COVID Health & Safety

  • NOTE: This information is subject to change as guidance evolves.

     

Quarantine Guidelines

Fully vaccinated staff & students:

  • Stay home if symptomatic, PCR* test, (return if negative, no fever for 24 hrs and  symptom improvement). If no test, isolate 10 days (return on day 11 if no fever for 24 hrs and symptom improvement).
  • If positive, isolate 10 days from symptom onset (or test collection if no symptoms), return day 11 if no fever for 24 hrs and symptom improvement.
  • If exposed to positive AND asymptomatic, do not quarantine; test at day 5 from exposure and mask for 14 days in public or until negative test. (Watch for symptoms full 14 days, stay home and retest if symptomatic)
    • If positive is a household member, follow above guidelines and continue to test at 5-day intervals, the last test 5 days past positive's last day of isolation. (Watch for symptoms for a full 24 days from positive's symptom onset, stay home and retest if symptomatic).

PCR or Rapid Molecular testing (example: Abbott Labs ID now) are accepted for return to school. Single Rapid Antigen tests or any at-home tests are not accepted for return to school for symptomatic staff/students. 

Unvaccinated staff/students:

  • Stay home if symptomaticPCR* test (return if negative, no fever for 24 hrs andsymptom improvement). If no test, isolate 10 days.
  • If positive, isolate 10 days from symptom onset, or test collection if no symptoms (return day 11 if no fever for 24 hrs and symptom improvement)
  • If exposed to positive, quarantine 10 days, return on day 11. (Watch for symptoms, mask full 14 days, stay home and test (PCR) if symptomatic). Option to test (PCR orAntigen, no home tests) no sooner than day 5 to return on day 8. Must be advised by, and follow through with contact tracing for this option.
  • If exposed to positive in household, quarantine 20 days, return on day 21. (Watch for symptoms and mask for full 24 days, stay home and test (PCR) if symptomatic). Option to test (PCR or Antigen, no home tests) no sooner than day 15 to return on day 18. Must be advised by, and follow through with contact tracing for this option.

* PCR or Rapid Molecular testing (example: Abbott Labs ID now) are accepted for return to school. Single Rapid Antigen tests or any at-home tests are not accepted for return to school for symptomatic staff/students. 

  • Health & Safety Protocols

    Will health checks be required?
    No, health checks will not be required this year for staff or students. 


    Will masks be required inside school buildings?
    In mid-August, Gov. Inslee announced that all K-12 students and staff are required to wear face coverings in schools this fall, regardless of vaccination status, to help stem the surge of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant in our state.  See additional information from:


    Will face masks be provided?
    We encourage all staff and families to provide their own masks. Masks must meet all health and safety protocols.


    How do I receive a mask exemption for my student?
    Mask exemptions must be obtained by a licensed provider and approved by the SPS Health Services department.


    If the masking order changes during the school year, how do I provide proof my student is vaccinated?
    Student vaccination verifications will be requested from families in the same way SPS requires verifications for other vaccines. Student vaccines will be recorded in the same manner as existing vaccination records. 


    What symptoms should we watch for?
    Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Please keep your student home if they have any of these symptoms:

    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fever of 100.4 or higher or a sense of having a fever
    • Sore throat
    • Chills
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Nausea/ vomiting/ diarrhea
    • Congestion/ runny nose
    • Unusual fatigue
    • Headache


    If my student exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, who should I notify?
    Please call your student's school attendance line. 

    • Leave your name and your student’s full name and phone number.
    • Report the symptoms your child is experiencing.
    • Indicate your choice of options to expedite your student’s return to school:
      • a doctor’s note with a diagnosis other than COVID, or
      • a negative PCR COVID test (not a rapid antigen test)

    Otherwise, the student should remain at home for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.


    If my student is quarantined, how will they receive school instruction?
    Teachers will work with students to determine a learning plan that may include take-home packets.

    Will SPS contact trace and quarantine students and staff? 
    Yes, contact tracing will occur again this school year. See additional quarantine information above.

    What happens at school when a student has/says they have COVID symptoms? 

    If a student is sent to the office due to symptoms, they are evaluated by appropriate personnel.

    • If the student has one of the following symptoms in the office, they are sent home for 24 hours. If the symptom resolves in 24 hours, the student can return the next day. If the symptom does not resolve, the student will isolate pending testing.

      If the student has two or more of these symptoms, they will be sent home and isolated for 10 days unless cleared by a negative test:

      Fatigue
      Headache
      Sore throat
      Congestion or runny nose
      Nausea or vomiting
      Diarrhea (at least 2 loose stools in 24 hours)

    • If a student has one of these symptoms, they will be sent home for 10 days pending a negative test:

      Fever (subjective or greater than or equal to 100.4 F)
      Chills
      Cough
      Loss of sense of taste and/or smell
      Shortness of breath
      Muscle or body aches

    Will there be seating charts in elementary school classrooms? 
    Seating charts are mandatory. Students will be able to face each other and will be socially distanced 3 feet apart where feasible. Students will be encouraged to maximize distance between themselves and others during line-ups.
     

    Will there be seating charts in middle & high schools?
    At this time seating charts are recommendend, and does not apply to lunch. Masks will be worn at all times. Students will be able to face each other and will be socially distanced 3 feet apart when feasible. Students will be encouraged to maximize distance between themselves and others during line-ups. Passing periods do not require additional safety measures.


    Will SPS cohort students this year?
    If all safety protocols are followed, no classroom cohorts will be necessary. 

    Will SPS staff be required to socially distance themselves from colleagues and students?
    Masks must be worn at all times. Staff will maximize the distance between themselves and colleagues and students. All employees will follow safety protocols when meeting in small groups with staff and students. Face shields can be used at the front of the class for instruction.

    Can I find out if my student’s teacher is vaccinated?
    Staff vaccination status is private health information and cannot be shared with families.

    How will classrooms be cleaned and disinfected?
    High touch surfaces and PE equipment will be cleaned at the end of the day. Currently, shared books, papers, materials are not a concern for transmission— students/staff will be encouraged to wash their hands before and after touching school equipment and school items.

    Will volunteers be allowed into school buildings?
    Yes, vaccinated volunteers will be allowed into school buildings. All volunteers working in any SPS building must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in one of two ways: (visual confirmation of a vaccine card is not sufficient for verification):

    1. Make a copy of their vaccination card and send it through the mail. School staff can also copy vaccination cards and send them to Volunteer Services through district mail.
    2. Email proof of vaccination to the volunteer department: Volunteerservices@spokaneschools.org. Emails must come directly from the volunteer, and CANNOT be forwarded by building office staff due to FERPA/HIPPA.

    NOTE: District employees who want to volunteer DO need to provide vaccination proof to Volunteer Services. Unfortunately, the volunteer and HR databases do not merge.

    Volunteers must be masked regardless of vaccination status and must follow all health and safety protocols.

    Will PTG meetings be held this year?
    PTG meetings can be held in person—no distancing requirements exist for these meetings at this time. The recommendation is to maximize distance as much as possible.

  • Athletics

    All coaches, athletic trainers, and other support personnel involved with sporting activities must wear face coverings indoors in K-12 settings, regardless of vaccination status. Universal masking is required by all athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and support personnel in SPS weight rooms, regardless of vaccination status.


    Are masks required for fully vaccinated athletes competing in indoor high-contact sports?
    Masks are not required for fully vaccinated athletes competing in high-contact indoor sports.

    Are masks required for unvaccinated athletes competing in indoor high-contact sports?
    Masks are not required for unvaccinated athletes competing in high-contact indoor sports if they participate in screening testing. Masks are encouraged when practicing indoors. Universal masking is required indoors when not practicing or competing.

    Are masks required for indoor low-contact sports?
    Masks are not required for athletes while competing in low-contact or moderate-contact sports indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Masks are encouraged when practicing indoors. Universal masking is required indoors when not practicing or competing.

    Are masks required for outdoor sports?
    Masks are not required for outdoor sports of any contact level but are recommended in settings where unvaccinated athletes, coaches, athletic trainers and/or support personnel are in close proximity, such as standing on the sidelines, in a huddle, or sitting in a dugout.
     

    Are masks required for spectators during indoor events?
    Masking is required universally for all spectators attending indoor K-12 sporting activities, regardless of vaccination status. Audience members should be seated in “family units” and those small groups should be spaced at least 3 feet apart.

    What are the guidelines for high school athletes?
    Screening testing is required for all unvaccinated athletes in high contact indoor sports (basketball, wrestling). Fully vaccinated athletes do not have to participate in screening testing. Screening testing must be performed twice weekly using a molecular or antigen test. This guidance is expected to change soon.

    Performing Arts Classes

    What are the health and safety protocols for students in the performing arts?
    Students in performing arts engage in activities that vary from low to high aerosol-generating emissions. The purpose of this guidance is to provide protocols for each activity to ensure that all students have access to their chosen performing arts course. Distancing for all students should be at least 3 feet, if possible, and more if space permits. Space constraints should not limit access to these classes.

    What are the health and safety protocols for students in the performing arts while outdoors?
    Face coverings/masks are not required when outdoors. Distancing of at least 3 feet is also recommended outdoors. When indoors, universal masking of all students and faculty is required. Brass and woodwind bell covers are recommended when playing outdoors but are not required.

    What are the health and safety protocols for woodwinds and brass for grades 6-12?
    Bell covers with appropriate material – MERV 13 or 3-layer medical face mask or similar material – are required for brass and woodwind instruments when indoors. Face coverings/masks with slits are recommended but not required. Woodwinds and brass performers may remove their face coverings/masks when performing on their instrument and must replace their face coverings/mask during non-performance time. Students should switch to regular, unmodified face coverings without openings as soon as they are done rehearsing. Reduce shared equipment and instruments to the greatest degree possible. Have students use hand sanitizer before using shared equipment like music stands. If hand sanitizer is used often, shared equipment does not need to be sanitized between each group; regular daily cleaning is sufficient. For shared instruments, students should have their own mouthpieces. Allow the instrument to sit for 24 hours between uses.

    How will students take part in choir and musical theater class in grades 6-12?
    Students must wear universal masking with appropriate material – MERV13 or 3-layer medical face mask – when singing. Teachers should provide students with singers’ masks to replace their cloth masks in these settings. When not singing, students should wear cloth masks as required in other classrooms. Reduce shared equipment to the greatest degree possible. Have students use hand sanitizer before using shared equipment like music stands. If hand sanitizer is used often, shared equipment does not need to be sanitized between each group; regular daily cleaning is sufficient.

    How will students take part in percussion/string orchestra/guitar/piano Lab class?
    Students will wear masks at all times. Reduce shared equipment and instruments to the greatest degree possible. Have students use hand sanitizer before using shared equipment and instruments. If hand sanitizer is readily available and used often, shared equipment and instruments do not need to be sanitized between each group; regular daily cleaning is sufficient.

    What will theater/drama class look like?
    Students will wear masks at all times. Reduce shared equipment to the greatest degree possible. Have students use hand sanitizer before using shared equipment. If hand sanitizer is readily available and used often, shared equipment does not need to be sanitized between each group; regular daily cleaning is sufficient.

    What will general (developmental) music look like in grades K-6?
    Universal masking with appropriate material – MERV13 or 3-layer medical face mask or similar material – is required in general music and elementary classrooms when singing. Teachers should provide students with singers’ masks to replace their cloth masks in these settings. When not singing, students should wear cloth masks as required in other classrooms.

    What will art rooms / equipment look like for grades K-12?
    Students will wear masks at all times. Reduce shared equipment to the greatest degree possible. Have students use hand sanitizer before using shared equipment. If hand sanitizer is readily available and used often, shared equipment does not need to be sanitized between each group; regular daily cleaning is sufficient.

    Extracurricular Performing Arts Performances & Activities

    Students, teachers, and support staff must follow these requirements when participating in school-sponsored performing arts activities and performances, even if they're not in a K-12 classroom setting.

    Performances: Audience members should be seated in “family units” and those small groups should be spaced at least 3 feet apart. All audience members must wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. Universal masking is required during performances for participants, including appropriate face coverings and bell covers on woodwind and brass instruments.

    Travel for Performing Arts: Travel trips must follow CDC’s order for all riders & drivers to wear a mask on buses or other public transportation, regardless of vaccination status. Seat cohorts together on the bus & separate the cohorts by at least 3 feet to the degree possible. Increase ventilation by opening windows as weather permits.

     

covid safety