Fall 2021

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction published guidance for fall as well as a frequently asked questions document.

2020/21 School Year

Updated 1/12/2020

Will staff be required to have the vaccine?

No. The available vaccines have been approved for emergency use. Vaccines in this stage of approval are no required.

Can you better explain the plan for grades 7- 12? I’m worried that it’s not actually a true hybrid/in-school learning experience.

If we settle into the moderate COVID level, secondary schools will have two full days of in-person instruction and 3 remote learning days. If we stay at the high COVID level we will expand in-person learning opportunities based on need and phased in by grade level. Days will be shortened and small group size will be limited to 15 students. Secondary schedules are in development and will be shared at the January 25, 2020, board meeting. Visit our Board Docs page for meeting agendas, minutes, and supporting documents.

We are in the MODERATE range this week--if we are in moderate again next week, will we begin the transition to hybrid?

In communication with Clark County Public Health, it is likely that we will be hovering around the high and moderate line in January.  We will be moving forward with our plans for the HIGH activity level and doing the preparation to transition to hybrid as well.  Our approach will be phased in, so if our rates do land in moderate for two consecutive weeks we will add grade levels working up from elementary into middle school.

What exactly does phase-in by need mean?

Start with students based on academic/mental health needs working towards the grade level with need determined by student/family.

What is the plan for the days students do not attend in person? Will learning take place only “On Demand”? Will students have access to their teacher throughout the day like they currently do?

The remote days will be a combination of on-demand and live dependent on grade level/course. Staff will maximize in-person learning opportunities as class sizes will be smaller. Students will not have access to their teachers when their teacher is instructing another live session.

If I keep my kid in remote schooling, will there be an opportunity to switch to in-person during the school year if situations change? Need to understand future implications of a decision.

There will be individual situations that will require flexibility. In general, we will check in with families prior to their grade levels targeted return date to capture preferred learning delivery model information. We will also consider changes at natural transition points in the school year such as a new trimester.

How will the district address illnesses? Will I be notified if a student in my child's class is ill? Or if the teacher is ill? Or only Covid+? What communication is in place?

You will be notified if there is a confirmed case per protocols established through public health. Flow charts are available on our website under Reopening > Resources. Close contacts are notified first, and then a notification is sent to the entire school community that there was a confirmed case but your student was not deemed a close contact.

Updated 10/26/2020

What is the process when a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19?

CSD staff will follow the Suspected and Confirmed Case Protocol. The guidelines for families and staff are available in these guides: Student Flow Chart & Staff Flow Chart.

Clark County Public Health works closely with local schools and school districts any time someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 has been on a school campus while potentially contagious.

Public Health interviews every person who tests positive for COVID-19 to determine where they have been and who they may have exposed. If someone who tested positive for COVID-19 was in a school while potentially contagious, Public Health works with the school to identify students and staff who may have been exposed.

Public Health will notify everyone identified as a close contact to a COVID-19 case. Schools may also notify those students and staff identified as close contacts. All close contacts of COVID-19 cases are asked to quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the person who tested positive. People in quarantine should not leave home except to seek medical care. They should not go to work, school, or child care facilities, and they should not participate in any social or community activities.

Everyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is instructed to isolate at home until they are no longer contagious, which is typically at least 10 days from the time symptoms began.

For more information on the Public Health COVID-19 response and recommendations, visit the novel coronavirus webpage.

What will happen if a student or staff member develops signs of COVID-19?

From Clark County Public Health: The role of Clark County Public Health in school-related outbreaks and exposures is to investigate and mitigate the spread of disease.

For every confirmed case, Public Health will at mini-mum evaluate whether the case was at school during their contagious period. If the answer is “yes,” Public Health will expand its investigation, which will likely involve the school and/or district. The Public Health investigation process and response will differ based on many factors, such as physical distancing, hygienic practices, the timeline of illness, and the number of people involved (extent of possible spread).

Please note that anyone confirmed to have COVID-19 will be asked to go into isolation (minimum 10 days). Those identified by Public Health as close contacts will be asked to quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure to the confirmed case. Clark County Public Health will provide the return to work/school letters for individuals who are quarantined or isolated for COVID-19.

What should I do if my child had close contact with someone with COVID-19 while they were ill, but my child is not sick?

From Clark County Public Health: You should monitor your child for fever, cough, and shortness of breath (please see list below for additional symptoms) during the 14 days after the last day they were in close contact with the person with COVID-19. Your child should remain home in quarantine, do NOT send your child to school and avoid all public places for 14 days. Your family may be contacted for a public health interview.

Watch for COVID-19 symptoms People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. This list does not include all possible symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
What should I do if my child was in close contact with someone with COVID-19 and gets sick?

From Clark County Public Health:  If your child was in contact with someone with COVID-19 and gets sick with fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 (even if symptoms are very mild), they likely have COVID-19. You should isolate your child (age-dependent) at home and away from other people and pets. Contact your child’s healthcare provider, tell them your child was exposed to someone with COVID-19, and are now sick, and ask if your child can be tested for COVID-19.

What is the definition of close contact?

From Clark County Public Health: A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or longer.

How many cases is considered to be an outbreak?

From Clark County Public Health: Two or more confirmed or probable cases with at least one case lab-confirmed, AND at least two cases have symptoms beginning within 14 days of each other, AND plausible epidemiological evidence of virus transmission in a shared location (e.g., workplace, congregate setting, event).

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

From Clark County Public Health: Isolation occurs when you have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation means you stay home and away from others (including household members) for the recommended length of time to avoid spreading illness.

Quarantine is when you stay home and away from others (outside your household) for the recommended length of time in case you are infected and are contagious. Quarantine becomes isolation if you later test positive for COVID-19 or develop COVID-19 symptoms.

Updated 08/18/2020

In general, what will remote learning look like in the fall?

We will be following a schedule similar to on-campus learning which will help us transition to Blended Learning.  Attendance will be taken and students will earn grades.  In order to meet the state’s instructional hour requirement a full school day will be planned for your student.  Instruction will come in the form of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) lessons from our teachers. Instruction will take place in large-group, small-group, and individual settings.  Schools will begin sending out specific schedules to you in the coming weeks.

How will I communicate with teachers and the school?

In early/mid-August, families will be invited to register for our new communication platform called ParentSquare. Click this link to view a brief, high-level overview of the tool: https://vimeo.com/332503796.

What are the learning delivery models stages and how will we determine when we will shift?

Learning Delivery Models Stages

  1. Remote Learning – all students participate in distance learning
  2. Remote Learning transitioning to Blended/Hybrid Learning – students identified through a set of district/school developed criteria in greatest need of additional support participate onsite with in-person instruction.
  3. Blended/Hybrid Learning – all students participate onsite with in-person instruction a minimum of two (2) days a week.  Transition to more on-campus days for students as conditions improve.
  4. On-Campus Learning – all students and staff participate onsite with in-person instruction five (5) days a week.

In partnership with Clark County Public Health, we have developed a plan to transition to in-person learning that monitors COVID-19 activity levels in our community

What if my student prefers a fully online model regardless of the health trends in our county?

If your preference is a fully online model for your student, we have developed the Camas Connect AcademyThis program will not shift through the phases above.  It will stay online throughout the year.  It will operate as a separate school/program within our district with district staff and the same learning standards.  We will provide more information about the Camas Connect Academy in the coming weeks including a Q&A session prior to the enrollment window.

Why would options vary based on the age of students?

We reviewed school floor plans to establish square footage and walked through the schools to determine the new capacity for each building to comply with current social distancing guidelines.

Our elementary class size and structure allow us to meet the guidelines while having all students learn on campus each day. This is not the case for our secondary schools which is why our planning efforts have been focused on a blended learning delivery model with on-campus and remote learning days each week.

What if I need emergency childcare during learning delivery models 1 through 3?

We recognize that each family is in a unique situation and may need support.  We are trying to develop options for families in these situations.  Please contact us using this LINK.

What if my family relies on school breakfast and/or lunch services?

We will develop a similar process to how we provided these meals in the spring during remote learning.

Is there an option for full-time online learning, upon request?

Yes. Camas Connect Academy is a robust program for students in grades 3-12 that will serve students in both a full-and part-time status. Through this program, students receive materials such as books to read and materials for science experiments and receive instruction through live and recorded online classes. Local teachers also offer personal connections for all students enrolled in the program. Families can connect, learn more, and register today at the Camas Connect Academy website which will be completed later this summer.

Will schools continue to offer school bus transportation and meals?

Absolutely. Our operations teams are hard at work, digging into all of the requirements surrounding meal service and transportation. While we know that some specifics for these services may look different, we will continue to provide school bus services and meals to our students.

How will you enforce mask-wearing? What happens to a student who won’t wear a mask?

The Washington Department of Health has stated that masks or face shields are required for students, staff, and any other visitors to the schools. There are certain exceptions for those who are medically unable to wear a mask. If a student refuses to wear a mask, we will work with the student and family to educate about the requirement and the importance of face coverings in reducing the spread of the virus. As a last resort, we may have to exclude a student from school. In that case, we would ensure that the student has an opportunity to continue receiving their instruction remotely.

How will you ensure six-foot distancing?

The guidelines from the state schools superintendent (OSPI) are to maintain 6-foot distance “as much as possible.” Desks will be spaced six feet apart and interactions closer than six feet will be limited. The guidelines state that passing briefly in a hallway, especially when everyone is wearing a mask, is low-risk.

How will daily health screenings be conducted?

The state schools superintendent has acknowledged that it is not practical to screen every student and staff member before entering the school building. We will first depend on families to attest that their student does not have a fever or COVID symptoms. We will then follow up with screenings for any student who was not prescreened by their family. Finally, we will continue to monitor for symptoms while at school.

Will students from the same family have the same scheduled days in school?

Our goal is to set up our transportation routes so that students in a family attend school on the same days.

Will students be able to participate in PE and music classes?

State guidelines state that choir, band, and some PE activities may not be safe and will need to be offered in a different way. We are awaiting further guidance while making plans to use larger spaces or have these student activities outside.

What about athletics?

We follow the guidance from the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. You can view our most up to date information at Camas School District Return to Athletics.

Can I choose to homeschool my children?

Yes, parents can elect to withdraw their children from school to homeschool them. However, the state’s requirements for homeschooling are rigorous. Parents considering homeschooling due to perceived time constraints from Distance Learning 2.0 may find homeschooling carries even higher expectations for parental and caretaker involvement than Distance Learning 2.0.

Essentially, our Distance Learning 2.0 offers the same benefits as homeschooling except that a majority of the required support for student learning is provided by trained teachers instead of parents.

For parents who wish to be the primary educator in their home but would like curriculum and support from Camas School District’s trained teachers, please consider Camas Connect Academy (for students in grades 3-12). This is a parent-partnership program designed to support parents who wish to engage deeply in delivering their child’s learning while still receiving support from full-time teachers dedicated to supporting the program’s families. Click here to learn more about the Camas Connect Academy.

Why are county COVID-19 rates used and not our zip code rates?

On the Clark County Public Health site there is a section titled Cases by zip code which lists each zip code in Clark County.  The metric for this section is the total cumulative cases per 100,000.  This rate reflects where the cases lived at the time of their positive test, not where they acquired the infection.  This is also a cumulative total so this metric will continue to rise with each case.  It is not an accurate assessment of what is happening in the community over the past several weeks.

Because our community has a level of fluidity, and we are not isolated from the rest of Clark County, the public health team has recommended us using the county rate of cases per 100,000 over 14 days, which is the initial metric used for the WA Department of Health decision-making tool.  This rate reflects the previous 14 days and gives a better picture of the current COVID-19 activity level in the community.

In the district’s transition to in-person learning plan there is a *footnote that states: A value >75 cases/100K/2 weeks during Stage 1 or 2 transitions does not necessarily mean scaling back to remote learning. It will be important to consider the other indicators as well in partnership with Clark County Public Health. Why is this the case?

We will continue our weekly monitoring process with public health while we are in the transitional stages.  We discussed scenarios that have already happened such as an outbreak at a long term care facility that could push county rates up, and not create a greater risk to our school communities.  The cases/100,000/14 days indicator provides a picture into the past two weeks not necessarily what’s happening at the moment.  Reviewing all the indicators before returning to a fully remote learning scenario is important.  We do not want to create a scenario for students, families, and staff where we are bouncing back and forth between delivery models.  Conducting a four-week monitoring process prior to and a three-week monitoring process during the transition between remote to hybrid provides a smooth, methodical approach to the process.  Exceptions to this transition process include outbreaks in our community or at our schools.  These situations could require an immediate return to remote learning per public health direction.