• Alert:

    For the week of Jan. 24: COVID testing is open Monday - Thursday from 6:45am to 9:00am for students and staff only (closed Friday 1/28).

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HSD COVID Updates

Update

Last updated: January 24, 2022

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Current Testing Service Availability: Student and staff testing only at this time

Open Monday-Thursday 6:45 AM - 9:00 AM (no afternoon hours)

All family and community testing has been suspended due to low quantities of testing supplies.

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January 24, 2022

The HSD COVID testing service will operate Monday - Thursday this week from 6:45 am to 9:00 am for HSD students, staff, and student-athletes only.  Testing will be closed on Friday (1/28).

January 20, 2022

The HSD COVID testing service is operating in the mornings from 6:45 am to 9:00 am for HSD students, staff, and student-athletes only.  We expect to have enough supplies to continue this mode through the end of next week.

January 18, 2022

The HSD COVID testing service will operate this week (Tuesday - Friday) from 6:45 am to 9:00 am for HSD students, staff, and student-athletes only.  Three notes:

  1. The good news is that Educational Service District 112 arranged for a pick up of COVID tests at the state warehouse over the weekend and HSD secured a portion of its order yesterday.
  2. The bad news is that we do not have enough tests to offer testing for our families and community.  We will expand testing as soon as we receive additional tests and have more stability in our supply chain.
  3. We are unable to offer our afternoon testing service this week.  We will keep you updated on whether this will resume the week of Jan. 24.

January 17, 2022

HSD has received more testing supplies and expects to have enough kits to operate the testing service for students and staff for the rest of the week (mornings only, 6:45 am - 9:00 am).  Family and community testing remains suspended.

January 14, 2022

Testing will be closed Monday (1/17) and will re-open Tuesday (1/18) from 6:45 am to 9:00 am.  Availability for Wednesday-Friday (1/19 - 1/21) is dependent upon testing supplies and will be announced as soon as a determination can be made.

January 11, 2022

We are scaling back our testing service. We will only be giving COVID tests to HSD staff members and HSD students during the morning testing window (6:45 - 9:00 am). Our afternoon testing service will be closed. We will resume normal testing hours as soon as we receive additional testing supplies. Though not an ideal alternative, families can get a COVID test at GS Labs GS (12601 SE 2nd Cir, Vancouver, WA 98684) by appointment from 7 am - 6 pm. Here is a link to the GS Labs website.

January 10, 2022

HSD Parents:

Covid-19 testing program returns to its normal operating hours:

Monday - Friday 6:45 AM - 9 AM

Monday - Thursday 4 PM - 6 PM (PM hours suspended as of 1/11/21)

Testing is for staff, students and their immediate family (parents/siblings).

 

January 7, 2022 

Dear HSD Community:

We are experiencing a very high number of COVID cases and other illnesses within our school district and a major increase in COVID infections in our community. Currently, over 400 students and staff are absent from school due to illness or quarantine.

While it is our strong preference to maintain in-person learning, if we continue to experience such high absence rates, we must explore the possibility of other short-term options including:

  • implementing new health protocols (e.g., expanded testing), 

  • shifting to a different learning format (hybrid learning or fully remote learning) or a 

  • short-term closure of school (much like a closure we would experience during severe weather).

Currently, there is no specific number of cases that would trigger a school district closure. Moving forward, our plan of action is to:

  • Continue to consistently implement school health and safety protocols

  • Closely monitor data including student and staff attendance as well as positivity rates

  • Trace confirmed cases to determine if disease transmission is occurring within schools

  • Communicate any changes to current schedules or learning modes with families

Please note, any decision about a temporary change to schedule or learning mode will apply to all three Hockinson schools.

This situation is evolving very quickly, and we will continue to communicate with staff and families as we learn more. We expect to receive new K-12 school health guidance in the days ahead. These updates will be shared out to families via email and posted on our district website, www.hocksd.org.

We understand that any change carries with it potential complications for students, staff and families. You can expect to receive additional updates in the coming days. In the meantime, we appreciate your continued patience as we respond to increasing cases of illness and work to keep our families and staff safe.

 

January 5, 2022 

HSD Families:

Good evening. I am writing to you with updates on several important subjects: 

  • COVID monitoring update;

  • Contingency planning related the recent COVID surge;

  • Clarification on school health protocols;

  • Suspension of community COVID testing.

Additional details can be found below. I apologize for the length of this message, but want to be sure we are communicating with you about information that you need to know to keep your students and families healthy. 

COVID Monitoring Update

As you have likely seen on the news, we are seeing a dramatic increase in COVID cases in our school and community. 

We want to remind families that we maintain a Dashboard tracking COVID activity in HSD schools. 

Below is a summary of data from our COVID testing service since we resumed testing on Sunday, January 2:

 

We are seeing a 20% positivity rate at our drive thru testing site. This percentage is reduced by the testing that is required for some of our staff and all of our student-athletes.

COVID Surge Contingency Planning 

We continue to monitor COVID cases and field parent inquiries about if schools will close or shift to an alternate learning format. There is no pre-set threshold for closing classrooms or schools and no decisions have been made at this time. The HSD is committed to in-person learning. However, we are also committed to the health and safety of our staff, students, and community, which is why we are tracking student attendance rates and exploring several options, including modified safety protocols, a temporary shift to hybrid or remote learning, or a short-term emergency closure, similar to how we might approach a severe weather event. Again, no decisions have been made at this time and should anything change we will notify families via an email update, providing as much advance notice as possible.

Clarification on School Health & Safety Guidelines

As you know, health and safety guidance is constantly changing and it can be difficult to determine which guidance is the most current and correct. Separate guidance exists for schools and for the general public. This past weekend, unfortunately, general public guidance was confused with school guidance. This resulted in more stringent health guidelines meant for the general public (not schools) being shared with HSD families. We apologize for this confusion. Because we are expecting updates to the school-specific guidance from the state Department of Health in the coming days and due to the surge in positive COVID cases locally, we will continue to follow the more stringent guidelines, which require students exhibiting any symptom consistent with COVID-19 to isolate at home and get a negative COVID test before returning to school.

Suspension of Community COVID testing

As you can tell by the above table, we have had an overwhelming response to our free COVID testing service, so much so that we are running low on tests. Because we are giving priority to our students, staff, and the testing required for our student-athletes, we are suspending community testing until further notice. We will reinstate community testing as soon as we receive additional COVID testing supplies.

This means that effective tomorrow (January 6) we will only be testing HSD staff, students, and the student’s direct family members, if needed. We are defining direct family members as those who currently reside with the student(s).

New Student & Staff Testing Hours through Friday, January 7: 

6:45 - 9:00 a.m. 

and 

2:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Thank you for your continued patience. This is a very challenging time full of constant change for all of us. We are doing our best to navigate obstacles and communicate with you in real time as much as possible.

 

January 3, 2022 

HSD Parents:

Today, we welcomed back our students to in-person learning. It was great to see our students back on campus despite a couple of reopening and communication issues that I wanted to be sure were followed up on tonight.

First, a few of our buses were slowed this morning by adverse road conditions and others were impacted by a car accident (the accident did not involve a bus). This resulted in unanticipated delays with morning pick ups. We contacted FirstStudent Student Transportation to ensure that all families not on the FirstView app receive timely notifications even in surprising circumstances like these.

Second, we have seen a significant increase in symptomatic students and COVID infections. Yesterday, our testing service recorded more than twice the number of positive cases in one day than we saw in the previous two months combined. I attended a meeting with Clark County Superintendents and Clark County Public Health this afternoon and Dr. Alan Melnick, health officer for Clark County, shared that the county is experiencing a similar spike in COVID infections.  

All three of our schools redoubled their COVID safety protocols today, including:   

Maintaining 6' of distance staff-to-staff and staff-to-students and 3' between students whenever possible.

Pausing group work, group projects, or partner work through the end of 1st Semester, when we will re-evaluate our circumstances.

Monitoring our students’ health. Students exhibiting cold/flu/COVID symptoms will be asked to check in with the school nurse for a health evaluation. If COVID is suspected, students will be asked to get tested at our drive-thru testing service, which has extended hours through Friday, Jan. 7:

6:45 - 9:00 am and Noon - 6 pm

Requiring that students wear a mask correctly throughout the school day and practice good hygiene.

Adherence to state testing requirements for middle and high school winter sports athletes.

Recognizing that learning at school benefits our students in countless ways, Hockinson Schools are committed to maintaining in-person learning.  Staying in-person is going to require a team effort from schools and our families. Hockinson Schools will continue to implement the above mitigation strategies, but the most effective way to keep our students and staff healthy is for our students and staff who are symptomatic to stay home.

I apologize that this past weekend a change in our health protocols was communicated via Facebook and our website, but not directly to staff nor parents via email. This has been addressed and families can expect to receive emails via SchoolMessenger moving forward. Our principals and I will do our best to keep you updated in the days ahead. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Steve Marshall 

Superintendent

Hockinson School District





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