off.
- A faculty member will check off students as they are screened upon arrival.
- WSA is required to keep attendance records for all employees, students, and visitors for the purpose of contract-tracing should it become necessary.
- Teachers will also take attendance in FACTS at the start of each class.
- If a student is leaving school before the end of the day, they need to sign out at the front desk and get picked up outside of Upper Baker.
- Eating is not allowed in classrooms or lobbies. Students may only eat or drink water from a water bottle outside.
- Water fountains are for bottle filling only, and students should not drink directly from them.
- Students may eat outside Parke, Frodel, or Ryan, in the Quad, or on the Sport Court. The Commons and classrooms will be open for indoor eating only when it is actively raining.
- Students must sit six feet apart while eating in all places.
- Students must wash their hands before and after eating and wear their masks after they have finished actively eating.
Guidance for WSA Families
Look to the flowchart on the right for guidance on what to do after COVID infection or being in close contact to someone with COVID-19.
Confirmed COVID Diagnosis
Families and staff are to inform the school right away if a student or other family member is diagnosed with COVID-19. WSA will follow the County Health Department’s directions at that time and participate in contact tracing but will follow the HIPAA required rules of privacy. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, it is possible that some of the student’s classmates and teachers will be considered close contacts and may be quarantined for up to 14 days. Once a case has been confirmed, the Head of School and Health Department will work together to determine the course of action.
COVID-like symptoms at school
If a student or employee develops COVID-like symptoms while at school, they should self-report immediately to their teacher or an admin person. Admin staff will separate the student or employee from the class and accompany them to the isolation room until the person can be picked up by their family. Each student’s family will be required to provide primary and secondary contact persons who are most likely able to pick up a student on short notice in their registration paperwork. The student or employee will be made comfortable in the isolation room and then be actively monitored from a distance until picked up.
Returning to school after testing positive for COVID-19
Regardless of vaccination status, if a person tests positive for COVID-19 by a molecular or antigen test, they can return to school only when all the following criteria are met:
- 10 days since symptom onset, or since positive test specimen collection date if no symptoms are present, AND
- 24 hours after fever resolves without use of fever-reducing medications, AND
- Symptoms have improved
If a person with COVID-19 symptoms tests negative with a molecular test, they may return to school following existing school illness management policies so long as they are not a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and subject to quarantine.
Negative antigen tests will not be sufficient for a return to school without waiting for the full isolation period.
Returning to school after being in close contact to someone with COVID-19
Generally, a close contact is someone who was within three feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24-hour period during the period of time when the person with COVID-19 was infectious. The infectious period of someone with COVID-19 starts two days before the onset of symptoms or is estimated as two days before the positive test collection date if someone with COVID-19 is asymptomatic. This definition applies regardless of whether the case or contact was wearing a mask.
Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated need to quarantine for 10 days with no test and 7 days with a negative test no sooner than day 5.
Close contacts who are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms need to remain at home until receiving results from a test administered 3-5 days following known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
What is travel?
Protocol for after travel
(This section updated September 3, 2021)
All students and staff should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms after travel.
The following policy is recommended for students and staff who are fully vaccinated and required for students and staff who are not fully vaccinated:
- Stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel AND get tested with a molecular test 3-5 days after travel.
- If the student or staff member is unable to get tested, they must self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
For further questions, please contact Catherine Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kitsap Public Health District COVID-19 Vaccinations
Registration and Scheduling
Washington State Department of Health
Info Hotline: 1-800-525-0127
STUDENT MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH
- Coping with Back-to-School Anxiety During COVID-19 – Mental Health First Aid USA on August 3, 2021
- Returning Safely to In-Person Learning – Anxiety & Depression Association of American on July 19, 2021
- Back-to-School Resources for Families and Educators – Child Mind Institute
- How to Help Kids Who Are Too Hard on Themselves – Child Mind Institute
- Anxious Stomach Aches and Headaches – Child Mind Institute
- Managing Your Own Anxiety During School Reopening – Child Mind Institute
- Building Positive Relationships With Students: What Brain Science Says – Understood.org