Daniel Elementary School, 11310 SE 248th St., in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Daniel Elementary School, 11310 SE 248th St., in Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

COVID-19 closure strikes Kent classroom at Daniel Elementary

First closure in Kent School District since opening Aug. 26

The Kent School District has closed a classroom at Daniel Elementary School due to COVID-19, the first and only closure so far among its 42 schools since in-person learning began Aug. 26.

The district reported the closure at Daniel Elementary, 11310 SE 248th St., on Sept. 8 on its COVID-10 dashboard on the district website.

“As of Sept. 8, one (1) classroom is closed and offering remote synchronous instruction,” according to the dashboard summary. “Otherwise, the building is open and offering in-person instruction to students in the remaining classrooms. The school is contacting all impacted families of the closed classroom on Sept. 8. Close contacts have already been contacted by the school.”

District officials declined to disclose how many cases were in the classroom or the grade level of the class.

“Daniel is the first KSD school to have a classroom closure due to COVID-19,” said Melissa Laramie, district executive director of communications and public affairs, in a Sept. 10 email. “At this time, individual case counts for students and staff by school are not being posted, only classroom and school level closures. However, families will be contacted in case of potential exposure.”

Laramie said classroom closures are typically 14 days.

“In Daniel Elementary’s case, the earliest the classroom would reopen is Sept. 20,” Laramie said. “If a classroom or school is closed due to COVID-19, students will shift to the 100% remote model used during the 2020-2021 school year for the duration of the quarantine. Schedules will mirror current 2021-2022 in-person schedules. KSD teachers will have two days to transition to synchronous remote learning. Remote teach learning, with live instruction, will begin online fully by the third day for impacted classrooms.”

Laramie said the district is following state and federal health guidelines to reduce the number of cases, including face masks and social distancing.

“We have implemented layered prevention and mitigation strategies aligned to Washington State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidelines districtwide to help keep everyone healthy, especially those not yet able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” Laramie said.

The district’s guidelines for closure of a classroom after consultation with Public Health — Seattle & King County will be considered when:

• Two or more students or staff in the same room/area test positive for COVID-19

• The cases have symptoms that start within 14 days of each other

• A student or staff member has been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with a person who has confirmed a positive test result

• The cases are not associated with one another in another setting (household, club, etc.)

If a full class needs to quarantine or a school is directed to temporarily close in response to COVID-19 transmission, then:

• Staff and families will be notified by phone, letter, and/or email of the classroom closure

• Students will shift to the 100% remote model used during the 2020-2021 school year

• Schedules will mirror current 2021-2022 in-person schedules

• Teachers will have two days to transition to synchronous remote learning, and learning will begin online fully by the third day for impacted classrooms

As far as returning to school after a positive COVID-19 test, if a person tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 by a molecular or antigen test, they can return to school when the following criteria are met:

• 10 days since symptom onset, or since positive test specimen collection date if no symptoms are present (up to 20 days for those who are severely ill or severely immunocompromised) and

• 24 hours after fever resolves without the use of fever-reducing medications and

• Symptoms have improved.

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