COVID-19 Information & Resources

2021-2022 School Year

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, STS is committed to a rigorous academic program, the development of character and leadership, a strong and vibrant community, and the long-term sustainability of the school.

The health, safety, and well-being of the STS community remains our highest priority. We will continue to follow the guidance of local, state, and national public health officials. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recently issued guidance to schools for the upcoming school year that aligns with the recommendations outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In brief, the guidance emphasizes vaccinating, masking, screening, ventilation, and hygiene. While physical distancing and cohorts are strongly encouraged, health authorities emphasize these factors should not limit schools from fully reopening.

We know from experience the situation is evolving. We will evaluate and update policies as we receive guidance. 

The protocols below were updated on May 5, 2022.

Academic Program

STS will operate a full, in-person program with regular, pre-pandemic schedules for all grades.

All students are expected to attend in-person classes. The school will not offer the choice of a full-time, parallel remote program. In the case of illness or required quarantine, the school will temporarily support at-home learning as it would have pre-pandemic. 

Extended Day and Falcon's Ledge will operate as normal.

Vaccination requirement

We believe the case for vaccinating is clear and compelling:

  • Vaccination is the most effective strategy to protect individuals from COVID-19 and end the pandemic.
  • Vaccination helps ensure the school can safely open and stay open for in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and athletics.
  • This policy in line with other typical, existing vaccine requirements for students.

If you or your child is eligible and not yet vaccinated, visit the Department of Health’s Vaccine Locator and make plans to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Students, Faculty, and Staff
St. Thomas School requires COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for eligible students, faculty, and staff.

Proof of Vaccination
Proof of vaccination should be uploaded using Magnus. Access Magnus via the Parent Portal or the Magnus Mobile V2 app available from your phone's app store.

Campus Visitors
Visitors to the school-including parents and guardians-are required to show proof of full vaccination. Visitors who are unvaccinated or cannot prove vaccine status, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test administered in the last 72 hours.

Effective Monday, May 2, 2022: The school no longer requires a health attestation or proof of vaccination from parents and guardians.

Becoming Age Eligible
If your child is nearing their 5th birthday or the FDA lowers the age for vaccine eligibility, please be prepared to comply with the school's COVID-19 vaccine requirement:

  • When a student becomes age eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine or booster, they have 30 days to complete the first dose or submit an exemption form.
  • The second dose, if necessary to be fully vaccinated, must be completed within 60 days of becoming eligible.

Exemption
We strongly encourage eligible individuals receive the vaccination. However, exemptions allowed under state and federal law are available. Email covid@stthomasschool.org for instructions on how to request an exemption for your student.

Masks

Effective Monday, March 21, 2022, masks are optional for students, faculty, and staff, both indoors and outdoors. The school reserves the right to require masks in the future under certain conditions. This may include an increase in case transmission at school or in the community. This could also apply to certain field trips or locations, as well as activities such as singing or PE.

TRAVEL

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are expected to follow CDC travel recommendations and requirements.

health screening

Updated March 7, 2022: Health screening is no longer required. Families are asked to monitor household members for symptoms, including fever, and avoid bringing sick students to school.

Students, faculty, or staff - regardless of vaccine status - that develop any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 should remain home and contact the school for further guidance.
 


PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Normal occupancy will return in most classrooms with students maintaining physical distance of three feet or more to the degree possible and reasonable. 

hygiene

Students and adults will wash hands frequently including when they arrive at school, before meals or snacks, after outside time, after going to the bathroom, after nose blowing or sneezing, and before leaving to go home. Hand washing stations will be installed at school entrances. If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer may be used.

cleaning

Cleaning protocols will be compliant with CDC recommendations, including the types of cleaning products used and the frequency of cleaning. Special attention will be given to the cleaning of high-touch surfaces throughout the day and there will be nightly deep cleaning and disinfection of every classroom.

ventilation

Unlike most institutional buildings, the STS facility is a LEED Gold Certified building that employs natural ventilation methods that exchange interior and exterior air much more frequently than usual.  In classrooms, airflow is introduced via exterior wall louvers and is convected via roof-mounted vent stacks.  Interior ceiling fans provide auxiliary internal air circulation.  All ventilation settings have been adjusted to maximize fresh air intake throughout the building.

Confirmed/Suspected Case, Potential exposure and Close Contact Protocols

POSITIVE CASE NOTIFICATION AND DASHBOARD

Updated March 11, 2022:

In general, close contact tracing is no longer required in schools. When a positive case is reported, notification of potential exposure will be sent to all families with children in the same grade level as the positive case. This is in line with the school's protocols around other communicable diseases.

Cumulative number of positive cases, as well as current COVID activity (new cases and number of students, faculty, staff isolating) is always available on the COVID dashboard.