RETURN TO LEARN 2021-22

UPDATE: 07/29/2021

Superintendent Communication

Dear Parents, Families and Community Members:
As we look forward to welcoming back our staff and students to the upcoming school year, I want to take this opportunity to share some important information with you regarding re-opening schools including current guidance, legal references regarding masking, and district position statements on topics on Critical Race Theory, State Training (Diversity/Equity and Inclusion) and Comprehensive Sexual Health Education.


RE-OPENING GUIDANCE FALL 2021
This past Wednesday, during a televised press release, Governor Inslee along with Lacey Fehrenbach, Deputy Secretary of Health shared updated guidance for opening schools this fall. Following is a summary of the major components highlighted in the release:
 All staff and students must wear face coverings/masks, regardless of vaccination status, consistent with recent recommendations from the CDC and American Pediatrics Association
 Physical distancing of at least 3’ in classrooms. Distancing shall not prevent any school from offering full time in- person learning to families who want it. Distancing guidance for common areas, lunch and other settings has been simplified to support full time in-person instruction, consistent with CDC guidance
 Quarantine protocols have been updated to reduce student exclusions. The close contact definition excludes students who were at least 3 feet away from an infected student when (a) both students were wearing face coverings/masks and (b) other prevention strategies were in place. Exemptions from quarantine include:
(a) Close contacts who are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms,
(b) Close contacts who had confirmed COVID-19 in the past 3 months, have recovered and have no symptoms
Note: In both cases above, although quarantine is not required, these individuals should still watch for symptoms and get tested should symptoms develop
For more details, you can review the most current guidance from the D.O.H. for this fall HERE


LEGAL REFERENCES: MASKING
In a recent letter to board members and superintendents, State Superintendent Reykdal informed School Board Directors and Superintendents that: “By constitutional authority and  RCW 28A.300.040 , one of the state Superintendent’s clear powers is, “supervision over all matters pertaining to the public schools of the state.”  Apportionment amounts and timing are shaped by additional law but let me be clear:  Boards or districts that intentionally disobey, dismiss, or shun an explicit law, including a Governor’s executive order, which has the power of law, will see an immediate halt to their basic education apportionment, and their federal funds that come through OSPI.”
For further clarification and legal references regarding masking requirements review this message from State Superintendent Chris Reykdal.


DISTRICT POSITION STATEMENTS:
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Sexual Health Education (SHE) and Critical Race Theory (CRT) are all complex education-related issues which are currently “hot topics” in our national dialogue via both social media and the mainstream media. On the national level conversations about DEI, SHE and CRT tend to be divided along political and ideological lines, which unfortunately for most people cause more frustration and confusion.
Locally we believe that as a “learning organization” the LCSD must remain committed to ensuring that we continue to promote meaningful conversations about our curriculum with our community, our staff, and our students. To help bring greater clarity and understanding about curriculum and the issues at hand, the Superintendent, in collaboration with the LCSD Board of Directors, has prepared a brief summary explaining our position on these issues. Some of these explanations include links which offer more in-depth information on each topic. Click HERE to read in more detail the school district’s position on DEI, CRT and SHE.

Sincerely,

Barry P. DePaoli, Superintendent

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