The Kent School District closed one classroom Jan. 21 at Springbrook Elementary School due to COVID-19. The classroom is scheduled to return to in-person learning on Jan. 31. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

The Kent School District closed one classroom Jan. 21 at Springbrook Elementary School due to COVID-19. The classroom is scheduled to return to in-person learning on Jan. 31. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Kent had individual classrooms closed at 10 schools last week

COVID-19 cases spread; several of the elementary schools have reopened after week-long closure

Individual classrooms at 10 elementary schools in the Kent School District were closed by the end of last week due to COVID-19.

Classrooms at several of the schools reopened Jan. 24 while others won’t reopen until Jan. 31, depending on when the closure occurred, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

It is by far the most closed classrooms during one week in the district during the 2021-2022 school year.

In addition to the individual classrooms at the 10 schools, the district entirely closed Pine Tree Elementary last week due to multiple COVID-19 cases. It was the first, and so far only school, to be completely closed due to the pandemic this school year.

A few schools had as many as two or three classrooms closed as the omicron variant spreads through King County, the state and the nation.

The elementary schools with closed classrooms included Cedar Valley, Daniel, Fairwood, Horizon, Meridian, Panther Lake, Ridgewood, Springbrook, Sawyer Woods and Soos Creek.

There are 42 schools in the district, including 29 elementary schools.

Students switched to remote learning during the closures. Each school contacted all impacted families of the closed classrooms, according to the district.

District officials provide no specific details about the grade of the classroom closed or the number of positive cases to protect student privacy.

The district announced earlier in January its plan to keep in-person learning going at schools as long as it has staff and not too many COVID-19 cases.

The district considers the following policy for closure of a classroom after consultation with Public Health – Seattle & King County:

• Three 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

• 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 2020-21 school year

• Schedules will mirror current 2021-22 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

• Classroom closures will typically last 5-10 days

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