Health & Safety: COVID-19
Kennewick School District has implemented several safety measures and protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Students, staff and families can help keep schools safe by wearing face masks/coverings, social distancing, frequently hand washing and staying home when feeling ill.
- Health and Safety Requirements
- COVID-19 Report Card
- Safety & Cleaning Protocols
- COVID-19 School/Site Coordinators
- COVID-19 Monthly Parent/Guardian Verification/Agreement
- COVID-19 Vaccine
Last Update: 4/28/2021
Kennewick School District (KSD) continues to keep the safety of our students and staff as a top priority. Now that students have returned to school for five days of in-person learning, we want to ensure that our staff and families have the most up-to-date information about how schools are managing contact tracing and adhering to quarantining and return-to-school guidelines.
KSD must follow the updated guidelines provided by the Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) and the Washington State Department of Health.
Please note that health and safety guidelines are frequently revised and the district will send out updates as they are available.
Reporting Positive COVID-19 Cases
If your student tests positive for COVID-19 and has been on-site at a district facility, notify a school administrator or school nurse right away so that a return-to-school date can be determined. Families participating in remote learning or the KSD Online Learning Academy who do not attend in-person school do not need to report positive COVID-19 cases to the school.
The school district will continue to notify families and staff by email when a positive case of COVID-19 is reported at their school within the past 14 days. Positive cases reported to the school district are reported on the district’s COVID-19 Report Card.
If Your Child Has or Develops COVID-19 Symptoms While at School
As parents and guardians, we ask that you take responsibility for making sure that your child remains at home when feeling ill. If a student is sent to school with any COVID-19 symptoms or develops symptoms while at school, the student will be isolated and monitored for safety, a parent/guardian will be notified to pick up their child, and the family will be notified by the school nurse about when the student may return to school.
When a positive COVID case is identified, schools must report the case to BFHD and identify close contacts. A close contact is defined as someone who has been within 6 feet of a positive COVID-19 case for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period. In a classroom setting, students are seated at least 3 feet apart. Students seated next to a student identified as a positive COVID case are considered close contacts or possible close contacts (see seating chart below). The school nurse and building COVID coordinator will work to identify and notify close contacts.
View the full BFHD document: https://bit.ly/2QH3oUX
When eating, in common areas or participating in physical activities, the minimum distance requirement is 6 feet.
Staff must continue to adhere to the 6-foot distancing requirement with all staff and students.
Students who are identified as close contacts may need to quarantine the entire 14 days due to the new 3-foot distancing guidelines. If your student is identified as a close contact, the school nurse will let you know when your child is allowed to return to school.
Quarantining Requirements/Return To School Guidance
The table below shows the most up-to-date guidelines for quarantining and returning to school for close contacts and positive COVID-19 cases. View the full BFHD Return to School document:
Note: To implement in-person, five-day learning, students are seated 3 feet apart in the classroom. The definition of a close contact remains 6 feet.
If students have been fully vaccinated, they are not required to quarantine if they meet all the following criteria:
- Are fully vaccinated
- Have not had symptoms since current COVID-19 exposure
People are considered fully vaccinated:
- Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, OR
- Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
If it has been fewer than two weeks since the shot, or if the student still needs to get their second dose, they are NOT fully protected. Students should keep taking all prevention steps until they are fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated persons should still watch for symptoms for 14 days after their exposure. They should also continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and keep their social circles small. Persons who do not meet both criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
Source: https://bit.ly/3feY5WJ (Pages 16-17)
Students who have tested positive and recovered from COVID-19
Students who have a confirmed/documented positive test for COVID-19 within the past three months and have recovered do not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms.
Daily Health Screenings/Attestation
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 student awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test due to possible exposure or symptoms?
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) or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea (2 or more times in a 24 hour period)
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 during a 24-hour period) with anyone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19?
If a student is sent to school with any COVID-19 symptoms or develops symptoms while at school, the student will be isolated and monitored for safety, a parent/guardian will be notified to pick up their child, and the family will be notified by the school nurse about when the student may return to school.
Masks & Face Coverings
In accordance with state guidelines, students and staff are required to wear face masks/coverings at all times. However, students may remove face coverings to eat and drink, and when 6-foot distancing can be maintained outside. Students may remove masks during PE or recess when 6-foot distancing can be maintained as determined by the school. Fully vaccinated students and staff are still required to wear masks/face coverings, in accordance with state guidelines.
Source: https://bit.ly/3feY5WJ (Page 12)
For sports and athletics teams, schools must follow the state’s sporting/activities guidelines, and guidelines vary by activity. Athletic directors and coaches will follow the guidelines specific to their sport/activity. Spectators must wear masks/face coverings as spectators and at all times while on district property.
Read the full state guidelines here: https://bit.ly/3gIq165
Face Mask Exemptions
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.
Wearing Masks While Picking Up Students from School
Family members who are standing outside of the school on district property to drop off/pick up their child, or who are entering the school to drop off/pick up a child from the YMCA Childcare Program, need to wear a mask or face covering at all times that covers their mouth and nose. If the family members stay inside a vehicle, a mask or face covering is not required.
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.
Handwashing and Hygiene
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 may be used by students where available. Students should bring their own refillable water bottle to school marked with their first and last name. All bottles should have a lid or closure.
At this time, COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone 16 years old and older. To find an appointment, go to: vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov. If a student or staff member is fully vaccinated, they must still abide by all school health and safety requirements, including wearing a face mask and following safe distancing guidelines.
School Visitors and Volunteers
Due to the concerns about the health and safety of our students and staff, we are continuing to limit visitors and volunteers from classrooms. Families and visitors are welcome to drop items off at the front office or check in/out students when needed. Face masks are required to be worn while on inside school entrances.
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)
COVID-19 Report Card
Kennewick School District encourages anyone who tests positive, and has been onsite at a district facility within the past 14 days, to let a district administrator or school nurse know so any necessary contact tracing happens and necessary notifications are sent.
In order to do contact tracing, the school will want to know the date the individual was last on-site, location(s), date symptoms started, date tested positive, and any known close contacts. Close contact is defined as 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.
When the school learns about a positive case, the school COVID-19 coordinator and nurse work to identify and notify any close contacts in the building. If an individual is a close contact, the parent/guardian or individual will be contacted with further instructions. If they are not contacted, there is nothing further they need to do.
There may be positive cases that are not included on the report card. If you know of a positive case that is not included on the list, please contact your school nurse or COVID-19 coordinator.
The data below is NOT official data from the Benton-Franklin Health District. Data may change or be adjusted as new information about specific cases are received by the district.
The report card reflects only cases where the individual was physically present in a district building within the past 14 days of when the case was reported to the district.
UPDATED: June 17, 2021
Positive Cases Reported This Week
|Positive Cases Reported Last Two Weeks
Last Day On Site
Positive Staff Cases Reported
Positive Student Cases Reported
Positive Non-District Individual Cases Reported
Archived COVID-19 Reports
School Cleaning, Sanitizing and Ventilation
Custodians will perform daily cleaning/sanitizing of bathrooms, fixtures, office counters, and entryway touch surfaces following the typical morning visitor traffic. Throughout the day, custodians will sanitize other identified/prioritized common touch surfaces such as door push plates, door handles, sinks, water fountains, hand railings, etc.
Wednesday and Friday Cleanings Between Student Cohort Groups
Intensive cleaning and sanitizing of desks and chairs between A and B cohort groups will occur on Wednesdays and Fridays as part of the regular custodian routine.
Cleaning When There Is A Report of Illness
If a staff member or student leaves due to feeling ill, their workspace will be sanitized. An isolation room is provided for students while they wait to be picked up by a parent/guardian. Once empty, the isolation room will be fogged/sanitized. Staff members will leave the campus if they are feeling ill.
Confirmed Case of COVID-19 Cleaning Protocols
Cleaning and disinfection protocols for a probable case of COVID-19 will comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. Access to areas visited by a probable case of COVID-19 will be restricted until cleaning and disinfection is completed.
Building and Classroom Ventilation
All outside air dampers are set to bring in the maximum amount of outside air. Office and health rooms have UV sanitizer lights in ducts, and similar UV sanitizer lights are installed in the isolation room return ducts. Isolation rooms also have freestanding air filtration units with internal UV lights. The health rooms and isolation rooms have ozone generators that will be initiated when the spaces are unoccupied.
Classroom Tools and Materials
Schools will develop protocols for limiting shared teaching materials to those that can be easily cleaned and disinfected.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Cleaning Supplies
Every building in the district is being equipped with ample PPE and cleaning supplies for staff and students to return to hybrid learning. The district has a plan in place to restock supplies when necessary.
Available school PPE includes:
Plexi-glass shields for all public-facing /walk-up secretary service windows
Disposable masks at building entry points for individuals in need of face coverings
Hand sanitizer station close to the walk-up service window(s)
Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in the office area, health room and isolation room
Hand sanitizer stations placed at multiple locations throughout the school buildings, including dry portable classrooms.
Every classroom will have hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, baby wipes, and spray bottles with neutral cleanser available.
Restocking Classroom Supplies
If a classroom teacher needs to replenish their classroom supplies, the teacher will contact the designated building secretary or administrator. Each building has a stock of gloves, disinfectant wipes, sanitizer and spray to replenish classrooms. When a building needs to replenish their building stock, the building secretary will contact the district purchasing manager. The district maintains a stock of items in the warehouse and continues to order stock as needed.
Kennewick School District is implementing the following guidelines from the Washington Department of Health for bus transportation and COVID-related safety:
Keep riders as far apart as possible on the bus.
Require assigned seating.
If possible, seat students with household members or members of their school group/cohort.
Maximize outside air flow and keep windows open as much as possible.
Encourage walking or biking where safe.
Have caregivers drive students to school, if possible.
Riders and staff members must wear a cloth face coverings or acceptable alternatives.
Encourage students to wash or sanitize hands when they leave their home or classroom immediately before boarding the bus.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including the tops and backs of seats. Use an EPA registered product and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
District COVID-19 Coordinator – Brian Leavitt
Amistad Elementary – Andy Woehler
Amon Creek Elementary – Chad Foltz, Brian Massey
Canyon View Elementary – Mark Stephens
Cascade Elementary – Julie Nelson
Chinook Middle School – Nathan Gregory
Cottonwood Elementary – Alyssa Nesbit
Delta High School – Tania Guaman
Desert Hills Middle School – Dan Meyer
Eastgate Elementary – Brittany Mercer
Edison Elementary – Mia Shindehite
Fuerza Elementary - Jaime Silva
Hawthorne Elementary – Angela Gonzalez
Highlands Middle School – Lori McCord
Horse Heaven Hills – James Tobery
Kamiakin High School – Casey Gant, Jeff Ellersick
Keewaydin Discovery Center – Kate Armitage
Kennewick High School – Ron King
Legacy High School – Paul Osborne
Lincoln Elementary – Tony Langdon
Mid-Columbia Partnership – Carrie Deforest
Park Middle School – Corie Kelly
Phoenix High School – Brian Leavitt
Ridge View Elementary - Naomi Puckett
Sage Crest Elementary – Natalie McKay
Southgate Elementary – Bob Smart
Southridge High School – Tim Wood
Sunset View Elementary – Carol Sonderland
Tri-Tech Skills Center – Lisa McKinney
Vista Elementary – Jennifer Behrends
Washington Elementary - Kim Lembeck
Westgate Elementary – Dale Kern
The parents/guardians of all students returning for in-person learning must complete a Monthly Verification/Agreement to Conduct Health Screenings/Attestations.
Complete the form now: https://bit.ly/3j76cTw
Ages 12-15 Years Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
Children ages 12 to 15 may now be vaccinated against COVID-19 in Washington. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to children 12 to 15 years old under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Previously, only people 16 and older were eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines are authorized only for age 18 and older.
Children age 12 to 15 will still follow the same recommended vaccine schedule of two Pfizer doses spaced at least 21 days or 3 weeks apart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has also announced that COVID-19 vaccines can now be given without regard to timing of administration of other vaccines. People can now get the COVID-19 vaccine within 14 days of other vaccines, including on the same day.
To find an available vaccine appointment throughout the Tri-Cities, go to vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov. Each provider lists what vaccine options are available at specific locations.