A+ A A-

Safety Protocols

Quick Links

COVID Contacts & Duties

Managing COVID-19 within Walla Walla Schools to help reduce transmission and keep students, staff and families healthy and safe requires a coordinated team response. Identifying staff to fulfill specific roles within the team is critical to ensuring a coordinated response. Following are a list of key district COVID contacts.

  • District COVID-19 Coordinator: District Nurse Amy Ruff
  • School COVID-19 Coordinator: Site Principal/Admin(see below)
  • COVID-19 Screening Lead: Site Nurse(see below)
  • COVID-19 Isolation Supervisor: Site Health Room Assistant and/or Site Nurse (see below)
  • Infection Control Lead: Director Mike Kay

Specific School Contacts:

Site School COVID Coordinator COVID Screening Lead COVID Isolation Supervisor
WaHi Ron Higgins Vickie Rogers Sonia Soto
Lincoln HS Marci Knauft Vickie Rogers Virginia Romfh
Garrison MS Kim Doepker Amy Ruff Sara Huxoll
Pioneer MS Kris Duncan Lynn Porter Bingham Edgar Salgado
Opportunity Tom Porter Vickie Rogers Vickie Rogers
WW Online Amy Ford NA NA
SEATech Jerry Maher Vickie Rogers Alba Biagi
Berney Ele Michelle Carpenter Amanda Hinrichs Dakota Buman
Green Park Ele Rick Kline Lynn Porter Bingham Anna Brito Salgado
Prospect Point Ele Barb Casey Amanda Hinrichs Stephanie Edwards
Edison Ele Jenny Foster Lynn Porter Bingham Fabiola Salgado
Sharpstein Ele Maria Garcia Amanda Hinrichs Lori Grimes
CCF Samantha Bowen Amy Ruff Giessell Martinez

Communication Protocols to Parent/Guardians & Staff

Parent/Guardians will be notified via personal phone call if:

  • Your child is exhibiting illness symptoms and needs to be picked up from school (parent will receive instructions related to monitoring and return procedures).
  • If your child needs to quarantine due to:
    • Your child has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
    • Per WaDOH, if there are multiple positive cases in a 14 day period in your child’s class/one of their classes that are epidemiologically linked, do not share a household and were not identified as close contracts in another setting. In this case, the entire class may need to quarantine and shift to distance learning for up to 14 days.
      • Students who are fully vaccinated and/or confirmed to have COVID in the preceding 3 months are not required to quarantine and may remain in school as long as they remain symptom free. Confirmation testing of vaccinated students may occur 3-4 days to ensure they are virus free.
      • Through the use of onsite testing, the district may be able to reduce the quarantine period to 7 days if no symptoms have developed with your child and they receive a negative test after day 5.
    • For any other reason that necessitates your child needing to be quarantined due to possible exposure.

Parent/Guardians will be notified by SchoolMessenger (phone, email and text message) if:

  • An entire classroom/class at your child’s school will be quarantining, but your child’s classroom/class is not affected.
  • After consultation with local health officials, if there are enough quarantined classrooms or viral spread at your child’s school that the entire school will be quarantining and shifting to distance learning.

Staff Communication

  • Staff at impacted sites will be communicated with regarding all of the above scenarios from the site administrator or designee.

Daily Attestation & Screening

General Comments:

  • Students, staff, vendors, parents/guardians or guests will not be allowed on-site if they:
    • Are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
    • Have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days.

Daily At-home Screening:

  • While at-school screening is no longer required, every student (or student's guardian on their behalf), staff and visitor are asked to self-screen daily before entering campus. 
  • Screening Criteria:
    • A cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • A fever of 100.4 or higher or a sense of having a fever
    • A sore throat
    • Chills
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
    • Congestion/running nose-not related to seasonal allergies
    • Unusual fatigue
    • Does anyone in your household have any of the above symptoms that are not attributable to another condition?
    • Have you/your student been in close contact with anyone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19?
    • Has your student had any medication to reduce a fever before coming to school?

Transportation & Pick-up/Drop-off Plan

Pick-up and Drop-off Procedures:

Staff will be outside of the school to assist students safely entering campus and encouraging social distancing expectations.

  • By Vehicle
    • Parents/guardians are encouraged to remain in the vehicle when dropping off and picking up their child.
  • Walking
    • Parents/guardians are asked to depart campus as soon as their child is under the supervision of staff (e.g. visually). Parents/guardians are discouraged from entering inside the school facilities for pick up/drop off purposes or to congregate near the entrance. 

Bus Transportation Procedures:

WWPS will:

  • Keep riders as far apart as possible on the bus.
  • If possible, seat with household members.
  • Keep windows partially open as weather permits.
  • Encourage walking or biking where safe, or being driven by caregivers as feasible.
  • Riders and staff members must wear a cloth face covering or acceptable alternative.

Bus Cleaning and Sanitizing Procedures:

  • Daily
    • Tops of seats and handrails will be wiped clean and sanitized.
    • Floors will be mopped and windows cleaned as needed.
    • High contact areas will be sanitized (top of seats, rails and handles, steering wheel, switches and levers)
    • Supplies restocked.

COVID-19 Symptoms & Guidelines

People with these symptoms or combination of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea (at least 2 loose stools in the past 24 hours)

Sometimes we identify COVID-19 symptoms as “class A” or “class B” to decide how long a person should isolate (see table below).

Class A and B

COVID-19 Response/Quarantine Plan

Introduction:

  • The following safety guidelines and protocols are framed by CDC guidance, Washington State Department of Health (Wa DOH) requirements, and input from local health advisers.
General Comments:
  • CLOSE CONTACT/EXPOSURE is defined as less than 3ft (for students) or 6ft (for staff) from an individual with COVID-19 for at least 15 cumulative minutes over a 24 hr. period.
  • ISOLATION is what you do if you have symptoms, or have tested positive for COVID-19. Isolation means that you stay home and away from others (including household members) for the recommended period of time to avoid spreading illness.
  • QUARANTINE is what you do if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Quarantine means you stay home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case you are infected and contagious. Quarantine becomes isolation if you later test positive for COVID-19 or develop COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Per Wa DOH, testing for COVID-19 will be recommended for any staff or student with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, despite contact history.
  • Per OSPI, the County Health Department will coordinate issues pertaining to confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in schools.
  • Per OSPI, decisions regarding cohort or school level closings due to COVID-19 will be made by the County Health Department in coordination with District Nurse Amy Ruff and Superintendent Dr. Wade Smith.

Close Contact with someone SUSPECTED of having COVID-19:

  • Staff/Student/Family to notify supervisor/school administrator that they were in close contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19.
  • Supervisor/administrator notifies Nurse Ruff or designee who evaluates contact.
    • Unless fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID in last 3 months, staff or student is immediately sent home and should remain self-quarantined until:
      • Suspected case has tested negative. At that time, if symptom free, they may return to work/school; or,
      • 7 days after contact and staff or student receives a negative test result no earlier than day 5. Most often, student is tested on day 8 upon return. 
      • If close contact is a household member and complete separation is not possible, quarantine lasts for 17 days from symptom onset or test date of the person testing positive.
    • While awaiting pick-up, the student will be isolated in a designated area. Appropriate PPE will be utilized in caring for the student.
    • Exposed areas are deep cleaned along with all other used common areas. At times, this may necessitate relocating a classroom or workspace until cleaning has occurred

Close Contact with someone testing POSITIVE for COVID-19:

  • Staff/Student/Family notifies supervisor/school administrator that they were in close contact with someone who tested positive.
  • Supervisor/administrator notifies Nurse Ruff or designee who evaluates contact.
    • Unless fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID in last 3 months, staff or student is immediately sent home and should remain self-quarantined until:
      • 10 days since last contact; or
      • If symptom free, 7 days after contact and staff or student receives a negative test result no earlier than day 5. Most often, student is tested on day 8 upon return. 
      • If close contact is a household member and complete separation is not possible, quarantine lasts for 17 days from symptom onset or test date of the person testing positive.
    • While awaiting pick-up, the student will be isolated in a designated area. Appropriate PPE will be utilized in caring for the student.
    • Applicable individuals are notified that a potential exposure has occurred in the school/workplace.
    • Exposed areas are deep cleaned along with all other used common areas. At times, this may necessitate relocating a classroom or workspace until cleaning has occurred.

Test to Stay Program

 Walla Walla Public Schools have partnered with the Walla Walla Department of Community Health to offer a Test to Stay modified quarantine option for unvaccinated students exposed to Covid-19 in school.

Students exposed through  household or community contact are not eligible to participate and must quarantine at home following the standard quarantine protocol. 

Students who qualify for the Test to Stay Program may continue to attend class in a modified quarantine status for 7 days after exposure if they:

  • Are tested on day 0, 5 and 8 during the quarantine period;
  • Are asymptomatic; 
  • Continue to wear a mask;
  • Continue to quarantine from all extracurricular activities at school, including sports and other activities outside their home (e.g., scouts, music, club sports, childcare, or youth development programs before and after school).

Students who do not test positive and remain asymptomatic during the Test to Stay modified quarantine period may resume extracurricular and community activities after 7 days have passed since their exposure but should continue to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after their exposure.If a student tests positive for Covid-19 at any time, they must isolate at home and follow the DOH isolation guidance.Students who opt out of testing are not eligible for the modified quarantine, as described above.

Symptoms of COVID-19 occurring during the school day:

  • Staff: The employee will contact their supervisor and request coverage for their immediate duties. Once temporary coverage is provided, the employee will report to the building triage room. Supervisor/administrator notifies Nurse Ruff. If symptoms verified (see Flowchart), Nurse Ruff notifies Director Kay and Superintendent Smith.
  • Students: Teacher/staff member will call the building administrator and communicate concerns.  Triage staff (building administrator or health staff) will walk to the classroom to gather the student and escort them to the triage room. Supervisor/administrator notifies Nurse Ruff. If symptoms verified (see Flowchart), the parent/guardian will be called by Administration or a District nurse to come pick the student up. Student will be escorted to the car. Nurse Ruff notifies Director Kay and Superintendent Smith.
  • Student/staff member is given written instructions (e.g. recommending testing, when they may return to campus, etc).
  • Exposed areas are deep cleaned along with all other used common areas. At times, this may necessitate relocating a classroom or workspace until cleaning has occurred.
  • Follow up with staff/student is done by school nurse.

COVID-19 outbreaks in schools:

  • Definition: Two or more laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff with onset within a 14-day period, who are epidemiologically linked, do not share a household and were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting during standard case investigations or contact tracing.

Classroom and School Closure in Response to COVID-19 Cases (Per WaDOH)

  • There may be instances where closure of a classroom or school is warranted to stop transmission of COVID-19. The time period on such closures can vary, from initial short-term closures to allow time for local health officials to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation and help schools determine appropriate next steps, to extended closures to stop transmission of COVID-19. Schools should work with their LHJ to determine when it is necessary to close a classroom or school and when the classroom or school can reopen.
  • Consider the following to determine when to close a classroom and switch to remote learning for up to 14 days:
    • The classroom experiences a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases.
    • There is evidence of transmission of COVID-19 in the classroom.
    • The classroom cannot function due to insufficient teaching or support staff.
  • Consider the following to determine when to close a school and switch to remote learning for up to 14 days:
    • The school experiences a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases.
    • The school experiences multiple classrooms or activities with students or staff who test positive for COVID-19.
    • There is a prolonged transmission occurring in the school.
    • The school cannot function due to insufficient teaching or support staff.

Quarantine Learning Plan

In the first days of school, classroom teachers will communicate their quarantine learning plans to students and parents should their entire classroom or entire school be required to quarantine (See here for determination recommended by WaDOH). 

Individual quarantine scenarios, where only one child or a small group of children are required to quarantine, will be handled in a traditional absence manner. This normally consist of daily, independent work prepared by the child's classroom teacher(s) that are picked up at school or provided to them electronically, dependent on the age of the student.

Please note that fully vaccinated staff and students are not required to quarantine under most circumstances.  

Learning Plan Summary for entire class or school wide quarantine scenarios:

  • In general, classroom and school wide quarantine learning plans will consist of a blend of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (independent) daily instruction developed and delivered by the classroom teacher(s).  
    • At the secondary level, if an entire classroom/class period of students requires quarantine, the learning will consist of “zooming” to receive live instruction during their regularly scheduled in-person class time with their specific teacher. Students will receive independent work from their remaining non-quarantined teachers/classes. If an entire school is required to quarantine, all students will log into their specific classes at their regularly scheduled in-person class time to receive instruction.      
    • At the preschool/elementary level, teachers will “zoom” with students live from 8 - 9:30am to deliver age appropriate instruction/experiences. In addition, teachers will also provide age-appropriate independent learning activities students/families can accomplish independently. Teachers will remain available throughout the day for student/family questions/support. Students receiving special education, language services, or other supports will be contacted to coordinate appropriate service delivery during their quarantine period. This plan may be adapted for specific self contained programs or other situations in order to meet the individual learning needs of unique student populations.

Quarantine Learning Logistics:

  • If a classroom teacher must quarantine, but not their class: a substitute teacher will be sought and in person learning continues.
  • If a student/group of students must quarantine from a class: classroom teachers/specialists provide work/assignments as they traditionally would when students are sick and/or miss class for an excused absence.
  • If an entire classroom must quarantine:
    • Day 1: first day of quarantine
      • The building principal or designee works with their onsite support staff to coordinate with the quarantined classroom teacher to ensure Chromebook access at home for students (e.g. Chromebooks needing delivered from the classroom to the home if K-2, Chromebooks left at school that need delivered to the home(3-5), WiFi hotspots needed). In most instances, the classroom teacher can remain onsite to deliver virtual instruction due to their vaccination status. If not fully vaccinated, basic at-home technology needs for the teacher will be provided. If the teacher is sick and unable to deliver instruction, a substitute will be sought who will teach virtually from the traditional classroom.
      • Technology deliveries to-the-home take place the same day by district staff. 
      • Teacher re-communicates their quarantine learning plan to families via phone, email, etc.
    • Day 2: quarantine learning plan commences.
    • First day back following quarantine: 
      • Students return to school with all technology. Any technology temporarily provided is returned to the main office who will coordinate pickup from IT staff.
  • If an entire school needs to quarantine:
    • At the secondary level:
      • Day 1-Preparation and communication of learning plan to students/families. Possible technology pickup for specific families (WiFi hotspots, Chromebooks left at school)
      • Day 2-Learning plan commences. “Zoom” per current in-person bell schedule as noted above.
    • At the elementary level:
      • Day 1-Preparation, communication of learning plan to students/families and technology pick up at school (K-2 and students in 3-5 who left Chromebook at school). 
      • Day 2-Learning plan with homeroom teacher commences as noted above. Special education, language services, and other support staff perform regular individual family/student check-ins/services (phone, zoom and/or email), and remain available for student/family questions/support throughout the day. Other specialists provide learning/engagement options for students/families (e.g. school wide physical education activities, school wide music experiences, etc).
      • First day back following quarantine: 
        • Students return to school with all technology. Any technology temporarily provided is returned to the main office who will coordinate pickup from IT staff.

Operations and HVAC Plan

Personal Protective Equipment:
Personal protective equipment will be available through the building secretary, including but not limited to: gloves, facemask, face shields, goggles, plexi-glass shields (case-by-case basis), hand soap, hand sanitizer.

HVAC Plan
The district has consulted with CDC recommended guidelines, MSI engineering, DDC logistical and Cenergistic Engineering to ensure we are doing everything we can to provide the safest buildings for staff and students. We have approached air quality by focusing on three areas; filters, fresh air volume, and run time of HVAC systems.

Filters: We are following the CDC recommendation to maximize filter efficacy by incorporating the highest rated filter that can be installed in our systems. Up to MERV 13 filters across our district (a total of 1169 filters), are being installed. These filters have three times the surface space of standard filters and well above the industry standard of MERV 8 which are normally recommended for public buildings. 

Fresh Air Volume: The WWPS HVAC system is managed by a DDC system that consists of a central computer workstation that monitors HVAC conditions via a series of sensors. These sensors transmit data back to the workstation, where sophisticated software monitors performance and makes operational adjustments as necessary. Our systems are normally designed to run at 15 CFM (cubic feet per minute) per person per number of people in an area. In accordance with CDC standards and recommendation from our consultants, we have maximized outside air flow above the recommended standard to address COVID-related recommendations. We have set all systems to provide over two times the amount of recommended fresh air.

Run Time: We have also increased our building run times in excess of CDC recommendations to provide additional time for the building to flush at the end of the day and refresh prior to morning start up. Our buildings begin maximizing outside air no later than 5:30 a.m. and continue drawing outside air until 11:00 p.m. at night. On weekends we are running outside air from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

HEPA Filter Systems
While not required, the district has procured and installed HEPA Filter Systems in all of our nurse/isolation room stations at each school site. 

Custodial/Cleaning Plan

Head Custodian Duties (Start up and daytime): 

  • Prepare the building for the day. (Turn on lights, check common areas, check restrooms, check office area, etc.)
  • Periodically during the day, clean and sanitize rest rooms, door handles, bottle fillers, sinks, counter tops, etc., in all common areas.
  • Other areas and duties identified by the Custodial Supervisor
  • Identify any safety issues with the building and submit work orders when needed
  • Assist with any issues and or cleanup as needed

If a student is removed from a classroom due to Covid concerns:

At the earliest convenience when students and staff are out of the classroom

  • The classroom will be cleaned and sanitized concentrating on the student desk area of the potential Covid exposure along with all counter tops, sinks, etc.
  • The entire room will be sanitized.

Isolation Room:

  • Empty all garbage cans.
  • Clean and sanitize room including tables, chairs, counter tops, sinks, door handles etc.
  • Mist the entire room.

Custodial duties: After school hours

Classroom with students:

  • Empty all garbage cans.
  • Check blue caddy and refill all hand sanitizers and cleaning disinfectant bottles (all classrooms will have bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfectant available during the day).
  • Clean and sanitize room including sinks, counter tops, door handles etc.
  • Mop or vacuum floors every other day. 

Classrooms with teachers only:

  • Empty all garbage cans.
  • Rooms that are used will be cleaned and sanitized around teacher’s desk, counter tops, sinks, etc.
  • Check and refill all hand sanitizers and cleaning disinfectant bottles (all classrooms will have these available during the day).
  • Floors will be vacuumed and or mopped as needed.

Common areas including restrooms, library and office:

  • All restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized nightly.
  • Office area will be cleaned and sanitized nightly.
  • All entrances, hallways and floors will be vacuumed or mopped daily.
  • Clean all entry window glass.

 Nutrition Services Plan

Meals served free to all students:

  • To ensure a safe eating experience, outdoor eating, CDC-recommended physical barriers, rotating schedules and modified feeding locations have been incorporated.

Face Covering Plan

General Comments:

  • All staff, students and guests (regardless of vaccination status) must wear face coverings inside school buildings and on school buses this fall. Face coverings are optional when outdoors, can be removed when actively eating/drinking, or under rare medical or disability exceptions as approved by the school nurse.
  • Only staff who are fully vaccinated and complete the reporting process may remove their masks indoors when students and other staff are not present or not expected to be present. Examples when masks may be removed by fully vaccinated staff: when in their personal classroom, workspace or individual walled cubicle where no students(household family members excluded), staff, or public are in the vicinity or expected to enter the area in the near future.
  • Any face covering should be routinely cleaned by laundering or by a method recommended by the manufacturer of the covering.

Face Coverings:

  • Cloth face coverings should not be worn by students:
    • With a disability that prevents them from comfortably wearing or removing a face covering.
    • With certain respiratory conditions or trouble breathing.
    • Who are deaf or hard of hearing and those who provide instruction to such people unless a substitute is used.
      • If you believe your child qualifies for an exemption or if you have a question about allowable face coverings, please contact your school/building COVID-19 site coordinator.
  • Staff members who maintain a serious health condition/circumstance that might prohibit them from wearing a mask must consult with Nurse Ruff to review and identify accommodations.
  • In rare circumstances when a cloth face covering cannot be worn, students and staff may use a clear face covering or a face shield with a drape or wrap. Face shields should extend below the chin, to the ears, and have no gap at the forehead. Consult with Nurse Ruff.
  • Younger students must be supervised when wearing a face covering or shield and may need assistance putting them on, taking them off, and getting used to them.
  • Students/staff must wear cloth face coverings or acceptable alternatives while riding any form of district transportation (buses, vans, etc).

Tips for Preparing Your Child for Wearing a Mask

  • Have multiple masks, so you can wash them daily and have back-ups ready 
  • Choose a mask that completely covers the nose and mouth, fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, secures with ties or ear loops, includes multiple layers of fabric, and allows for breathing without restriction
  • Make sure the mask can be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape
  • Label your child’s masks clearly in a permanent marker so that they are not confused with those of other children
  • Practice with your child putting on and taking off masks without touching the cloth
  • Explain the importance of wearing a mask and how it protects other people from getting sick
  • Consider talking to your child about other people who may not be able to wear masks for medical reasons (e.g., asthma)
  • As a family, model wearing masks, especially when you are in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain or impossible
  • If you have a young child, help build their comfort wearing a mask and become comfortable seeing others in masks
    • Praise your child for wearing a mask correctly
    • Put a mask on stuffed animals
    • Draw a mask on a favorite book character
    • Show images of other children wearing masks
    • Allow your child to choose their mask that meets the school dress requirements

Face Cover Violations

  • If a student purposely or blatantly refuses to wear a face covering, it will be treated as a safety violation. Parents will be contacted to pick the student up from school. Repeated failure to comply with the face covering requirement will result in a transfer to Walla Walla Online.
  • If a student repeatedly forgets their face mask, they will be counseled, a plan will be developed and their parent/guardian will be contacted.
  • If a staff member is found to not be following required face covering protocols, appropriate personnel action will be taken by the school/building administration/supervisor.

Distancing and Hygiene Practices

Distancing:

  • Students:
    • Classrooms have been arranged to maximize social distancing between students, while still ensuring all children have access to a comprehensive, full-day school experience.
    • Students should attempt to maintain physical distancing to the greatest degree possible during passing, while on the bus, while eating, and in common areas.
    • Large gatherings of students in one location (e.g. assemblies), will be moved outside or reduced in size to ensure a safe, socially distanced setting can be maintained.
    • To ensure a safe eating experience, CDC-recommended physical barriers, rotating schedules and modified feeding locations have been incorporated.
  • Staff:
    • Attempt to maintain physical distancing at all times when students are present. Staff are encouraged to practices social distancing while eating near/around other staff.

Hand-washing:

  • Students and staff will clean their hands when they arrive at school, before meals or snacks, after outside time, after using the restroom, after blowing nose or sneezing and before leaving to go home.
  • Hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an approved hand sanitizer.
  • Supervise the use of hand sanitizer by young children.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, dispose of the tissue in the trash, then clean hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

Reporting Possible COVID Protocol Violations

Staff, students, parents and community who believe the above-referenced COVID protocols are not being adequately followed are encouraged to contact the School COVID Coordinator (principal). Additionally, anonymous tips can be made via the WWPS Safe Schools Hotline accessible by clicking here

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

SS-logo-alert-transparent Safe Schools Tip Line: 855.976.8772  |  Online Tip Reporting System