When students return to Kent School buildings in April, “it will be different” the district announced this week.

“The health and safety of our students, staff, and families are of utmost importance,” Kent School District said. “To welcome all students physically in schools, we need to meet all new health and safety measures; this means our in-person learning will look much different from previous years, if you choose to return to in-person learning in our buildings in April.”

    • PreK-6 students will return on April 12.
    • 7-12 grade students will return on April 19.
    • As of March 16, 2021 schedules are still being negotiated with labor partners. The district will notify all KSD families and staff as soon as a schedule is finalized.

Here’s more from the district:

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH), the Governor’s Office, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) have provided rules and guidance for student and staff health and safety. Guidelines may change as the school year progresses. It is vital to keep your contact information up to date and thoroughly read your updates from the district and school.

We are providing this information to ensure KSD families and staff know what to expect if they choose in-person learning. Soon we will be sending a survey for families to choose for each student, PreK-12, the learning model for their students for the remainder of this school year. We want to be sure all families understand the expectations of students while in the building before you make your choice. The survey will include details about the schedule; this informs you of the safety measures for in-person learning.

We continue to encourage all KSD community members to be mindful of key preventive measures, including wearing masks, physical distancing, washing their hands thoroughly, and staying home when they are sick.

Health Screenings

    • Student and staff temperatures are required daily before going to school. Anyone with a 100.4 F or higher fever, or sense of a fever, should not go to or stay at a school site.
    • Health screenings will be in place daily for students and staff. Daily screening questions will include do you have any of the following: symptoms within the last day that are not caused by another condition?
      • Fever (100.4F) or chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Recent loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea
    • Does anyone in your household have any of the above symptoms that are not attributable to another condition?
    • Has the student/staff member been in close contact with anyone with confirmed COVID-19?
    • Has the student/staff member had a positive COVID-19 test for active virus in the past 10 days, or are you awaiting results of a COVID-19 test?
    • Within the past 14 days, has a public health or medical professional told the student/staff member to self-monitor, self-isolate, or self-quarantine because of concerns about COVID-19 infection?

The student or staff member must be excluded from school if the answer to any of the above questions is “yes.”

Per DOH guidelines, students, staff, vendors, parents, guardians, or guests will not be allowed in school if they show symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

Staff and students with any illness must stay home.

Arriving & Leaving School

    • Staff will be wearing face coverings unless they have a medical reason not to wear one.
    • Students will be wearing face coverings unless they have a medical reason not to wear one.
    • Parents and visitors will have limited access to the school campus and must wear face coverings while on school grounds unless they have a medical reason not to wear one.
    • Parents and visitors entering the school for longer than 15 minutes must complete a health screening, including assessing themselves for a fever.
    • Arrival and dismissal times may vary depending on grade level to support physical distancing.
    • Drop off and pick up locations may be different to support physical distancing, and families should anticipate the process will take longer to accommodate health and safety requirements, especially as everyone adjusts to the new routine.

General Safety Precautions Throughout the Day

    • Schools will follow disinfection guidelines developed by Seattle King County Public Health and Washington State Department of Health for school campuses, including classrooms, workspaces, outdoor spaces, and playgrounds.
    • Physical barriers may be installed or other areas used, where physical distancing is not possible in a school building.
    • All students and staff will be encouraged and provided time to wash/clean their hands regularly.
    • Hand washing stations with soap and/or hand sanitizer will be made available in classrooms.
    • Schools will limit the sharing of supplies between students and disinfect between uses if sharing is unavoidable.
    • Desks will be facing forward and spaced further apart to ensure a minimum of 6 feet distance between students.
    • There will be no large gatherings such as assemblies and dances.
    • Schools are working with daily schedules to stagger lunches, recesses, and other transition times to minimize student group interaction.

More Information

You can read our full KSD Hybrid Plan (PDF)  for more information or Find answers to frequently asked questions about the safe return to in-person learning.

Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...