Fall Return to School Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the return to full-time, in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year. Answers will be updated as needed based on guidance from public health officials. If there is an update to an original answer, the edit date will be indicated in the answer.
Is Shoreline Schools offering a remote learning option?
We are exploring remote learning options and will provide information as soon as possible for families. Any student in grades K-12 can register for a remote learning program offered by other school districts or entities approved by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). A list of approved online learning programs can be found here. If you need assistance using OSPI’s online program search tool, please contact our Public Information Office at 206-393-4412.
Are masks required for students?
Yes, students are required to wear masks while on school campuses (indoors and outside), on school buses, and anywhere they are involved in a school-sponsored activity. If a student arrives without a mask, one will be provided to them. If your child is unable to wear a mask, please contact your school’s principal for an alternative.
Are masks required for school staff?
Staff are required to wear masks whenever students are or may be present. Fully vaccinated staff may remove masks when no students are present and working in an enclosed space.
Are COVID-19 vaccinations required for students?
No, students are not required to be vaccinated to attend school. However, COVID-19 vaccinations are strongly encouraged for those 12 and older as recommended by local, state, and federal public health officials.
Are COVID-19 vaccinations required for school staff?
The state has mandated that all public school employees be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 18, unless they are eligible for a medical or religious exemption. The District will be working with each union/employee group to confirm the impacts of implementation of the mandate.
Will there be social distancing?
Yes. Students will maintain a physical distance of three (3) or more feet from other students in classroom settings to the degree possible and reasonable that allows for full-time, in-person learning for all students. Procedures will be established to maintain six (6) or more feet of physical distance in hallways, cafeterias, and other non-classroom large group settings, to the extent possible. Staff will maintain six (6) feet of social distance from students and other staff members when possible.
How can they physically maintain 3ft of space in a classroom?
Most of the classrooms in the district are large enough to fit the typical number of students while maintaining 3’ distancing. All efforts will be made to keep distancing at a maximum.
Will ventilation in the schools meet Centers for Disease Control and Department of Health requirements?
Yes, ventilation will meet all Centers for Disease Control and Department of Health requirements, including the use of MERV 13 air filters and increased airflow.
Will schools be cleaned and disinfected regularly?
Yes, frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected each night using disinfectants approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use against COVID-19. A special disinfecting will occur if necessary due to an outbreak in a school or district facility.
Does my school have a school nurse?
Yes, each school has a full-time school nurse on staff.
What happens if my child gets sick at school?
If your child appears sick or has a fever at school, they will be taken to the school nurse and isolated away from others. Staff will contact the parent/guardian and ask that the child be picked up from the school immediately. The nurse will give further instructions if a COVID test is recommended.
What happens if my student must quarantine? How are they taught?
When a student or students must quarantine, the teacher would provide assignments and learning materials for them in the same manner as when a student is home ill or otherwise absent.
What happens if there are COVID cases in my school?
When a student or staff person tests positive for COVID, the school and district will work closely with Public Health – Seattle & King County (Public Health) to do contact tracing. If your child is considered to be in close contact with a positive case, you will be contacted by the school district and Public Health to be informed on when they were exposed and how long they need to quarantine and watch for symptoms. During that time your student will be given assignments to keep up with schoolwork, but there is no virtual (Zoom) learning planned at this time. Public Health will guide the school district, based on the contact tracing, if only a few students need to quarantine, a whole classroom, multiple classrooms, or the whole school.
What happens if my child has COVID, who do I tell?
If your child has a positive COVID test, please let your school principal know as soon as possible. The principal will inform the school district and contact tracing will begin. You will then receive a call for more information. You will be asked several things, including when your child’s symptoms started, whether they have been vaccinated, when they were last in school and when they had a positive test. You will also be guided on length of quarantine and next steps.
Will there be health attestations this year?
There will not be daily attestations this year, but we do ask you to keep your child home from school if they appear sick or are experiencing any of the following symptoms that are not explained by other medical issues: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
Will there be COVID-19 testing available at schools?
There is not on-site testing at schools, but information will be provided for rapid testing locations nearby.
How will students eat school lunch?
Students are required to maintain a distance of six (6) feet from each other during meals when they have their masks off. During school meals, we will use available cafeteria, gym, and covered outdoor space for students to eat while distanced from each other. Weather permitting, additional outdoor space can be used. Mats will be provided for students to sit on.
How is distancing in the halls being managed?
Since students are generally moving from one place to another in the hallway and not in close contact for an extended period of time with another student, there is less of a requirement for maintaining a physical separation. Schools are encouraged to have directional arrows in hallways to keep traffic running in one direction on each side of the hall and to prevent mingling.
Will buses be full? Will there be distancing on busses?
We won’t know how full each bus is until routing is finished in September, but we are following all the public health safety protocols on our school buses. Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed whenever practical. Students will be assigned seats and paired with siblings or household members whenever possible.
Will there be standardized testing this year?
There will be standardized tests this year. Last school year’s Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) and Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) were rescheduled to this fall. Students will take the tests they were scheduled to take last school year. For example, a 4th-grade student would take the 3rd Grade SBA in English Language Arts and mathematics this fall. In the spring of this school year, students will then take the tests for their current grade level.
How will you make up the learning loss from remote learning last year?
We will provide ongoing and new strategies to support students’ academic and social-emotional learning needs. We want to ensure our multi-tier system of supports is delivered in a way that students are provided a range of services and interventions depending on their individual needs, and that students’ response to interventions is monitored closely by staff so they can make adjustments as necessary. This includes specific supports for students by grade level, assessments, social-emotional supports, extracurricular activities and credit recovery needed for graduation.
How will you help my child adjust to being back in school after a year, or maybe for the first time?
One of the root causes of anxiety is having uncertainty about our future experiences. The pandemic has created countless unknowns in our lives, so for our students, coming back to school is an experience we want to be very positive! The first few weeks of school will focus on creating a positive and caring community. Students and teachers will spend time learning about one another, building connections and establishing trust within the learning community. Students and teachers will work together to create a safe, respectful, kind and responsible environment for all. They will develop classroom norms, routines and procedures. Students will learn about the daily and weekly schedule and how to use the learning tools and resources.
Will my child needing special services be served at school this year?
Yes, your child will be served in the school setting this year.
Are there still childcare options available this year?
Yes. The Shoreline Children’s Center is offering child care for preschool students at the Edwin Pratt Early Learning Center, and child care for elementary students at Briarcrest, Brookside, Highland Terrace, Lake Forest Park, Meridian Park, Parkwood, Ridgecrest, and Syre. The Dale Turner YMCA, as a separate not-for-profit organization, is offering child care for elementary students and will be located at North City Elementary.
Are parents/guardians, visitors or volunteers allowed in schools?
No, only staff and students are allowed in the schools for the beginning of the school year. We hope that this restriction will change as time progresses. We will share when parent/guardians, visitors and volunteers are able to come into our schools.
Are school and district offices open for business?
Yes, school and district business can be conducted vis email, phone, or Zoom teleconference. If you have business that must be done in person, please contact your school’s office or district office to arrange an appointment.