Health & Safety Requirements
Last Update: 03/26/2021
Operating Schools During COVID-19: CDC's Considerations (March 19, 2021)
Washington State Department of Health: K-12 Schools 2020-2021 Guidance (March 25, 2021)
Benton-Franklin Health District School Guidance & Health Officer Recommendation (BFHD)
Washington State COVID-19 Guidance & Resources for Schools (DOH)
Guidance for K-12 (OSPI)
Reopening Washington Schools 2020-21 District Planning Guide (OSPI)
K-12 Schools 2020-2021 Guidance (DOH)
Guidance for K-12 Administrators (CDC)
If Your Child Develops Symptoms at School
Daily Health Screening/Attestation
Return to School Guidance
Masks & Face Coverings
As parents and guardians, we ask that you take responsibility for making sure that your child remains at home when feeling ill. If your child is sent to school while ill or develops COVID-19 symptoms while at school, they will be immediately isolated, you will be required to pick them up and they may not be allowed to return to school for 10 days.
Please review the Return To School Guidance below.
Each day that students attend in-person classes at their school, parents and guardians must conduct a COVID-19 Health Screening. The screening must happen BEFORE the child boards a school bus or engages in any school activity located on or off Kennewick School District property.
There is no form parents/guardians need to fill out for the daily screening/attestation.
Ask These Questions Each Day Your Child Attends In-Person Classes
By sending your child to school, you attest that the answer to every question is NO.
If you can answer YES to any of the questions below, you agree to keep your student at home from school and to contact your student's school immediately for guidance.
1. Is your child currently waiting for a COVID-19 test result or have they tested positive within the last 10 days?
2. Since your student’s last day of school or visit to a school facility, has your student experienced any of the following COVID-19 symptoms (not related to a pre-existing condition)?:
Fever (100.4 or over)
Loss of taste or smell
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea (2 or more loose stools in 24 hours)
3. Within the last 14 days, has your student been in close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 or more minutes over a 24-hour period) with anyone with confirmed COVID-19 during the infectious period?
I understand that if I send my student to school with any COVID-19 symptoms or they develop symptoms at school, they will immediately be isolated, the parent/guardian will be notified, the student will need to be picked up, and the parent/guardian will be required to work with the school nurse on when their child can return to school.
The parents and guardians of all preschool, elementary and secondary students returning for in-person learning must complete a Monthly Verification/Agreement to Conduct Health Screenings/Attestations.
Again, we encourage parents to take precautions and keep their child at home if they are feeling ill. This will help ensure that we keep everyone safe and keep our classrooms and schools open for learning.
Review the latest Return To School Guidance from the Benton-Franklin Health District:
All students ages 5 and older, staff, volunteers and guests must wear cloth face coverings. If a staff member or student does not have a face covering, one will be provided. Students and staff can choose to wear a clear face shield with drape as an alternative to a cloth face mask. If used, face shields with drapes should extend below the chin, to the ears, and have no gap at the forehead or under the chin. No exemption form is needed for face shields.
Staff and students must continue practicing physical distancing while wearing face coverings.
Requests to be exempt from the face covering requirement must:
Include specific diagnosis by a licensed medical or behavioral health provider to justify exclusion
Recommend alternative droplet retention method, or if none, recommend exclusion from school
Be approved by Health Officer or their designee
If you believe your child qualifies for an exemption or if you have a question about allowable face coverings, please contact your school/building COVID-19 site coordinator.
If a student purposely or blatantly refuses to wear a face covering, it will be treated as a safety violation. Parents will be contacted to pick the student up from school. Repeated failure to comply with the face covering requirement will result in a transfer to Kennewick School District’s Online Learning Academy.
If a student repeatedly forgets their face mask, they will be counseled, a plan will be developed and their parents will be contacted. Solutions may include a daily check-in with school staff who provide the student with a cloth mask that is kept in a secure location.
If a staff member is found to not be following required face covering protocols, appropriate personnel action will be taken by the school/building administration/supervisor.
Recess and Meal Time
UPDATED: Students are required to use masks or face coverings when they are outside at recess.
Students are not required to wear masks when sitting to eat meals, as long as they maintain the 6-foot distance requirement. Schools are implementing distancing protocols for meal times and recess.
Making a Report
If you want to report a staff member or student for not wearing a mask or approved face covering in a public area, wearing a mask properly, adhering to 6-foot distancing requirements or following other health expectations and protocols, you may make an anonymous report and it will be followed up on by a supervisor or a school administrator.
Tips for Preparing Your Child for Wearing a Mask
Have multiple masks, so you can wash them daily and have back-ups ready.
Choose a mask that completely covers the nose and mouth, fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, secures with ties or ear loops, includes multiple layers of fabric, and allows for breathing without restriction
Make sure the mask can be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape
Label your child’s masks clearly in a permanent marker so that they are not confused with those of other children
Practice with your child putting on and taking off masks without touching the cloth
Explain the importance of wearing a mask and how it protects other people from getting sick
Consider talking to your child about other people who may not be able to wear masks for medical reasons (e.g., asthma)
As a family, model wearing masks, especially when you are in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain or impossible
If you have a young child, help build their comfort wearing a mask and become comfortable seeing others in masks
Praise your child for wearing a mask correctly
Put a mask on stuffed animals
Draw a mask on a favorite book character
Show images of other children wearing masks
Allow your child to choose their mask that meets the school dress requirements
- Consider providing your child with a container (e.g., labeled re-sealable bag) to bring to school to store their masks when not wearing it (e.g., when eating)
Prior to returning to school, prepare and educate your child about the importance of wearing masks and washing hands with these video resources:
Masked Heroes | Cincinnati Children’s Hospital: https://www.youtube.com
Wear a Mask to Protect You and Your Friends | CDC: https://www.youtube.com
Know How to Wear Your Face Mask Correctly | CDC: https://www.youtube.com
Wearing a Mask – Coronavirus Social Story | Diverse Learning Hub: https://www.youtube.com
Teachers will communicate, educate and reinforce appropriate hygiene, frequent handwashing and social distancing practices in ways that are developmentally appropriate for students. Hand sanitizer will be available if hand washing is not possible.
Each school will implement protocols to maintain a minimum separation between students and staff of 6 feet when students are inside and also when they are outside at recess or physical education classes. Building-specific strategies to increase physical distancing may include:
Rearranging desks/tables to maximize the space between students
Keeping students in cohorts/clusters to the maximum extent possible
Reducing the number of students in hallways/restrooms and locker rooms at any time
Limiting access to only essential visitors or volunteers
Reducing congestion in office areas
Limiting building use outside of school hours to approved district activities
For safety reasons, all drinking fountains in the schools have been disabled at this time. Water bottle filling stations are available for student use. Students should bring their own water bottle to school marked with their first and last name. All bottles should have a lid or closure.
KSD is coordinating with local health care providers to offer COVID-19 vaccinations for our staff members and to notify them as they become eligible. At this time, the vaccination is optional for staff members. The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is approved for those 16 years and older and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is approved for those 18 years and older.
Note: COVID-19 guidance from the health department is subject to change and will be updated as new information is received.