Health and Safety Update
*Important Corrections/Clarifications*
March 26, 2021
Dear WHWS Families,

Please review some corrections and clarifications to the Spring Health Protocol Updates. The corrected information is highlighted below. We apologize for causing confusion and know it is vital we understand every detail fully.

Thank you to everyone who has provided constructive feedback. It's incredibly challenging to keep up with the changes, though we hope to get it right -- until things change again!

We have also added our travel recommendations to assist you as we move into Spring Break.
If someone travels to or hosts a guest from somewhere outside of Whatcom or Skagit County, a 10-day quarantine or a negative COVID-19 test on day 3-5 post traveling or hosting is strongly encouraged before returning to school or other community activities.

Here are the CDC travel recommendations and our safety protocols for more information.

  • Parents have the option to do their own daily health screenings in the morning, please read this recent letter that lays out the specifics. 

Physical Distancing
  • In line with the most recent school guidance from the CDC and the state governor, we will be practicing physical distancing of at least three feet within each group of students when masked and indoors.
  • Students will maintain distancing of six feet while eating.
  • Exceptions to Physical Distancing Protocols may be made for the Early Childhood program and for individuals with special needs or medical conditions.

  • Students and staff may remove masks outdoors.
  • Students and staff will remain mindful of six foot distancing.
  • When students and staff are unmasked outdoors they may briefly come within a closer distance of each other. Brief encounters are not considered to be close contacts.
  • Teachers will continue to monitor students both indoors and outdoors.
  • We will continue to wear masks indoors as outlined in our policies.
  • Exceptions to Physical Distancing Protocols may be made for the Early Childhood program and individuals with special needs or medical conditions.

Sharing Outdoor Spaces
  • When more than one class is outdoors in a section of the playground (ex: woodchips, hardcourt, forest, upper playground or garden area): 
  • Classes may engage in an activity together. 
  • All safety protocols will be followed.
  • Current physical barriers in the Kindergarten Yard will be removed.

Clapping/Shaking Hands
  • Hand clapping activities are permitted as long as all participants wash hands afterwards.
  • Teachers and students may shake hands as greeting as long as all participants wash hands immediately following.

Flutes and Singing
  • Classes may be held indoors or outdoors.
  • Physical distancing of six feet.
  • 3-layer surgical masks will be worn when singing.
  • An approved tightly woven cloth material will be attached to the end of the instrument when playing the flute.
  • Instruments will not be shared.
  • Masks and approved cloth material will be provided, changed and cleaned. regularly and when necessary.

  • Visitors, Guest Teachers and Parent Volunteers are permitted to enter classrooms as long as they are approved by the Pedagogical Committee.
  • All guests will be required to follow safety protocols and fill out an attestation.

Field Trips
  • Field Trips may be arranged with transportation to and from the field trip location by parents.
  • Each field trip will have at least two additional adults per class. There may be more adult chaperones as needed.
  • Chaperones will be required to fill out an attestation and agree to follow safety and chaperone protocols.

Festival Life
  • We are working on a modified May Faire celebration for all classes that will take place during the school day and be open to only staff and students.

End Of Year Events
  • We are researching how to safely support in-person events where parents are invited to celebrate the end of the year for our 8th graders. 8th Grade Project Presentations and Graduation will be prioritized.
We appreciate you all and thank you for taking the time to look over this information. Let's continue to take these steps forward together and lift one another up in the process. If you would like to contact us with any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us using the email addresses below.

With gratitude,

Emma Zook and Jamie Sanday, Pedagogical Chairs,
Jordan Fleming, on behalf of the Health and Safety Committee,
Kathy Payne, Administrative Director,
Tom Cahill, Board President,
2020/2021 Protocol Update
We have updated our 2020/2021 Safety Protocols to reflect the updates above. Please take a look to find the full text.