Cheney School District

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Communications and Updates

Dear Cheney Public School Families and Staff,

The Washington Department of Health released updated information for schools to coincide with the
changes to masking requirements. We understand that these changes in how our schools are operating
in regards to COVID-19 will be met with differing opinions and responses. It is important that as parents,
students and staff members we work together to ensure a positive transition. This return to greater
normalcy should have positive impacts on our school communities and on the social and emotional health
of our students.

The following updated COVID-19 information from the Washington Department of Health went into
effect on March 12, 2022.

The Guidelines listed below are a summary of DOH guidance. To view the complete guidelines please see
the resource links at the end of this document.
  • Students and staff members will have the choice to wear a mask at school, with the expectation
    that others’ choices will be respected.
  • A student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to isolate for five (5) days,
    regardless of vaccination status, and test upon return to school on day 6 or wear a well-fitted
    mask or face shield with a drape for days 6-10. If choosing not to test or wear a well-fitting mask,
    students and staff members are required to complete the full 10-day isolation period.
  • Any student or staff member who reports or exhibits COVID-19-like symptoms is required to be
    immediately isolated from others, sent home, and referred to diagnostic testing as soon as
    feasible, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Masks are required in the nurse/health room and isolation room inside our school buildings.
  • Masks may also be required universally during clusters and/or outbreaks in classrooms or with
    groups of students (e.g., a choir class or a sports team) to limit disease transmission and ensure
    in-person instruction.
  • Schools will provide masks and other appropriate PPE to students and staff members as needed
    or desired.
  • The COVID-19 Dashboard at www.cheneysd.org will continue to be updated daily.
  • Families will be notified when there is an outbreak in a student’s class/cohort/team.
  • Access to diagnostic testing will be available at all school buildings for students and staff members
    with symptoms or who were potentially exposed and want to test.
 
To help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in the school setting, we would appreciate your assistance
in monitoring your child for illness and keeping them home when they are sick.
Cheney Public Schools will also continue the following recommended strategies to help reduce the
transmission of COVID-19:
  • Conducting rapid diagnostic testing to individuals who wish to test
  • Exercising good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces
 
Testing for Cheney Public School students and staff members will take place on site at the individual’s
school. Please note there are also community testing sites available from Spokane Regional Health District
- find times and locations for SRHD testing sites here.

Thank you for your continued support as we transition to an endemic situation while continuing to follow
guidance from DOH and our local health district. We will continue to communicate any updates as they
become available.

Dear Staff, Parents and Guardians,

 

Throughout the past 23 months, as a community we have worked through many challenges, changes, and a variety of unknown circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID case rates and hospitalizations continue to decline I am encouraged that the pandemic and the restrictions that have come with it are gradually coming to an end, or to at least a more manageable state.

 

In recent weeks there has been considerable discussion within the region and state related to mask requirements, specifically within indoor settings, including schools.  Today, Governor Inslee held a press conference and shared indoor masking guidance moving forward. Specifically, he lifted the indoor masking requirement effective March 21st (including in schools). Masks will still be required on school buses per a federal mandate that requires masks to be worn on all forms of public transportation (although, this requirement will be revisited by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mid-March).

 

While I realize many are weary of masks and will want to stop wearing masks immediately, we are legally required to follow the Governor’s directive, which currently requires masks in school facilities until March 21st. Thus, we are requesting that each student, family, and staff member remain patient and continue to follow the masking requirement that is currently in place through Friday, March 18th

 

Although there is now a timeline in place to make masking optional for children and adults within schools, some staff members and families will remain concerned about their health and safety moving forward.  Respectfully, the District will be honoring the choices of individuals who continue to wear masks and take additional precautionary measures after the mask mandate ends.

 

In closing, we have worked through so much together in the past two years.  Thus, I am confident that we can successfully navigate the timeline that has been established for the end of mandatory indoor masking and the upcoming changes that will follow. 

 

Thank you for your continued patience and support of our children, staff, schools, and district. 

 

Take care,

Rob Roettger, Superintendent

 

*A Fact Sheet is available below as a reference tool.

COVID-19 guidance and information from state and local health authorities is updated frequently, and new information will be posted here as it becomes available. Please see the COVID-19 Response Parent Guide below for information pertaining to the 2021-2022 school year. 
Hello Cheney School District Families,

Keeping students, staff, and our community safe while maximizing our ability to provide in-person learning opportunities for students remains our focus as we move into the new year.  As you may have heard in the media, the Washington Department of Health and Spokane Regional Health District have recently adjusted their guidelines related to isolation and quarantine for positive COVID cases and close contact exposures in alignment with recent CDC recommendations.  The following summary outlines ways in which Cheney will utilize the new DOH and SRHD guidelines to maximize student attendance and staffing levels in our schools and transportation department. Please note that all previously required basic health and safety protocols are still in place as per current DOH guidance i.e. *universal face coverings/masking, physical distancing, hand washing, cleaning and disinfecting, and staying home when sick.

*Universal masking means that a well-fitting face covering is required to be worn by all individuals when in school buildings when others are present regardless of vaccination status.

 

When a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19:
  • The person will isolate at home until at least 5 days have passed since the onset of symptoms (or since the first positive test if the person is asymptomatic)
  • After 5 days the person may return to school if
        -  **The person has a negative COVID antigen test on day 5 or later; AND
        - The person is asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving; AND
        - The person has not had a fever within 24 hours of the return without the use of fever reducing medications
       
**If the person tests positive between days 5 and 9, they must continue to quarantine until day 10 with a return date of day 11.
 
When a student or staff member has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 outside the home:
  • The person should monitor for symptoms of COVID
  • No quarantine is needed if the person meets one of the following criteria:
        - Ages 18+: up to date with vaccines and eligible booster shots, including additional primary shots for some immuno-
         compromised people
        - Ages 5-17: completed the primary series of vaccines; OR
        - All ages: had a confirmed COVID -19 case within the last 90 days
  • If the person does not have symptoms and does not meet the above criteria for “no quarantine”, they can participate in “Test to Stay”:
       - The person agrees to “Test to Stay”; AND
       - The person tests negative on the day they were notified of the exposure (day 0); AND
       - The person tests negative 5 days after they were notified of the exposure (day 5)
       - If the person develops symptoms they will stay home until symptoms are improving and they are fever-free without
         medication AND they receive 2 negative tests separated by 24 hours, which may be in addition to the day 0 and day 5 tests
  • If a person does not agree to “Test to Stay”:
        - The person will quarantine for 5 full days after the last close contact if no symptoms develop
        - If the person receives a test day 5 or after they may come back to school if no symptoms have developed
        - If a person chooses not to test or does not get tested, they may come back to school after 10 days of quarantine if no
          symptoms are present
 

When a student or staff member is in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the home:

  • The person should monitor for symptoms of COVID
  • No quarantine is needed if the person meets one of the following criteria:
        - The person has received at least two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months; OR
        - The person has received at least one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine within the last two months
        - Test on day 5 and day 10 after household exposure
  • If the person does not have symptoms and does not meet the above criteria for “no quarantine”, they must quarantine according to the following guidance:
        - The exposed person must quarantine for 10 days from when the most recent household case’s symptoms started; the
          exposed person may test on day 10, and if negative may return to school; OR
       - If the most recent person in the household who tested positive is asymptomatic, the exposed person must quarantine for
        10 days from when the person first tested positive; the exposed person may test on day 10, and if negative may return to
        school; OR
      - If the exposed person tests positive on day 10 or does not test on day 10, they need to wait until day 15 to return to school
 

Thank you for your continued support of our school system.  As always, please reach out to your school nurse if you have questions related to this guidance, desire assistance finding COVID testing, or need advice related to your family’s health.

School building are currently sending out a variety of notifications regarding COVID-19 exposure and quarantine.