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In this Issue… Family Listening Sessions, Timeline, Vaccinations, CDC CORNER, Be Safe

March 26, 2021

Dear HEA Members,

Things are moving quickly to comply with Governor Inslee’s vision for school children in Washington.  By now I hope you have seen the district’s commitment to maintaining 6 feet of social distancing through the remainder of this school year.

This past week the HEA held listening sessions with students, families, and communities to gather their questions and better understand their thoughts about returning.  It was a great series, repeated for each service area and our alternative programs.  Information that was gathered from families will be shared with the district in the next day or two. Many thanks to the group of dedicated HEA members who came together to make this a wonderful week of action. The strong relationships members have and continue to build with our families give us much to celebrate!

Site and Building safety plans are being upgraded and have been or will be presented by your administrators soon.  Last month, elementary educators found it helpful to hold a building HEA meeting to discuss safety plans with HEA Covid Captains and Reps.  You might do that Monday, prior to the HEA listening session, or Tuesday if that works better.  We are asking Reps and Bargainers, who can fit it in, to please pop in prior to the Secondary HEA Listening Session for an update.

These are challenging times.  I hope you know how much appreciation I hold for all you.  You are doing amazing things as you juggle, juggle, juggle so much right now.

My best,


Timeline:  The following timeline could be turned into a Snakes and Ladders game board as we careen through the next two weeks and through Spring Break.  Many of you have raised concerns about the whereabouts of students (and dare I say colleagues) during Spring Break.  I have raised these concerns with the district and have encouraged them to join me in reminding everyone of the recommendations from the King County Department of Health (DOH) regarding out-of-state travel. Please see the last section of this newsletter for that information.

  • 3/28 Deadline for first round of accommodation requests.  Accommodation requests can be made at any time to human.resources@highlineschools.org.
  • 3/29-31 Covid Captains meet with members to discuss building safety plans and email Sandy with concerns. (recommended)
  • 3/29@4:00 Rep Council Pre-meeting with Reps and Bargainers
  • 3/29@4:30 Secondary Listening Session (two rounds-all members invited).  Registration link is here
  • 3/29@5:45 HEA Executive Board Meeting
  • 3/31 Safety Training and Transition Day
  • 3/31 Impact Bargaining
  • 4/1 Impact Bargaining
  • 4/2 Impact Bargaining
  • 4/4 or 4/5 Distribute new Shared Agreements or Bargaining Update
  • 4/5 Secondary HEA Building Meetings (recommended) to review  new Shared Agreements and/or discuss bargaining progress
  • 4/5 HEA Representative Council Meeting to review and gather feedback/questions about the new Shared Agreements and/or discuss bargaining progress. Reps will also discuss any additional steps necessary to support bargaining and/or building health & safety. All members are welcome to attend. A webinar link will be shared in next week’s EFocus.
  • 4/7 Staff Safety Training and Transition Day
  • 4/8 Transition Day
  • 4/9 Transition Day
  • 4/10-18 Spring Break
  • 4/19 Start Date for Secondary Hybrid not in session already

Vaccinations.  Still looking for access to a vaccine?  Use the Vaccinate WA: COVID-19 Vaccine Availability web to find the location nearest to you. 

CDC CORNER or HOW TO BECOME A PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT IN 6 EASY STEPS (a new weekly series highlighting the recommendations of Dr. Fauci and his team):

CDC Core Principles for Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette: Through ongoing health education units and lessons, teach children proper handwashing and reinforce behaviors, and provide adequate supplies. Ensure that teachers and staff use proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette.

  • Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence among students, teachers, and staff. If handwashing is not possible, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol should be used. (It takes 20 seconds for soap to break through COVID-19’s outer membrane.
  • Encourage students and staff to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue when not wearing a mask and immediately wash their hands after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Some students with disabilities might need assistance with handwashing and respiratory etiquette behaviors.
  • Adequate supplies: Support healthy hygiene behaviors by providing adequate supplies, including soap, a way to dry hands, tissues, face masks (as feasible), and no-touch/foot-pedal trash cans. If soap and water are not readily available, schools can provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer).  This video can be used with your class and is available in multiple languages.


                                                     A Word from King County DOH on Spring Break

Dear school partners,
Many school districts have spring break rapidly approaching, and with many more people (including school staff) eligible for vaccination, it may be tempting to leave the state for vacation. Despite the great news about decreasing cases and increased vaccination, the safest choice is still avoiding non-essential travel. But with the sun showing up more and more in our region, there’s plenty of (socially distant) fun to be had right here in our backyard!
Here are links to the King County Schools COVID-19 Response Toolkit and training videos.

With case rates dipping and spring break just around the corner, many schools have been asking Public Health about updated guidance regarding travel and quarantine for those people who are fully vaccinated. The CDC’s recent guidance for individuals who have been fully vaccinated does not include any changes to quarantine following travel.

The safest option is to eliminate all non-essential travel to limit the spread of COVID-19. In King County, anyone arriving from other states or countries – including returning Washington residents – should quarantine for 14 days after arrival and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. If it is not possible for the individual to quarantine for 14 days, they should quarantine and self-monitor for 10 days. If they are unable to quarantine for 10 days, they should quarantine for 7 full days after arrival.

These recommendations apply to all people, including those who are fully vaccinated.