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.
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.
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 for eligible students, faculty, and staff for the 2021-2022 school year.
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.
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, 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.
We strongly encourage eligible individuals receive the vaccination. However, exemptions allowed under state and federal law are available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions on how to request an exemption for your student.
Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear a face covering at school both indoors and outdoors. Staff who are verified to be fully vaccinated may be indoors without masks when students are not present.
Refer to the Washington State Department of Health Guidance on Cloth Face Coverings for more information. If an individual does not have a face mask, one will be provided by the school.
Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are expected to follow DOH travel recommendations and requirements.
Unvaccinated individuals should be tested 3-5 days after travel and stay home in self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if their test is negative. If not tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to self-quarantine. Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms after travel. Isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
Families are asked to monitor household members for symptoms, including fever, and avoid bringing sick students to school.
- Before arriving at school each day, students, faculty, and staff are required to submit a brief questionnaire using the Magnus PHR app to assess the symptoms of illness and exposure to COVID-19. (Download the app and review detailed instructions prior to the first day of school at www.stthomasschool.org/screening).
- Temperature checks will also be conducted for students, employees, and campus visitors upon arrival.
- Students with symptoms will be separated from other students and will need to be picked up as soon as possible.
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.
Normal occupancy will return in most classrooms with students maintaining physical distance of three feet or more to the degree possible and reasonable. Large indoor gatherings such as all school chapel will continue to be held virtually.
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 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.
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 and Close Contact Protocols
POSITIVE CASE NOTIFICATION AND DASHBOARD
During the school year, email notification will be sent to all parents/guardians and employees when the school is informed of a student, faculty, or staff member with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis. Any individual who may have come in close contact with a confirmed case on campus will be notified and given direction on next steps.
The COVID dashboard will be updated on weekdays when school is in session by 10 a.m.