Reopening & Remote Learning
This Reopening Plan is the result of careful and collective planning by our Educational Leadership Team, with important input from our faculty, administration, staff, parents, and trustees, in consultation with members of the medical and public health community. The plan prioritizes the health and safety of our students and employees and is informed by data and recommendations from Seattle King County Public Health, Washington State, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ultimately, these agencies’ health requirements will determine when and how it is safe for students to return to campus.
Westside’s Decision Making Process
In devising this Reopening Plan, we have prioritized the physical health and safety of our students and staff, while also acknowledging the importance of the social and emotional health of our children to have some in-person connection. (For more on health and safety, see the Health and Safety Page.) Throughout our process, we have kept the school’s mission, vision, and values at the forefront, as well as what we know about child development and what is best for our students. In answering the questions about what we can do, we have also asked ourselves the question of “should we?”
Our guiding principles in this process have been:
- the health and safety of all our people - students, families, and employees
- government recommendations and restrictions
- social and emotional health and well-being
- equity and inclusive accessibility
- relationships and relational teaching and learning
- developmentally appropriate approaches to teaching and learning
- joy, positivity, and hope
Westside’s Plan is Based on the WA State Department of Health’s K-12 School Decision Tree
The major components of our school's Reopening Plan are tied directly to COVID-19 activity levels in King County, reflecting Governor Inslee’s risk level framework. As recommended guidance has evolved and changed, so has our reopening plan.
The current WA State Department of Health framework places communities in high, moderate, or low risk for COVID-19 transmission based on the number of positive cases per 100,000 residents over a 14-day period. Counties that are high risk for COVID-19 transmission have more than 350 cases per 100,000 residents; moderate risk counties have 50-350 cases per 100,000 residents; and low risk counties have fewer than 50 cases per 100,000 residents. Public health officials are recommending schools phase in in-person learning for the youngest students in the high-risk phase, adding grade levels as we demonstrate the ability to limit transmission in the school environment.
Westside’s team has analyzed every space within our building to determine capacity limits in each individual classroom and space. The number of students and staff allowed in our building is dependent on these capacity numbers.
As the level of COVID-19 spread in our community decreases we will continue to welcome more students on campus. Should numbers within our community increase, we will follow the Governor’s recommendations to pause our reopening and continue to operate at current capacity.
When we designed our reopening plan this past summer, and as we have continued to reanalyze and improve it throughout the year, we have anticipated fluctuations in transmission numbers. We know it is always necessary to reevaluate and recalibrate. While we strive to offer consistency for our community, the school is prepared to move seamlessly between in-person, hybrid, and remote learning at all times.
No matter what Phase we are in and where your student is learning, we expect all Westside community members to remember that we are in this together, and we have to support each other to keep our community safe. Please support our entire community by abiding by CDC and WHO guidelines in your day to day life. Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask in public, practice social distancing, and stay home when sick.
On the Westside campus, our guidelines are similar, and we expect all community members to abide by them:
- Handwashing: All individuals entering campus are expected to wash their hands upon entering the building, before and after eating, and frequently in between.
- Masks: All individuals entering campus must wear a mask. For everyone's safety, masks with ventilators will not be allowed. We have disposable masks on campus if you need one. Students are expected to wear their masks at all times, with the exception of when eating and specific outdoors ‘mask breaks’.
- Social distancing: All students on campus will be assigned to a ‘learning cohort’ that will not mix with other learning cohorts. Within cohorts, everyone is asked to do their best to maintain social distance.
- Health screening: Before entering the building, everyone must complete a health screening in SchoolDoc and 72hr symptom review, including a temperature check. We will ask parents to complete this for students at home each morning before they are allowed on campus. We will do additional checks at the door.
- Stay off campus/no visitors: to minimize the number of people in our building, parents and visitors are not currently allowed on campus.
- Transparency: If you or someone in your family has a known exposure, symptoms of COVID, or a suspected/positive case, you must inform us at the school. We commit to informing you if there are exposures on campus.
For Health and Safety Guidelines, Division-Specific Information, a Remote Learning Program Overview, and Frequently Asked Questions, click the appropriate link below.
Students and Teachers on Campus Will Be Grouped in Small Cohorts
The students who will be on campus will be grouped in small cohorts (of no more than 15 students) with a limited number of teachers. For the specifics of what this will look like for your child’s specific grade (including hours), please visit the division-specific reopening pages.
Families Who Prefer Their Student(s) to Continue To Learn Remotely
For families that are not yet ready to have their student(s) return to campus in-person, Westside has a remote learning option. Please see our division-specific pages for details on remote learning. Please note that the Lower School remote learning option is not accessible for “drop-in” learning to those students who have otherwise committed to returning to campus.