Mt. Adams School District will open the 2020/21 school year virtually. District Administration has been waiting for the Yakima County Health District to provide clear direction related to the opening of school. Based on Governor Jay Inslee’s direction during the news conference held yesterday, August 5, 2020, the direction provided today, August 6, 2020, by the Yakima County Health District and pending the decision of the Mt. Adams School District Board of Directors, schools in the District will open virtually.
The majority of teachers have been and will be participating in professional development to be prepared to deliver high levels of learning on line, every day for every student. Some students with special needs may be invited to come to campus for direct instruction and support, but that will be on a very limited basis and all safety precautions will be in place. Meals, which will include a breakfast and lunch, will be delivered to students in a similar manner as this past spring.
District Administration, in partnership with teachers and staff, have been working on a plan entitled MASD Pivot Plan for Learning that provides for safety for all students and staff and assures high levels of learning for all students. The Pivot Plan for Learning provides the flexibility to move from virtual to in-person and vice versa without any loss of learning. The school year will begin virtual and will be able to “pivot” to in-person as soon as it is safe to do so, based on direction from the Yakima County Health District. It is anticipated that learning will be virtual at least through the end of the first trimester, which ends November 20, 2020. The Pivot Plan for Learning as well as the decision to be fully virtual is pending the decision of the Board of Directors on August 17, 2020.
Know the Facts about the Corona Virus (COVID-19)
The Mt. Adams School District (MASD) is very concerned about your child’s health and the health of our staff. Educational Services District 105 Superintendent Kevin Chase is coordinating an effort with the Yakima County Health Department and school leaders to help local School Districts be prepared. He assures us that there is much action happening behind the scenes, and all schools in the area will be prepared very soon.
In the meantime, I have sent a message to MASD staff to follow these precautions:
Sick employees are to stay home and encourage sick students to say home as well:
- Employees/students who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.
- The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
Employees are to emphasize respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene and encourage students to do so as well:
- MASD has placed posters that encourage employees and students to stay home when sick, follow cough and sneeze etiquette, and use hand hygiene continually through the day.
- MASD has purchased and filled 200 hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the District for students and staff to use.
- MASD has provided disposable tissues for use by employees and students as a precaution during this virus season.
- Employees and students are to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Employees and students are advised to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
If COVID-19 is detected in MASD the following steps will be taken:
If an employee or student is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, MASD will inform all employees and all students of their possible exposure to COVID-19, but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Employees and students exposed to a co-worker or classmate with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure by following this link:
Please remember that this is not a time to panic but it is a time to be prepared. If you are sick please stay home as described above.
In addition to the above information, below you will find information that was taken from the OSPI School Nurse Corps. For a full listing of resources and school district recommendations please refer to the following ESD 105 Website: https://www.nwesd.org/school-nurse-corps-covid-19/
- The current level of risk in our region remains low.
- Help reduce stigma and discrimination: race, ethnicity or nationality is not connected with COVID-19.
- 98% of confirmed cases to date are adults.
- For specific medical advice or questions please consult with your health care provider.
- We will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds and will take our lead from state and national health authorities.
Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
To minimize our personal and collective risk of exposure, the steps below are recommended by the CDC and the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to help prevent contamination and spread of COVID-19. They are the same steps you would take to prevent the spread of the flu and/or a common cold:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water especially after eating and after coming into contact with others. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands;
- Avoid contact with people who are sick;
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others;
- Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched object and surfaces.