COVID Updates & Resources » Spring 2022 COVID Protocols

Spring 2022 COVID Protocols

WHSD Community:

Earlier this week, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) announced that mandatory masking in schools will be lifted at the end of the day on Friday, March 11th.   They also announced that requirements for schools to contact trace and quarantine close contacts of positive cases will also be paused. 

As such, starting Monday, March 14th it will be optional for students, staff, volunteers, and visitors to wear masks in district schools and offices and on district school buses.  Contact tracing and quarantining will also be paused.

This decision is consistent with recently updated guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control, is supported by the Clatsop County Public Health Department, and, as per the survey results below, reflects the significant support our shareholders have voiced for making masks in our schools optional.

 

WHSD Parent Survey on Masking      2/28/22

Preference

Count

Percent

Continue Mandate

128

19.6

Optional

516

79.1

Other

8

1.2

Total

652

100.0

 

WHSD Staff Survey on Masking      2/28/22

Preference

Count

Percent

Continue Mandate

34

30.6

Optional

75

67.6

Other

2

1.8

 Total

111

100.0

 

COVID Protocols in Place Starting March 14th

 

Though the more visible protocols of masking and quarantining will not be in effect in our schools starting March 14th, some COVID-safety protocols will remain in place. 

 

  1.  We will continue to screen students each day for COVID symptoms, and we ask for your continued vigilance in keeping students home when they are not feeling well. It will continue to be important for individuals with COVID symptoms to stay out of school until they are symptom-free and fever-free for 24-hours.
  2.  We will continue to sustain and encourage physical distancing.
  3. We will continue to emphasize sound hygiene practices of washing hands frequently and covering sneezes and coughs.
  4. We will continue to notify parents of COVID cases at school to which their child may have been exposed.  
  5. Students and staff members who contract COVID will be required to isolate (stay home) for 5 days and be symptom-free and fever-free for 24-hours before returning. 
  6. In the case of a COVID outbreak in a classroom, a grade, or a program, the district reserves the right to temporarily require masks or to temporarily institute a quarantine for the impacted cohorts.

For Those Who Prefer Mandatory Masking

 

While most in our community will embrace these changes to the COVID protocols, many will be disappointed or even frustrated by them.  If you are one of those who preferred mandatory masks, please reach out to me or your child's principal to discuss your concerns with us. We will do all we can to support you and your child through this transition. 

 

 If you decide you would prefer an online option for your child after March 14th, you will be able to enroll them in our remote-learning program, the Warrenton Academy of Virtual Education.  You can let us know by completing this WAVE Enrollment Form.

 

Respect for Everyone's Choice & Focus on Our Kids

 

The motto in our district after March 14th will be Mask-Optional and Mask-Friendly.  We support those who choose to wear a mask some or all the time and will work to ensure our schools are safe and inviting places for this choice to be exercised. 

 

The issues of masks and COVID protocols in schools are issues on which there is passionate and often divisive disagreement.  I am very appreciative and proud of the fact that those passionate disagreements have not once in the two years of this pandemic caused a substantial distraction from our district's focus on serving kids.  I thank our students, our parents, and our staff for that. Let's continue forward with the sense that our Warrior community is bigger than these COVID protocols.   Let’s continue to live up to the ideal of being “All In” by keeping our focus on providing for our kids.

 

Finally, please note and emphasize to your child or children that these changes to COVID protocols do not go into effect until Monday, March 14th.  The current protocols will be in place until that date. 

 

Signed,

 

Tom Rogozinski, WHSD Superintendent