K-12 Schools COVID-19 Requirements

K-12 Schools COVID-19 Requirements
Posted on 08/11/2021

As the 2021-22 school year begins, some things have changed and some have not. The good news is that all schools will be fully open to all students, every day – ensuring that the academic and social and emotional needs of all students can be addressed and supported.

The more sobering news is that, with the current surge of COVID-19 and the Delta variant, the Department of Health and the Office of the Governor require that all school personnel, volunteers, visitors, and students must wear cloth face coverings, or an acceptable alternative (e.g., surgical mask or clear face shield with a drape), at school when indoors. Staff who are verified to be fully vaccinated may be indoors without masks when students are not present or expected to be present. A link to all of the updated DOH guidance can be seen here.

Also, under the authority of RCW 43.06.220, the Governor has broad emergency powers, and they have the power of law. By constitutional authority and RCW 28A.300.040, one of the state Superintendent’s clear powers is, “supervision over all matters pertaining to the public schools of the state,”  and State Superintendent Reykdal has clearly shared that Boards or districts that intentionally disobey, dismiss, or shun an explicit law, including a Governor’s executive order, which has the power of law, will see an immediate halt to their basic education apportionment, and their federal funds that come through OSPI. Further, the Risk Pools have indicated that school districts will no longer have liability coverage for COVID-related issues after September 1, 2022. 

 

 

Thanks go to all for doing our part to help follow the law, the guidelines, and for keeping everyone safe and healthy as we embark on a school year filled with great promise, even amidst some ongoing challenges. 

Michael Dunn, Ed.D. 

Superintendent, NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101