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. Governor Inslee has shared a framework that places counties 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 75 cases per 100,000 residents; moderate risk counties have 25-75 cases per 100,000 residents; and low risk counties have fewer than 25 cases per 100,000 residents. Public health officials strongly recommend schools in high risk counties begin the school year in remote learning, with consideration of in-person instruction options.
The number of students and staff allowed in our building will be dependent on King County COVID-19 activity levels, using business capacity percentages outlined in Governor Inslee’s Safe Start Phases of Reopening. Additionally, Westside’s team has analyzed every space within our building to determine capacity limits in each individual classroom and space.
As the level of COVID-19 spread in our community decreases and the Governor’s office allows King County to move from Phase to Phase and to different levels of risk, so will Westside change the number of students and staff that we will allow in our building.
King County is currently considered HIGH RISK
According to the WA State Department of Health, King County is currently considered HIGH RISK due to COVID-19 community transmission numbers. Our decision to move to a fully remote model starting November 30 is based on the alarming rate of COVID-19 case increase seen recently in King County. The increasing risk to our students and staff cannot be ignored.
When we designed our reopening plan this past summer, we anticipated the rise in numbers come winter, and felt confident in our plan for the fall. We knew that at some point it would be necessary to reevaluate and recalibrate. 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 12 students) with a limited number of teachers. This is a model that we piloted successfully during six weeks of summer camp, without incident. 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.