Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if my student has one or more symptoms of illness (i.e. runny nose, cough, sore throat, etc.)?
We know how hard it is to miss school, but please keep ill students home, even if it’s just a runny nose. If a student has one or more symptoms listed below that are not due to an ongoing condition (asthma, allergies, etc), they must stay home from school, even if they are fully vaccinated, in order to keep all staff and students as safe & healthy as possible.
Group A Symptoms
- Fever (100.4 F or higher)
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste and/or smell
- Shortness of breath
If a student has 1 or more symptoms from the above (Group A) list, they MUST do one of the following in order to return to school:
- Option 1: Receive a negative PCR / NAAT COVID-19 test and symptoms must be improving and they must have no fever for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medicine. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test may be provided by hardcopy or via email to your child’s school - contact the main office at your child’s school to arrange this.
- Option 2: Stay home for 10 days from the onset of symptoms and have improved symptoms.
- Option 3: Obtain a note from a medical provider stating that symptom(s) are related to a health condition.
Group B Symptoms
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Diarrhea (defined as 2 or more loose stools in 24 hours)
If a student has 2 or more of the Group B symptoms, the student must still follow one of the three options listed above before returning to school.
If a student only has 1 of the Group B symptoms and it completely goes away in less than 24 hours with no other symptoms or fever, the student may return to school the next day. The parent or guardian must evaluate their student carefully.
If the single Group B symptom lasts longer than 24 hours or if other symptoms develop, the student must follow one of the three options listed above before returning to school.
If there was a COVID-19 positive individual at school, how do you determine who are close contacts?
A close contact is someone who was exposed to a person with a COVID-19 infection. In K-12 schools, the Washington State Department of Health defines close contacts as anyone who:
- Is an adult who has been within 6 feet of any person with COVID-19 for a combined total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period, even if both individuals were wearing masks
- Is a student who has been within 6 feet of an adult with COVID-19 indoors for a combined total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period, even if both individuals were wearing masks
- Is a student who has been within 3 feet of another student with COVID-19 indoors for a combined total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period, even if both individuals were wearing masks
- Is a student who has been within 6 feet of another student with COVID-19 outdoors, unmasked for a combined total of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.
The infectious period of someone with COVID-19 starts two days before the onset of symptoms or is estimated as two days before the positive test collection date if someone with COVID-19 does not have symptoms.
When we receive notification of a positive COVID-19 individual at school, we begin contact tracing during the time period when the individual was considered infectious. Contact tracing may include looking at seating charts, interviewing teachers and other staff who supervise students, interviewing students, and reviewing security video footage. Once close contacts have been determined, families are notified and guided on next steps, which generally includes quarantine.
If my student is identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, do I need to get them tested and when can they return to school?
If your child has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 but is fully vaccinated, they can continue to come to school as long as they do not have symptoms. If they develop symptoms, they must stay home and this must be reported to the school. The health district recommends fully vaccinated students still get tested 3-5 days after their last date of exposure and to keep watching for symptoms for 14 days after exposure.
If your student has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and is not fully vaccinated, they must choose one of the following options. The options regarding the quarantine duration and testing are as follows:
OPTION ONE: Test to Stay (two negative tests required)
- If a student is identified as a close contact at school they may remain at school after exposure, if they:
- Testing is completed at school and includes one test conducted as soon as possible following recognition of the exposure and one test collected 5-7 days after last exposure. Testing would require parent consent prior to any testing.
- Have no symptoms of COVID-19; AND
- Continue to wear a mask; AND
- Continue to quarantine outside of school (i.e., not participate in extracurricular activities at school, including sports and other activities outside of their home.)
This option is available for students exposed at school and is not applicable to students exposed outside of school. Option one is in alignment with the district's Test to Stay MOA with the Snohomish Health District.
If you would like your child to utilize this option, written permission will be required. Please print and complete the permission form (English / Spanish) and return it to your child's school. The permission form will remain in effect for the remainder of the school year unless you choose to no longer participate in the testing program. If your child is exposed at school and we have a permission form on file, we will still contact you via phone before administering a COVID-19 test.
OPTION TWO: 7 Day Quarantine (one negative test required)
If a student is identified as a close contact to a COVID positive individual, they can return to school 7 days after the last exposure if they receive a negative PCR test result after day 5 of exposure.
OPTION THREE: 10 Day Quarantine (no test required)
If a student is identified as a close contact to a COVID positive individual and does not obtain a negative PCR test result they may return to school 10 days after their last date of exposure.
Where can I get a COVID-19 test for my student?
We have compiled a list of local, free COVID-19 test locations here >>
What if my student tests positive for COVID-19? Who do I tell?
If your student tests positive for COVID-19, even if they do not have any symptoms, contact the office at your child’s school right away to report it. The school nurse will help you determine your student’s return to school date. Students who have symptoms and are positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for 10 days after the first day their symptoms started. Students who have no symptoms, but are positive for COVID-19, must isolate at home for 10 days after the date the test was performed.
Will my student’s absences be excused if they have symptoms of illness, have COVID-19, or are a close contact and have to quarantine?
Yes, absences due to illness or quarantining due to close contact with a COVID positive individual will be excused, as long as the parent/guardian notify the school of the absence reason. The MSD attendance intervention specialist will work with your family if the excused absences trigger BECCA notification.
Will my student receive schoolwork to do at home while they are in quarantine?
Teachers are expected to communicate with and provide educational work for students who are in quarantine or home sick for an extended period. Depending on the grade level, class content, and/or type of special education services, students may be provided with assigned reading, paper/pencil work or online work (via Canvas). Teachers will communicate with families whose students are in quarantine to detail what the learning expectations and plan will be while the student is at home. If you or your student have not heard from their teacher(s) within 24-48 hours, please reach out to them directly.
Our teachers want students to succeed and to stay engaged with the learning plan established during this time. Make sure you and your students respond to your teachers' outreach to keep the lines of communication open. Working with your student to complete the work assigned by their teacher will help with the transition back into the classroom once the quarantine period has ended.
Will my student receive “live” instruction while they are in quarantine?
While some teachers may provide live online instruction or videos via Canvas, it is not a requirement for teachers to do so for individually quarantined students.
If an entire class needs to quarantine, will live online instruction be provided?
Yes, in the event an entire class needs to quarantine at the same time, that class will pivot to online learning until the quarantine period is over.
- Elementary - On the first day of the quarantine period, the teacher will meet via Zoom with their class for a morning meeting. Students will spend the remainder of that day working on their assigned Canvas work while the teacher prepares remote instruction and learning materials for the remainder of the quarantine period.
- Middle and High School - On the first day of the quarantine period, the teacher will have independent work ready for their class via Canvas (there will be no live Zoom instruction that day). From the second day of quarantine on, the teacher will provide live instruction via Zoom.
Will students who receive special services continue to be served when in quarantine?
Teachers who provide special services (resource room, ELL, LAP, etc) will continue to work with general education teachers to modify assignments to meet the individual needs of the students they serve while those students are in quarantine. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide in-person services for students in quarantine who receive occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy services; however, in some cases, these services may be provided online.
What if my student needs a Chromebook?
Students at Hidden River Middle School, Park Place Middle School, Leaders in Learning and Monroe High School all should have checked out a Chromebook for use at school and at home. If they have not done so, please have them check one out ASAP in their school library.
Chromebooks are also available for students at our elementary schools to check out while they are in quarantine. Please reach out to your elementary school’s main office to arrange this.
How will teachers know that my student is in quarantine?
Teachers will be informed by the school nurse, principal, or office staff when a student has been quarantined.