2021-2022 COVID-19 Policies, Protocols & Procedures - St. Joseph School Seattle

2021-2022 COVID-19 Policies, Protocols & Procedures

These will be regularly reviewed by the Leadership Team (with consultation by the Task Force). We are flexible; this is a dynamic document and changes will occur as needed to ensure the safety of all students, staff and community. On that note, we ask for your patience, as we know that many of the policies, protocols and procedures in this plan add time to the day.

To keep the risk of transmission low, we are adhering to the recommended three foot distance between all individuals while on campus. Based on current recommendations from the CDC and WA-DOH, we are requiring any students, staff and visitors that are on campus to wear a mask at all times.

Parents, please assess your student daily for any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to bringing your student to school.

If a student is ill and/or has any symptoms of COVID-19:

  • STAY HOME. Do not bring an ill student to school. Any student who arrives at school ill or becomes ill while at school will be escorted to the isolation room where they will wait for parents to pick them up.
  • Contact the school
    • Contact your student’s teacher to let them know your student will not be in class.
    • Email the School Nurse, Kendra McDermott, to detail the situation. Please provide a good contact phone number in your email.
  • The school nurse will contact you to provide further guidance and required steps for returning to school.
  • Zoom will only be considered for students with confirmed cases of COVID-19. For students that are feeling sick or awaiting test results, online work options will be arranged with teachers at that time. While students are sick, we expect them to stay home and rest. Work will be made up once symptoms have lessened.

Before coming to campus

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS determined by King County Department of Health: 

  • Fever of 100.4/38C or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Other signs of new illness that are unrelated to a preexisting condition such as seasonal allergies.

If a student or staff member has only one short-term symptom, as defined below, they may return to school the next day according to King County Public Health Guidelines.

A person with a short-term symptom has

  • ONLY ONE of the following symptoms: fatigue; headache; muscle pain or body aches; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; or diarrhea
  • AND the symptom begins and resolves in less than 24 hours
  • AND no known COVID-19 exposure (close contact)

Example: Student wakes up on Monday with a sore throat. Student cannot go to school due to that symptom. By the afternoon, sore throat is gone. Student wakes up on Tuesday with no symptoms. Student can go to school on Tuesday.

NOTE: If a student's symptoms are due to known causes, such as allergies, asthma or other known and medically diagnosed conditions that are not an illness, the student may continue to attend school. However, parents must contact the school nurse and the student's teacher to advise of the student's symptoms and condition. Medical documentation of condition may be required.

  • If your child has seasonal allergies or other pre-existing symptoms that are similar to COVID-19 symptoms (i.e.: runny nose, congestion), be mindful if the “typical” symptoms that your child is experiencing have worsened or changed. If the symptoms are worse or different keep all of your children home and contact the school nurse immediately
  • If your child’s symptoms are consistently the same you should consult with your primary health provider to confirm the suspected diagnosis of seasonal allergies and discuss medication regimens to alleviate these symptoms. Be mindful and honest, we want to keep all students and staff safe; we do not want to exclude students who are well enough to be at school
  • COVID-19 symptoms that are NOT typically present with seasonal allergies include chills and muscle aches, fever, vomiting and nausea, diarrhea, and sudden loss of smell or taste, according to the federal health agency
  • We strongly encourage teachers, staff, students and families to get a flu shot

Our school policy reflects our ongoing commitment to maintaining the health and safety of our students, staff and community. We must all work together to keep our school open for in-person learning. 

If any member of the SJS staff or a student's household has a suspected case of COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19, or has been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, the school nurse, Kendra McDermott, must be notified as soon as possible at nurse@stjosephsea.org. You will be contacted by the nurse and given further instructions regarding the next requirements and steps toward returning to school.

If a student or household member develops symptoms, we recommend following up with your healthcare provider and schedule COVID-19 PCR testing for your entire household. At a minimum, we recommend having the symptomatic household members be tested.

If a vaccinated or unvaccinated student has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19:

  • If testing results are NEGATIVE, the student can return after 24 hours have passed since fever was resolved (without medication) and all other symptoms have improved.
  • If testing results are POSITIVE, student can return 10 days after test collection date AND at least 24 hours after fever resolved AND all other symptoms have improved.

If a sibling becomes ill with symptoms suggestive of COVID -19, we recommend the entire household be tested for COVID-19 when a close contact has either tested positive or has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. St. Joseph’s school will follow the WA DOH “test and stay” protocol for PK-12 schools. If sibling(s) in close contact test negative, and are symptom free, they may return to school while continuing to mask and assess for symptoms daily.

A close contact is defined by the CDC and WA DOH as anyone who has been within 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for a COMBINED total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period when the person with COVID-19 was infectious. However, in a K-12 indoor classroom, the close contact definition excludes students who were at least three feet away from an infected student when a) both students were wearing face masks and b) other prevention strategies were in place (i.e. ventilation, cleaning/disinfecting, hand washing, etc.)

If your student is vaccinated and was in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, no quarantine nor further testing is required at this time, student may return to school.

If your student is unvaccinated and was in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, we recommend your student be tested for COVID-19 via PCR test 3-5 days after exposure. St. Joseph school will follow a “test and stay” policy as follows:

  • If test results are NEGATIVE, and student has no symptoms of COVID-19, the student may return. Parents must continue to monitor daily for changes of symptoms. A second NEGATIVE COVID-19 test is required within seven days of exposure to remain in school.
  • If test results are POSITIVE, the student may return 10 days after test collection.
  • If student does not test, and student has no symptoms of COVID-19, the student may return 14 days after date of last exposure.
  • If student develops symptoms of COVID-19, please see above guidance for returning to school after having symptoms.

On August 18, 2021, Washington Governor Jay Inslee released new COVID-19 immunization guidelines for PK-12 staff statewide. Inslee announced all PK-12 staff, including substitutes, volunteers, visitors, and others are required to provide proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. PK-12 employees will have until October 18, 2021 to be fully vaccinated. The safety-requirement mandate does not include students.

While COVID-19 vaccination is currently not a requirement for students, it is the strongest protective measure against COVID-19 available to individuals 12 years of age and older. We strongly encourage all members of our community that are eligible to receive a vaccination.

In developing our St. Joseph School policies and procedures regarding COVID-19, we consider WA-DOH and CDC safety measures to implement guidelines that best suit our community and its needs.

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.” - CDC Travel

Knowing the innate risks involved with travel, we have taken into consideration the CDC and WA-DOH recommendations to develop our travel policy. This policy addresses different forms of travel, outlines safe travel guidelines, and describes what requires a period of quarantine upon return home.

We expect school families to closely adhere to these guidelines and self-monitor their household traveling activities in order to keep our teachers, students, staff, and community safe and our school buildings open as permitted by Washington State.

Domestic Car Travel

Families must adhere to all CDC Guidelines when traveling. If these guidelines are followed, no quarantine period is required upon return.

Commercial Air or Train Travel

CDC recommends travel by these means be limited as much as possible. Due to the high risk of these types of travel, quarantine is required in some cases.

Regardless of vaccination status, ALL travelers should wear masks while traveling and should carefully monitor symptoms during and after arrival home for 14 days. If symptoms occur, the symptomatic individual should be tested immediately and follow our school policies for returning to school when symptomatic (detailed above).

Fully vaccinated adults and students who travel or are exposed to someone who has traveled by these means, are not required to quarantine or test upon returning home at this time.

Students who are NOT FULLY VACCINATED (2 weeks past final vaccination shot) will be required to complete one of the quarantine and/or testing options below upon arrival home:

  • Option One - “Test and Stay” as allowed by the WA DOH for K-12 schools (testing required):
    • Take a COVID test 3-5 days after arrival home. If negative, and the student is symptom free, the student may return to school. For example: if a family returns home from airline travel on a Thursday, their student may test on a Sunday, if results are negative and the student is symptom free, the student may return to school on Monday. A second NEGATIVE COVID-19 test is required within seven days of return home.
    • Please try to coordinate your travel dates and testing dates in a manner that minimizes missing class time, as no Zoom schooling is available at this time
  • Option Two - 10 day quarantine (No testing required):
    • Unvaccinated students complete a 10 day quarantine beginning the first full day after arrival home and may return to school after quarantine is complete
  • Steps to follow if your unvaccinated student will be traveling by air or train:
    • Prior to traveling, notify nurse@stjosephsea.org of your travel dates and which quarantine/testing option will be taken
    • Notify your student’s homeroom/subject teachers to make arrangements to pick up missed work upon your return from travel
    • Notify the main office of the excused absence dates
    • There is no Zoom option for elective travel that would require quarantine as we do not have the staffing to provide this option

Arrival / Morning Drop-off

Middle School

Middle School students should enter and exit the building through the following doors:

  • Main Lobby entrance
  • South Cafeteria stairwell, across from the Wyckoff Gym

Primary School

Students will enter and exit through their assigned doors based on homeroom:

  • KA - Zebra Door (South Library)
  • KB - Sloth Door (North Library)
  • KC - Sloth Door (North Library)
  • 1A - Sloth Door (North Library)
  • 1B - Zebra Door (South Library)
  • 1C - Zebra Door (South Library)
  • 2A - Sloth Door (North Library)
  • 2B - Monkey Door (Advancement Staircase)
  • 3A - Giraffe Door (North Primary School)
  • 3B - Giraffe Door (North Primary School)
  • 3C - Monkey Door (Advancement Staircase)
  • 4A - Monkey Door (Advancement Staircase)
  • 4B - Giraffe Door (North Primary School)
  • 4C - Giraffe Door (North Primary School)

At this time parents will not be allowed in the building to drop-off students.

Doors Open 8:00 a.m.
Tardy Bell 8:20 a.m.

Drop-off runs 8:00 - 8:20 a.m. Arrival times are staggered by last name as follows:

  • 8:00-8:10: Last Name A-L
  • 8:10-8:20: Last Name M-Z

Walkers

Students walking to campus should enter the building through their assigned door, please see above.

Parking lot

The parking lot will maintain two lanes to facilitate a smooth flow of traffic.

View Map

Lane 1 (Express) - West side against the sidewalk

  • Not allowed: Students unloading from 3rd row seats or getting items out of the trunk
  • All students must exit on right, passenger side of vehicle
  • Quick unloaded lane, no help from staff

Lane 2 - East side against the fence

  • Required lane for Grades K-2. If you have multiple grade students in your car, including a K-2 student, use Lane 2
  • Any students unloading from 3rd row seats, or getting items from trunk
  • Slower moving lane with faculty and staff helping students exit the vehicle
  • All students must exit on right, passenger side of vehicle
  • All students head to staff guided crosswalk at the prayer garden

Parents with scheduled meetings on campus will be able to park along the East fence. There is limited space and it is reserved for parents with meetings.

Parking available from 8:20-9:00 a.m..

Additional option for Middle School students only

Lane 3 - Front of School - 18th Avenue East - north bound traffic

  • Middle school student unloading only - no Primary School siblings
  • All students must exit on right, passenger side of vehicle
  • Drivers pull all the way up to the north fire hydrant (between primary school/parish center)
  • No unloading south of the main office doors, pull all the way up (to keep Roy Street from getting backed up)

Traffic Flow (during morning drop-off)

View Map

  • 18th Avenue E. - No south bound traffic during drop off/pick up. South bound traffic use 17th Avenue E.
  • Roy Street from 19th - No turning west bound during drop off/pickup

Late Arrival

Parents with students who arrive late (after the allotted drop-off time, 8:00 - 8:20) to SJS campus, will bring their child to the main office door, and ring the bell for check-in procedures.

Parents with students who arrive late (after the allotted drop-off time, 8:00 - 8:20) to SJS campus, will bring their child to the main office door, and ring the bell for check-in procedures.

On Campus

  • According to the CDC, we will practice physical distancing (three feet) within each group of students as much as possible, create space between students and reduce the amount of time they are close with each other. Our ability to do this will depend on students’ ages and developmental and physical abilities.
  • In all classrooms, K-8, desks will be placed accordingly.
  • Physical distancing, mask, and handwashing signs will be placed in classrooms, hallways, and all common areas as visual cues and reminders for students. Floor markers will be used, where necessary, designating places for students to stand to wait in hallways.
  • Teachers will maintain physical distance from each other as well as maintain distance from the students.

All visitors, vendors and volunteers must enter the building through the main lobby and check-in.

On August 18, 2021, Washington Governor Jay Inslee released new COVID-19 immunization guidelines for PK-12 staff statewide. Inslee announced all PK-12 staff, including substitutes, volunteers, visitors, and others are required to provide proof of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment. PK-12 employees will have until October 18, 2021 to be fully vaccinated. The safety-requirement mandate does not include students.

All vendors and visitors are required to be masked at all times when on campus.

At this time, Jaguar Club will be open at a limited capacity. Please contact David Sepulveda, Director of Jaguar Club, for more information.

We know there is concern about safety for students eating meals at school due to the high risk nature of this activity. Our current plan for lunch and snacks includes multi-layered mitigation strategies and is in accordance with recommendations from the WA DOH to keep our students safe:

  • Students will wash hands before and after meals.
  • Students will eat snacks outside while socially distanced.
  • When extreme weather such as snow, extreme wind, heavy rain and unsafe air quality (i.e. smoke) prevents students from eating snacks outside, they will eat at their desk, while remaining socially distanced and forward facing. 
  • Primary students will eat lunch in their classroom at their desk, while remaining socially distanced and forward facing.
  • We will minimize talking during indoor meal times by having students engaged in a story or educational video, as we did last school year.
  • Ventilation and cleaning strategies are in place for all classrooms and indoor spaces.
  • Middle school students will eat lunch outside socially distanced. There may be times when middle school students will need to eat in the lunchroom or social hall due to weather. When eating indoors, students will be socially distanced and asked to remain forward facing in the same direction, we will avoid students eating at a round table facing each other while indoors.
  • Students will remove masks for snack and lunch time and be instructed to put masks back on when their snack and lunch is complete.

Logistics for ordering lunches

  • For any purchased school lunch, students will receive an individually packed bag with their order
  • Lunch orders are placed each week for the following week
  • Order forms can be found on the Parent Portal in Veracross
  • Lunch orders are due each Thursday by 3:00pm
  • We are unable to accommodate orders placed after the 3:00 p.m.

Thank you very much for submitting your orders each week by 3:00p.m. on Thursday.

Events and assemblies will be handled on a case by case basis with the appropriate procedures communicated.

Dismissal / Afternoon Pick-up for all Students

At this time parents will not be allowed in the building to pick-up students.

Walkers are defined as:

  • Middle School: Students that have permission from their parents to walk home from school
  • Primary School: Students waiting for an older sibling or guardian to walk them home AND 4th grade students who have permission from their parents to walk home

Prayer Garden

  • Primary School students walking home with older sibling or parent/guardian

Main Lobby Exit

Middle School walkers, students on bicycles, and those not being picked up on campus

  • 3: 15 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
  • 2:15 Tuesday
  • 12:15 Noon Dismissal

Traffic Flow (during afternoon pick-up)

View Map

  • 18th Avenue E. - No south bound traffic during drop off/pick up. Use 17th Avenue E.
  • Roy Street from 19th - No turning west bound during drop off/pickup

Lane 1 - West side against the sidewalk

  • Students in grades: 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7
  • All students must enter on right, drivers side of vehicle

Lane 2 - East side against the fence

  • Students in grades: Kindergarten, 1, 5 and their siblings from any grade
  • All students must enter on right, passenger side of vehicle

Front of School - 8th grade students only

Lane 3 - 18th Avenue East - north bound traffic

  • 8th grade with no siblings

Parking Lot / Drivers

View Map

  • Parents/Drivers must be on time for pick-up
  • If picking up multiple students, come at the later time slot
  • Primary School students with Middle School siblings will remain on the parking lot to be picked up with their Middle School siblings
  • Staggered dismissal times are based on grade level and last name as shown below

No parking available in the lot until after 3:30pm.

Last Name A-L
Dismissal Days Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Tuesday Noon Dismissal
Primary School 2:50-3:00 p.m. 1:50-2:00 p.m. 11:50-12:00 p.m.
Middle School 3:10-3:20 p.m. 2:10-2:20 p.m. 12:10-12:20 p.m.
Last Name M-Z
Dismissal Days Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Tuesday Noon Dismissal
Primary School 3:00-3:10 p.m. 2:00-2:10 p.m. 12:00-12:10 p.m.
Middle School 3:20-3:30 p.m. 2:20-2:30 p.m. 12:20-12:30 p.m.

Any students whose parents have not picked them up after the allotted pick-up time will be brought to the main office to wait for their parents. Parents will be instructed to ring the doorbell upon arrival.

General Information

  • CYO after school sports- For all students participating in CYO athletics, we ask that families follow the COVID-19 policies and procedures for participation per the Seattle Archdiocese.
  • For households participating in club sports outside of school- We ask that all members of the household follow current CDC and WA DOH guidelines for sports participation including all applicable testing and screening guidelines and travel guidelines for sports related travel.

We ask families to monitor household members daily for symptoms. Please email our school nurse, if any member of your household develops symptoms of COVID-19 or if your student will need to quarantine after sports related travel.

  • The recommendation from the Washington State DCYF (Department of Children Youth and Families), is that families should have the same adult drop-off and pick-up for child(ren) each day and to avoid carpooling when possible.
  • When necessary, as may be the case with SJS families, we urge parents to limit carpool partnerships and maintain consistency with masking and open windows en route.
  • All faculty and staff are required to wear masks 
  • Any staff member who works directly with students is required to wear a disposable surgical mask
  • All students in grades K-8, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks
  • CDC guidelines and features:  
    • Must fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • Completely cover the nose and mouth
    • Masks are secured to the face with ties or ear loops
    • Includes multiple layers of fabric
    • Allows for breathing without restriction
    • Can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
    • Gaiter masks are not allowed
  • Students may remove masks for brief periods to eat and drink during designated break and meal times
  • Students will arrive at SJS with masks from home and are expected to keep them on 
  • Parents must provide two back-up masks for each child (to be kept in their backpacks) 
  • If your child uses one of their back-up masks, you must send a replacement the following school day 

  • SJS will intensify cleaning of all spaces and high touch areas, including restrooms
  • Children will be provided with individual sets of materials and supplies where possible. Shared spaces and supplies will be cleaned regularly
  • Students will wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer after outdoor play

  • Restrooms have touchless faucets, toilets, and dispensers for soap and paper towels
  • Adequate ventilation provided in all restrooms

SJS will continue communication with families through Veracross.

Our intention is to use in-house substitutes

Facilities Response

Middle School

  • Each classroom has a fresh air intake and exhaust system
  • Dampers fixed to 100% fresh air on the intake unit ventilator
  • Smart switches installed to allow scheduling of system to turn on 2 hours before occupancy and off 2 hours after
  • Air filters replaced with higher efficiency MERV rating

Primary School

  • All classrooms have operable windows for fresh air
  • 16” window exhaust fan installed in each classroom
  • Smart switches installed to allow scheduling of system to turn on 2 hours before occupancy and off 2 hours after
  • 20” window exhaust fans installed on the 3rd floor to draw fresh air from the opposite side of the building.

LRC/Main office

  • HVAC system connected to centralized controller for scheduling
  • Scheduled system to turn on 2 hours before occupancy and off 2 hours after
  • Air filters replaced with higher efficiency MERV rating

Common areas

  • Portable HEPA air filtration units set up in common areas
  • Rooms without air ventilation will not be used

General
Daily

  • Disinfecting of door handles, railings, high touch surfaces, etc.
  • Shared/common areas when used: desks, chairs, tables, floors, etc.
  • Deep clean/disinfecting of the restrooms: sinks, toilets, counters, walls, etc.
  • Mopping and disinfecting the restroom floors
  • Confirming all soap and paper dispensers are completely full and always working for the high demand

Weekly

  • Mopping and disinfecting hard floors in hallways and common areas
  • Vacuuming carpet with HEPA filter equipment

Carpets

  • Area rugs were removed from classrooms and offices
  • Vacuumed when children are not present, using a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter – or using HEPA vacuum bags

Outdoor Areas
Following CDC and King County Health Department recommendation:

Outdoor areas, like playgrounds in schools and parks, generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection.

  • Do not spray disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds—it is not an efficient use of supplies and is not proven to reduce risk of COVID-19 to the public
  • High-touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars and railings, will be cleaned routinely
  • Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers (mulch, sand) is not recommended

Disinfecting Products

  • Disinfection using EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19
  • Trained custodial staff on the proper mixing ratio and application of disinfecting products, wet contact time, personal protective equipment, etc.

Products:

  • Oxivir Tb Cleaner Disinfectant
  • Oxivir Tb Disinfecting Wipes
  • Brighton Professional Hepastat 256 Disinfectant Cleaner