Return Set for March for Middle and High School Students to be Back on Campus Full Time
February 9, 2021 – West Ada School District is moving forward with bringing middle and high school students back on campus full time no earlier than Tuesday, March 30 following remote Monday. The primary criteria centers around staff reaching peak immunity after receiving the vaccine and that at each school the student/staff percent positive is below 2% for two consecutive weeks. The student/staff percent positive for each school is calculated by looking at each school’s student/staff positive case counts divided by total student/staff enrollment.
Remote Mondays will continue until the end of the school year.
The timeline for the vaccine to reach peak effectiveness was emphasized by the committees who drafted the criteria. There are 28 days between the first and second dose of the vaccine, and another two weeks following the second dose before a person reaches peak immune response. The committees (one for middle and one for high school) were made up of district and building administration, teachers, school nurses, trustees, parents and health professionals.
Date considerations made by the committees:
- Late January: School staff choosing to be vaccinated began receiving first dose.
- Early March: Second doses received by most school staff choosing to receive vaccine.
- Late March: Two weeks following last dose is when those vaccinated reach peak immune response.
- Late March: Spring break.
- March 30: Earliest date middle and high schools would attend school in-person full-time (March 29 is a remote Monday).
“With the necessary two-weeks after dose number two to achieve peak immune response, the earliest West Ada School District could return to school, based on the criterion of opportunity to receive vaccine protection, would be March 29 after spring break,” Bret Heller, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning explained. “This gives us time to watch the effectiveness of the vaccine in our community and react appropriately.”
West Ada School District continues monitoring infection rates in schools and moving individual campuses, classrooms or programs to remote learning as necessary. The pandemic operating plan continues to guide decision making, with adjustments made as new information becomes available from health authorities.
Returning to Full Time Learning Means:
- All middle schools will need to meet the criteria and return to daily in-person learning at the same time.
- All high schools will need to meet the criteria and return to daily in-person learning at the same time.
- Monday will continue to function as a remote learning day, in-person learning will occur on Tuesday-Friday.
- The mask requirement will remain in-place at minimum through the end of the 2020-21 school year.
- Continued focus on mitigating measures - hand hygiene, sanitizing and continuing to facilitate as much physical distancing as possible.
- Six-feet of physical distancing will not occur when all students are back in the building.
- Teachers at middle school and high school expected to deliver fully synchronous learning to students on quarantine/isolation.
- If any middle school or high school needs to transition to full remote learning due to positive cases, clusters, or outbreaks in the two weeks prior to fourth quarter, then school district administration will evaluate whether the situation necessitates a delay to returning to full, in-person learning.
“When you think about last March when we were handing out packets, we have come a long way,” shared Heller. “One of the questions we keep asking is how do we do things differently so to do things as safely as we can.”
Watch the Board of Trustees meeting here: Board of Trustees / Board Meeting Recordings, https://www.westada.org/Page/35419