School Operations Frequently Asked questions
Added FAQs - March 18, 2020
What is the temporary facility being put on the Shoreline B soccer field just north of the Shoreline Center?
King County, in partnership with the City of Shoreline and the Shoreline School District, has selected Shoreline B Soccer Field as the location of a temporary field hospital used for people exposed to, at risk of exposure, or becoming ill with the novel coronavirus. The majority of the County’s residents will isolate and recover in their own homes. King County is creating field hospitals at multiple locations throughout the county for those who cannot safely remain in their own homes without compromising the health of other family members, or do not have a home.
These actions are designed to help curb the spread of the disease, support people who have nowhere else to go, and, most importantly, preserve our local hospital beds for the most acutely ill in our communities.
We believe it is critical that Shoreline do its part to help address this global crisis and provide for the health needs of those in the Shoreline community and those in the broader Puget Sound Region.
King County needs to site facilities that will create 3,000 additional medical beds for King County. It is anticipated that the Shoreline Temporary Field Hospital will be able to provide up to 200 beds. The Shoreline site will be able to serve ill individuals from Shoreline and patients from the greater Puget Sound Region.
To operate the facility, the County will need to obtain a Temporary Use Permit from the City. The City will require the County to meet several conditions before occupancy will be permitted. Some of these conditions relate to security, waste disposal, and access.
This is a rapidly evolving situation that requires quick and decisive action. The County is moving to address the growing need for hospital beds in the region. The County is currently in the process of setting up the tents and other infrastructure in preparation. However, when occupancy will begin is still unclear. As more information becomes available, we will post it here.
Added FAQs - March 9, 2020
If my student has been home with a cough and fever, when can they return?
New guidance from Public Health states that those with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough and/or shortness of breath), with no known exposure to the novel coronavirus, should stay home for 72 hours after their fever goes down. This is a change from Shoreline School District’s general guidelines about illness and return to school. We will be following this new guidance beginning 3/9/20. Go here for additional information from King County and Washington State.
Added FAQs - March 6, 2020
Are field trips canceled?
All field trips to non-Shoreline Public Schools facilities located in King and Snohomish Counties are canceled until at least March 20, 2020. Field trips to locations outside of King and Snohomish Counties will be considered on a case-by-case basis. This decision is based on recommendations from Public Health-Seattle & King County. At a minimum, we will be reassessing this restriction each Friday and will provide an update if it is extended or lifted.
Is staff out-of-district travel restricted?
In response to the current situation, all out-of-district work-related travel for all staff is canceled through March 20, 2020. At a minimum, we will be reassessing this restriction each Friday and will provide an update if it is extended or lifted.
Are volunteers able to continue working in schools?
We absolutely love our volunteers! However, in an effort to limit the number of people coming in and out of our buildings, we are suspending volunteering in our schools until at least March 20, 2020. This restriction includes any non-staff member volunteering in our schools and/or programs (i.e. parent/guardian, community member). At a minimum, we will be reassessing this restriction each Friday and will provide an update if it is extended or lifted.
Added FAQs - March 5, 2020
Is Shoreline Public Schools planning to close schools to stop the spread of the virus?
Public Health-Seattle & King County is not advising system-wide school closures at this time. We are closely monitoring the health and attendance of our students and staff and preparing for any potential disruptions to school operations. Below is the full recommendation to schools from Public Health-Seattle & King County:
Public Health is not currently recommending that schools proactively close unless they have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff member or student.
This guidance may have been confusing for some families and schools because schools bring together large groups of children. School closures have significant negative impacts on our community. We will be providing additional information to schools about how to stay open safely. The considerations we have taken in our decision not to currently recommend routine closure at schools include:
- Children are not known to get seriously ill from COVID-19
- Closing schools may not be effective because some children may congregate anyway, at other locations
- Many parents, such as healthcare workers, need to be at work. If these critical workers stay home with children it causes significant impacts on the healthcare system and other institutions that are essential for our community to function
- If schools close, some children might have to stay home with alternative caregivers, such as elders, who are more vulnerable
- We don't know how effective children are in spreading this disease
Some children and staff may be at higher risk for severe illness because of underlying health conditions or a weakened immune system. Public Health advises that those people consult with their healthcare provider to decide the best course of action.
Public Health is continually assessing our decision not to require the widespread closure of schools. We are continually evaluating information as it becomes available to better inform our decisions about proactive school closures.
Will online learning be available to students if school is canceled?
At this time, Shoreline Schools will not be moving to an all-online learning model if schools are canceled. Replacing in-person classroom learning with online learning for all students attending our schools presents several regulatory, technological, and logistical challenges that are not able to be solved on short notice. Below is the guidance from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction cautioning school districts in using online learning during school closures:
It is important to note that if educational services are being delivered to students in any form, for the district to remain open, those services must be provided to all students, including students who don’t have access to technology at home and the continuance of a free and appropriate education to students with disabilities in accordance with their Individualized Education Programs (IEP). If students with disabilities are not provided services in accordance with their IEP, then they cannot be counted for continued state funding.
In addition, districts need to consider how distance learning will affect students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.
For most of you, it will likely make more sense to cancel school and/or district services and make up or waive missed days than to deploy a distance learning model that can be accessed by some, but not all, of your students.
Under what circumstances would Public Health recommend school closures?
At this time, Public Health would likely recommend a closure if someone with a COVID-19 case spent time in a school and had contacts with other individuals in the school setting while ill. In this situation, Public Health will work with school district leadership to consider the duration of the closure and to determine other steps that should be taken to limit spread.
If schools are closed how will the instructional time be made up?
We are working closely with Public Health-Seattle & King County Health, OSPI and partner agencies with regard to COVID-19. We are following all of their recommendations and are hopeful that we won’t need to close all schools. However, should we find ourselves in that situation; we will explore all opportunities for waivers with OSPI, but may need to add the missed days to the end of the school year or make other schedule adjustments to make up some or all lost time.
If our school is closed because of a confirmed case, how long will the closure last?
The length of a closure would be determined based on multiple factors, including the number of cases and the number and types of exposure that other individuals in the school may have had, as well as the underlying health of the student population served. Public Health may recommend closure for anywhere from a few days up to a few weeks, depending on the circumstances.
Are public activities at schools canceled?
Yes. Based on guidance from Public Health-Seattle & King County, we are postponing after-school and evening events that are open to the community on our school properties until further notice. This includes activities such as school concerts, PTA events and outside rentals of our facilities. This does not include sports practices, play rehearsals or other enrichment activities that are not open to the public and do not use non-staff volunteers. At this time, we are planning to keep this restriction in place until March 20, 2020 and will be assessing the status of the restriction at the end of each week. When public activities are able to resume, we will share that information.
The reason for this restriction is to reduce exposure to those who are considered at-risk by limiting large community gatherings, as well as conserving our cleaning and disinfecting supplies that would be needed to clean gyms, theaters, stadiums, etc. if community events were to be held.
Will Public Health notify our school if there is a confirmed case?
Yes, if Public Health is aware of a case in a King County school, they will contact key school personnel, such as the school nurse, principal, or district leadership.
My child is immune compromised or has an underlying health condition. Should they attend school?
Individuals with underlying health issues should talk to their healthcare provider to develop a plan based on their specific health conditions. If you and your healthcare provider determine that your child should stay home, please contact your school office to let them know and receive guidance on missed schoolwork.
Children are not at high risk for novel coronavirus, but many of them live with people who are. What can be done to protect more vulnerable household members?
We know that children are part of a larger family structure and community, and can’t isolate themselves from interacting with more vulnerable people. We recognize that parents/guardians are always in the best position to make decisions regarding the health of their children and their families. If you keep your child home for concerns about their health or for the health of family members, please follow your school’s normal procedure for notifying the office that your child will not be at school. These absences will be excused.
What about staff who are pregnant, over 60 years of age, or those who have preexisting health conditions?
Public Health has identified a number of groups who are at higher risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19 and recommend, but not require, they stay home and avoid crowds or gatherings.
People at higher risk include those who:
- are 60 and older
- have underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
- have weakened immune systems
- who are pregnant
If you meet any of the above definitions of being at higher risk, you are not required to stay home. Should you decide to do so, we ask that you enter your absence into Absence Management or notify your supervisor as early as possible so we can determine how many staff will be absent and the potential impact on our schools and operations. If you have questions please contact Human Resources at 206-393-4772.
What about athletic competitions/games?
The status of athletic competitions is to be determined. As soon as decisions are made about games and competitions, we will communicate that to families and staff. It is possible competitions/games may occur without public spectators.
How can I talk to my child about COVID-19?
We understand the fear and anxiety that news and developments related to COVID-19 can cause in children. The following link is a great resource from the National Association of School Psychologists to use in having discussions with children. Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource
How should I stay informed?
This is a dynamic situation. For the most up-to-date information, visit the Public Health Seattle & King County website and sign up for email alerts from their agency. The District continues to follow the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Public Health-Seattle & King County in our response to COVID-19, including decisions to close schools and whether students or staff would need to be quarantined. As soon as new information becomes available, we will let you know through our usual emergency communications channels: email, social media and our website.
Previously Posted FAQs:
My child is sick or I am fearful of my child getting sick. How do I excuse their absence/s?
We recognize that parents/guardians are always in the best position to make decisions regarding the health of your children and families. If your child is sick for any reason, please keep them home and contact your healthcare provider if necessary. If your child is not sick, but you are fearful that they may become sick, you can also excuse your child from school. In either case, please follow your school’s normal procedure for notifying the office that your child will not be at school.
Can you answer a specific question about the health of my child and the potential impacts of this virus?
School staff members should not give medical advice. You should contact your medical provider for health-related questions.
What are the schools doing to keep their learning environments healthy?
Great care and effort is being taken toward initiating proactive measures aimed at reducing the risks associated with spread of the virus. Trained custodial teams are working diligently to carry out the following tasks in all of our schools and facilities:
- Door handles, push bars and push plates everywhere
- Classroom door windows
- Classroom sinks and faucet handles, counters
- Classroom tables/chairs
- Elevator push buttons
- Water fountains/bottle filling stations
Special emphasis has been placed on touchpoints in our restrooms, in addition to our normal thorough cleaning:
- Restroom doors, handles and push plates
- Toilet and urinal handles
- Sanitary napkin dispensers
- Sink and faucet handles
- Toilet paper, soap, and paper towel dispensers and handles
Are students being encouraged to wash their hands?
Yes, staff are reminding students of the importance of handwashing and how to do so effectively.
Are there plans or processes in place for online learning if school closures are required?
We are continuing to explore the feasibility of providing access to online learning in an equitable way.
What can I do to help?
While the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat:
- The news of this disease outbreak is concerning to all of us, but especially impacts communities who have family or other close connections in China or the greater Asian continent. We should all do our part not to make assumptions by discriminating, spreading misinformation, or harassing individuals, families and communities that have made Washington their home. Just because a disease originates within a certain area of the world does not mean that every person who has an association with that country is ill or has the potential to contract the virus.
- It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and health officials recommend getting a flu vaccine if you haven’t done so yet, taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs (staying away from others when sick, washing hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, mouth or eyes), and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
- If you are a healthcare provider, be on the look-out for people who recently traveled from China with fever and respiratory symptoms.
- If you are a healthcare provider caring for a novel coronavirus patient, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures.
What should I do if I think my child is the target of stigma?
If your child is being bullied, harassed or excluded, please report it immediately to a teacher, counselor, or your school principal. You can find additional resources for responding to stigma at: kingcounty.gov/ncov/anti-stigma
Where can I find more information about coronavirus?
- Public Health Seattle & King County Coronavirus webpage
- Washington State Department of Health Coronavirus webpage
- Centers for Disease Control Guidance for Travelers
- Washington State Department of Health novel coronavirus call center: 1-800-525-0127 and press #
If I have a question or comment about Shoreline Public Schools response or plans to address the impacts of this virus, who can I ask?
For questions from families relating to our school district’s plans, communications or responses to the impacts of the virus, please contact our Public Information Office at 206-393-4412 or email@example.com.