Back to School Return - Exclusions and COVID related information
Self-Screening and Exclusions
Can students attend school if they are not feeling well?
Students and staff are encouraged to use the screening tool daily before entering a WCSD facility to determine if they should come to school. The COVID-19 screening tool includes:
- Three questions to evaluate symptoms.
- Exposure at home.
- Close contact with a positive COVID test.
- The screening tool is available in various languages at https://www.washoeschools.net/Page/15199.
What if my student or myself, as a staff member, is experiencing symptoms?
Students need to complete the Washoe County Health District (WCHD) COVID-19 Assessment form online https://aca-prod.accela.com/WASHOE-COVID19/Welcome.aspx or call the COVID-19 Hotline at (775) 328-5457. Staff members can contact the Employee Health Nurse at (775) 348-0338 to refer for the COVID-19 test.
If my student has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, what do they need to do?
If any student, staff member, volunteer, or guest develops symptoms at any time, they should isolate at home and not go to any WCSD school or site. Families should call their school to report symptoms, then contact their healthcare provider or Washoe County Health District to determine if a COVID-19 test is required.
Close contacts who display symptoms of COVID-19 and who are unvaccinated will be asked to be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days. Close contacts who are vaccinated and who are showing no symptoms will not be asked to quarantine.
The school nurse will verify vaccination status through Web IZ, and until it is validated, the individual will be excluded. Properly worn face masks which cover the nose and mouth are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. In addition, masks should meet CDC recommendations in terms of quality.
If your student properly wears a mask to school and comes into close contact (between three feet and six feet apart) with a person who tests positive for COVID-19 (who was also correctly wearing a mask), and your student is not showing symptoms of illness, your student will not be excluded from school.
My child is vaccinated. Should I send in my vaccination card?
At this time, we are not asking for parents to provide vaccination cards for their vaccinated students. However, parents will need to provide proof if the student is deemed a contact to a positive person, so the vaccinated student is not excluded.
Why does my student need to quarantine or isolate?
Students are asked to isolate or quarantine at home to prevent spreading a contagious disease, like COVID-19, to others. If your child is asked to isolate, they need to stay home and not attend school, sports, or school activities to separate from other students, even if they don't appear sick.
Students who test positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19 are asked to isolate.
What if someone in our home has tested positive for COVID-19, but my student isn't sick?
If someone in the home has tested positive or is presumed positive for COVID-19, the parent/guardian should notify the school. The administrator or nurse will provide quarantine guidance and a return to school date. It is essential to contact the school and provided information if your student becomes sick.
If my student tests positive for COVID-19, how long do they have to stay isolated?
The exclusion period depends on the specific illness, recovery time, and the contagious period of the illness. Additionally, the extent of exclusion depends on the illness and the number of individuals exposed. Close contacts identified through contact tracing may require further exclusion, which the Washoe County Health District will determine.
If my student is excluded, would they be missing school? Is their absence excused?
Students who are excluded will have access to educational services which are arranged by each school staff. In addition, schools will contact excluded students with additional information and guidance to continue learning while in isolation. Please note that absences for Covid exclusions do not count towards chronic absenteeism.
My student needs to complete assignments online during their exclusion time. How can I get access to affordable internet?
The federal Emergency Broadband Program (EBB) is designed to help families and households struggling to afford broadband internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The EBB program provides up to a $50 per month discount for home internet services and a one-time discount of $100 toward purchasing a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet. Households may qualify for the program if they participate in different federal programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline, or experienced income, job loss, or layoff. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting getemergencybroadband.org.
Is there technical support available for families and students that are struggling to complete online assignments?
The district continues to offer technical support for students and their families through the Family Tech Support Hotline. This free service provides a live person that can help with technical questions or issues. Family Tech Support is accessible by calling (775) 789-3426 available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
I need to update my contact information for Connect Ed call. How can I provide that information?
Please get in touch with your child's schools and speak with the registrar to update your contact information. It is essential to maintain your contact information current to ensure you get to school and emergency notifications.
I am not receiving Connect Ed calls when there are cancellations or emergencies. Who should I contact?
There might be a couple of reasons why you are not getting notifications.
Verify that your child's school has the correct phone number to reach you.
Make sure that your child's school phone number, as well as the district's notification number 775-333-3733, is not blocked on your phone.
If you had opt-out of ConnectEd calls, you need to call 1-855-502-7867 from the phone you have opted out of. Unfortunately, the schools cannot opt you back in.
Info on covid-19 testing for sports and travel outside Washoe county.
Who needs to get tested for COVID?
Per the Governor's Directive and NIAA guidance, unvaccinated student-athletes and students participating in sports and activities traveling outside Washoe county need to get Covid testing before their participation. Therefore, the Washoe County School Board decided at their regular meeting on August 24 that all student-athletes and students participating in sports and activities traveling outside Washoe county need to get COVID testing before their participation. Parents or guardians will be notified when they need to complete testing.
How often do student-athletes need to test? Weekly?
Each week, all freshman, JV, and Varsity football players, staff members, and game workers will receive a Quidel QuickVue SARS antigen test via nasal swab. In addition, players, staff, and game workers will perform their own nasal swabs on-site, supervised by licensed testers. Results will be available within approximately 15 minutes. If an athlete, staff member, or game worker does not undergo a test for any reason, they will not be allowed to participate in that week's game or travel with their team or activity outside Washoe county.
If any participant tests positive for COVID-19, they will not practice and begin their isolation period. Contact tracing will take place.
Are COVID-19 vaccines required for students and staff?
School districts must follow the vaccination requirements established by Nevada state law NRS 392.435 and NRS 392.446. Under state law, the Washoe County School District cannot mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for students. Currently, COVID-19 vaccinations are not required for students and staff.
Will WCSD schools make COVID-19 vaccines available for eligible adults and students?
The district collaborates with the Washoe County Health District and other community partners to provide COVID-19 vaccination opportunities for students, staff, and the school community after school hours at our school facilities.
Will my child be required to get vaccinated to play a school sport or join the band, theater, or other school activities?
State laws NRS 392.435 and NRS 392.446 govern student vaccination requirements. Therefore, WCSD cannot mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for students. Currently, there are no plans to require vaccines for students to play school sports or activities.
If I choose to get my eligible student vaccinated, where can I take them?
The Washoe County Health District, Immunize Nevada, and Community Health Alliance offers free COVID-19 vaccines at various locations and dates. www.Immunizenevada.org features the most current listing of COVID-19 vaccine locations. The Washoe County Health District also provides COVID-19 vaccines for anyone aged 12 and above. Here is a link to schedule a vaccine appointment.
When and how will masks be required?
The Washoe County School District follows the Governor's Emergency Directive 048, which requires all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks inside WCSD schools and buildings regardless of vaccination status. In addition, following federal guidelines, staff and students will be required to wear face coverings while riding the school bus regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings must be worn over both the nose and mouth and should fit snugly against the face.
Parents, vendors, volunteers, visitors, and guests who are unable or unwilling to wear face coverings under any circumstances will not be permitted on school buses, in school buildings, or on school campuses.
Do masks need to be worn outside?
Masks are not required outdoors or while eating or drinking.
Will students with disabilities be required to wear face-covering or masks in school buildings?
As per the Governor's Directive 048, students and staff may request a medical exemption from wearing a cloth face covering.
Exemptions are granted to a student who is medically fragile as documented per an existing Individualized Education Program or health-related 504 Plan and to students or staff who can produce documentation from a qualified Nevada-licensed medical professional that they are exempt following subsection 3 of section 7 of Directive 024: "Individuals who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical condition or disability, or who are unable to remove a mask without assistance. A person exempted under this provision should wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield."
Will wearing a mask all day cause harm to my children, such as lowering their oxygen levels, forcing them to re-breathe their air?
Numerous public health and medical experts, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have conclusively determined that wearing a mask does not affect oxygen levels in healthy patients or patients with asthma. For example, see this CDC science brief, which concludes that masks do not harm oxygen levels at rest or during physical activity.
Will students be given "mask breaks," and as such, how can they accommodate them?
Staff is encouraged to find innovative ways to allow for mask breaks for all students while following local, state, federal guidelines to protect students, staff, visitors, and guests.
Supporting Mental Health and Wellness
My student has been struggling emotionally since the pandemic began. How can I get help? Whom should I call?
As schools return to more traditional schedules and learning models in the coming year, WCSD counselors, psychologists, social workers, Family and Community Engagement (FACE) liaisons, Student Graduation Advocates, Family Graduation Specialists, and teachers will work together to practice social and emotional skills, as well as mental health and emotional wellness with students. Families are encouraged to contact the school if they are concern about the emotional wellbeing of their students.
Are there any supports available for families who are struggling with challenging student behavior?
The district's Multi-Tiered Systems of Support has established the MTSS Family Behavioral Hotline (775) 337-7566, providing families with access to a behavior specialist that can help identify strategies to support student behavior at home and school. This is a free service for all families accessible via phone or email.
What is distance learning education available for students who prefer remote learning?
For the upcoming 2021-22 school year, the Washoe County School District distance education model will change, and all online students will be enrolled full-time at North Star Online School. This is an accredited WCSD school, and there is no tuition for students. In addition, there are four "hubs" where students can meet with teachers across the district: Mendive Middle School, North Star Online School, Cold Springs Middle School, and Marce Herz Middle School.
Learn more about North Start Online School at www.washoeschools.net/northstar or call (775) 353-6900.
Are students that attend North Star able to meet in person with teachers or their peers?
The student typically meets via Zoom/LiveLesson/Teams to receive help and assistance from their teachers. Unfortunately, due to COVID, in-person student activities are currently not being offered.
May students participate in elective courses (sports, arts, etc.) and social activities at their zoned school?
District guidance is that North Star students can participate in extracurriculars at their zoned schools. Elective participation is also an option but depends on seat/teacher availability.
Are meals provided for full-time online learners (distance learners)? If so, where/when those meals are available?
Yes, meals are provided for North Star students. Families need to complete an online order form to ensure they receive their weekly meals. For additional information or questions, call Nutrition Services at 775-325-8410. https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=D59Rsb8tIU6_NKaGzpdYimSiYO2XJmFNu2RklIi7ogtUMEM2WEwwQTJYN1E3Wk5NMFZQNk9TU1JEQS4u&wdLOR=c8793182B-C0CA-4CEC-A665-F542B7D4E48A