Health & Safety

Health and safety preparedness is an essential part of our school life. This includes illness policies, campus safety, emergency preparedness, staff training, and more.

Our operating plans are the result of careful and collective planning by our Emergency Management Team and 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. Our plans prioritize the health and safety of our students and employees and is informed by data and recommendations from local authorities and nationally recognized best practices.


Guiding Principles in Policy Development

  • 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.


Illness Policy

Students should not attend school when they have a contagious disease, diarrhea, a fever (100.4 or above), have been vomiting within the last 24 hours, have yellow-green mucus discharging from their nose, or when they are in the early stages of a cold. Please send your child back to school only after they are symptom-free and have had a normal temperature for 24 hours without medication. If a student becomes sick at school, their parents/guardians or a specified person will be called to take them home.


Policy on COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Viruses

Following Washington state guidelines, if you have respiratory virus symptoms that are not better explained by another cause (such as allergies) or test positive for COVID-19 or another respiratory virus, please stay home and follow CDC guidance for staying home and away from others; this includes people you live with who are not sick. Please report all positive cases to Leo Lai and Attendance.

Students and staff can go back to normal activities, including returning to school, when both of the following have been true for at least 24 hours:

  • Your symptoms are getting better overall, and
  • You have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication).

You can tell your symptoms are improving when you start to feel better and you feel well enough to fully participate in your activities, such as learning in a classroom. When you go back to your normal activities, wear a mask and take added precautions over the next 5 days, such as taking practicing good hand hygienecleaning regularlyphysical distancing, and testing when you will be around other people indoors. You may still be contagious with a respiratory virus after returning to your normal activities, so it is important to take additional precautions.


Peanuts and Other Allergy Accommodations

Westside School may restrict certain foods, including peanuts and other common allergens, in classrooms where life-threatening allergies are present. If a student is so allergic that touching or being near foods made with the allergen causes a severe, life-threatening reaction, Westside will work with the family to develop an appropriate risk management plan for that student. This may include restrictions in the classroom or with students sharing common eating spaces. 

If your child has food allergies, please fill out a Food Allergy Action Plan form and give it to your healthcare provider to sign before giving it to the Front Desk Coordinator. Westside School has a legal obligation to accommodate a child with an allergy.


Campus Safety & Emergency Preparedness

Westside has comprehensive and detailed emergency procedures that are clear and well-resourced. Our Emergency Policy Handbook is available to all families and staff on our family portal. Westside School is constantly thinking about upgrades that are appropriate and necessary to improve the safety of our school while not unduly compromising the welcoming culture that is essential to our identity.