SY 2021-22
COVID-19 Response Plans
Posted on 09/03/2021

This week, we reopened our doors for in-person learning to nearly 11,000 students. Hooray! We look forward to welcoming our kindergarten students next week. 

Now that our doors are open, we want to keep them that way! That's why we are so grateful for your understanding and support of current health and safety protocols. Those protocols include hand-washing/sanitizing, and masks, which are required in schools and on buses. Masks are not required outdoors; however, the state does recommend unvaccinated individuals wear a mask when outdoors in crowded spaces or when in close contact with people from outside their household for a sustained period of time. Our schools will support students and staff who choose to wear a mask outdoors. 

As you may be aware, local health experts are concerned over the delta variant, which is now the predominant strain of COVID-19 in our county and is twice as transmissible as the first variation of the virus. If a case of COVID-19 is reported in our schools:

  1. Each school has a COVID-19 supervisor who helps initiate contact tracing. If there are close contacts of a confirmed case, we will notify them and their families.

  2. We will work closely with Kitsap Public Health District on our case response and in providing close contacts with public health information on their next steps (e.g., quarantine, testing, date of return, etc.).

  3. We will update our COVID-19 dashboard for continued transparency with our community

Responding to an Outbreak of COVID-19

Our schools are prepared to help students who are excluded from school due to illness or quarantine:

  • Our teachers will create Google Classrooms and keep them current. 

  • In elementary schools, if public health advises an entire classroom to quarantine, we will move to remote learning. Students will take their classroom Chromebooks home. Students will immediately be able to access three days' worth of academic activities through their Google Classrooms. After that, teachers will share weekly assignments and host real-time online meetings with students, similar to what was done last school year. 

  • Public health officials have told us that it is unlikely that a full middle or high school class would have to quarantine. For each positive case of COVID-19 in our middle and high schools, we will work with Kitsap Public Health to determine next steps on a case-by-case basis.

  • We will support individual students who have to quarantine in the same way we have always supported students who are out sick. Teachers can provide students digital assignments through Google Classroom or paper assignments and may assign alternative activities for in-class work. Students will have the same number of days they were out to make up their work.

Questions?

Please contact your child's school if you have any questions about our COVID-19 health precautions or our response measures. Thank you for partnering with us to help keep our schools and community safe!

August 31: Questions About the Mask Mandate

We hear you.

When the governor issued his order requiring masks for all students and staff in K-12 schools, he did so in coordination with the state Department of Health, in response to concerns over the rapid rise in cases of the highly transmissible COVID-19 delta variant. Following that announcement, we heard from a number of upset families. Some urged our school district to take action against this mandate.

We sought clarification.

The state made clear that compliance with the mask mandate is required and not a choice for individual school districts. However, given the response from some of our families, we wanted to know what the consequences might be if our district chose to violate State Order 20-03.4 requiring face coverings. We asked our legal counsel about the mask mandate and whether the state truly has the authority to withhold funds. Our attorneys have confirmed that violators of the mask mandate will be subject to enforcement actions under state law, which does include withholding funding from school districts who fail to comply.

We want our schools to open.

If we violate the mask mandate, OSPI is authorized to halt our funding. We rely on this funding for the daily operations of our schools, including meals, transportation, and—most importantly—staffing. Without the ability to pay our employees, our schools would not be able to operate.

We will keep our focus on our students.

We know there are families on both sides of the mask mandate. We believe that the need for our students to return for full-time, in-person instruction is something on which we can all agree. However, if you are not comfortable with your child returning, we are offering a Virtual Academy through Barker Creek Community School and a homeschool option through our Parent Partnership Program.

As our students return, our focus will be on their learning and growth. We look forward to reopening our doors tomorrow! Thank you for your understanding and support.

August 30: Updates on 2021-22 School Year Plans

Our back to school countdown is almost over! We are really looking forward to welcoming your child back to school. Our staff has been working very hard to provide a welcoming, engaging, and positive learning experience. Here’s what your family can expect on the first day of school:

Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures

  • Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in our region, we are limiting visitors to our schools.
  • If your child walks or arrives by car, please continue last year's practice of saying goodbye to your child outside the school.
  • School offices are still open for school-related matters, like signing your child in/out for appointments, dropping off paperwork, etc.
  • If your child rides the bus, please visit our Routes page for more information.


Mask Requirement

  • We must comply with the state mandate requiring face coverings in schools and on buses.
  • We will provide students with mask breaks. Students are not required to wear masks when outside.
  • Please be sure to send your child to school with at least two masks.


Health & Safety Practices

  • We will maintain physical distance of three feet between students in classroom settings to the degree possible and reasonable.
  • Each school has a plan around lunch, to ensure students are spread out while they eat. Please contact your child's school if you have questions about its plan.
  • Handwashing and sanitizing will be required throughout the day.
  • If your child feels ill or has COVID-19 symptoms, please keep them home. Please contact your child’s school to excuse the absence.


Free School Meals

  • Breakfast and lunch are FREE to all students this year.
  • Families should still apply for free and reduced cost meals to qualify for other benefits, such as reduced or waived fees for ASB cards, school activities and pandemic EBT benefits. Apply online via our Free & Reduced Price Meals Page.

August 27: Welcome Back Video

We are counting down the days until our students return for full-time, in-person instruction!

Our main focus this year, as we work to help our students recover from the effects of the pandemic, will be on building relationships. We will prioritize the state's health and safety requirements, including the use of cloth face coverings or masks (indoors and on buses) and physical distancing, while we also support our students academically and emotionally.

Please take a moment to watch this brief video to learn more. We're going to make it a great year, together!

August 6: New School Year Q & A

There's one month left of summer vacation, but CK Schools is alive with activity! The state Department of Health’s K-12 COVID-19 requirements were updated last week. Here’s what you need to know as we prepare for the first day of school.

What will the school day look like?
We will offer full-time, in-person instruction, five days per week on our previous start/end time schedules. Meals will be served at schools according to these schedules, and buses will run on their normal routes.

Does my child have to wear a mask?
Yes. We must observe the state order requiring face coverings in K-12 schools (for both unvaccinated and vaccinated students and staff). Compliance with this order is required, and is not at the discretion of local school districts.

Will my child be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?
No. There is no COVID vaccine requirement for students, and that is not expected this year. Fully vaccinated, non-symptomatic students will not have to quarantine when exposed to COVID-19.

Will schools observe physical distancing requirements?
We will maintain physical distance of three feet between students in classroom settings to the degree possible and reasonable. Each school’s ability to do so will depend on students’ ages, developmental and physical abilities, and available space. None of the state’s recommendations are meant to prevent us from offering full-time, in-person learning.

How will you support students as they return to school?
Our Recovery Summary details how we’ll meet our students’ academic, social, and emotional needs beginning this fall. You’ll see a focus on student well-being, academic success, and school climate. The strategies outlined in that document were based on input from students, staff, and families.

What are my options if I cam not comfortable with my child returning in person?
We are offering a “Virtual Academy” through Barker Creek Community School and a homeschool option through our Parent Partnership program for families who choose it. Please call us at 360-662-2570 to register or to learn more.


We are looking forward to welcoming students back on their normal schedules this fall. Enjoy these last few weeks of summer!

June 29: Counting down already!

Is it too soon to be excited for the first day of school? We can't help it; we're eager to welcome back all students on September 1.

As we get ready for next year, we want to make sure our students are supported academically, socially, and emotionally. Our Recovery Summary details how we’ll provide this support. You’ll see a focus on student well-being, academic success, and school climate.

These strategies outlined in that document were based on input from students, staff, and families this spring. Did we miss anything? Please let us know here.

As a reminder, during the upcoming school year:

  •  Schools will operate on our previous start/end time schedules. Meals will be served at schools according to these schedules, and buses will run on their normal routes.

  • We will observe the state's physical distancing recommendations. As directed by the Department of Health, these recommendations will not prevent us from offering full-time, in-person learning.

  • We will observe the state's requirement for face coverings in K-12 schools.

State health requirements for school will be updated as safety guidance changes. We'll keep you informed about how these updates will affect our schools. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!

June 17: Celebrating, and looking ahead

Congratulations on ending the school year strong! Thank you for your support and understanding over the past year, as we adjusted to hybrid learning and found ways to help students, staff, and families reconnect and establish new routines.

Even as we prepared for the end of this year, we were already thinking about the start of next year. It's sure to be different in many ways, and we know you are eager to know more about what it will look like. As we shared this spring,
our schools will reopen in September for full-time, in-person learning.
  • Schools will operate on our previous start/end time schedules. Meals will be served at schools according to these schedules, and buses will run on their normal routes.
     
  • We will observe the state’s physical distancing recommendations. As directed by the Department of Health, these recommendations will not prevent us from offering full-time, in-person learning this fall.
     
  • We will observe the state’s requirement for face coverings in K-12 schools.
The state Department of Health’s requirements for schools will be updated this summer as safety guidance changes. (Updates are expected to further relax current restrictions.) We’ll keep you informed about how any changes will affect our schools.

Beyond physical health and safety measures, we used the input we received from students, staff, and families to develop detailed strategies for
academic and well-being supports and resources that will help students recover from the effects of the pandemic. Above all, we will focus on building relationships, to learn each student’s strengths and needs. Our teachers and support staff will tailor instruction to meet students where they are. And we’ll offer increased mental health support, access to tutoring, and transition supports. We'll share more about these strategies later this month.

There are lessons to be learned from this year, and we can use them to move forward—better and stronger. Thank you, again, for a remarkable school year.
Have a great summer!

May 20: Good news about next year!

Last week, the state released new health and safety guidance for K-12 schools. This is good news! Above all, the new guidance allows us to fully reopen for in-person learning in the fall.

The state will continue updating its guidance for schools as state and federal safety guidance evolves, but here’s what we know right now:

  • This fall, we will offer full-time, in-person learning for all students. Our schools will operate according to our previous start/end time schedules.

  • We will also offer a virtual academy (K-12) through Barker Creek Community School and a homeschool option (K-8) through our Parent Partnership program for families who choose it. If you have not done so already, please call us at 360-662-2570 to register or to learn more.

  • We will not offer a hybrid option beyond this spring. Families will need to choose between fully in person, virtual academy, or homeschool for next year.

  • We will observe the state’s physical distancing recommendations. As directed by the Department of Health, these recommendations will not prevent us from offering full-time, in-person learning this fall.

Over the summer, updates to state guidance are expected to reduce restrictions even further. We will keep you informed about how these changes will affect our schools. We are eager to welcome students back on their normal schedules this fall!