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8/27: New School COVID-19 Communications Plan

Dear NTPS Families,

We are excited to welcome students back to school for 5 days per week of in-person learning this fall!

As we diligently prepare for a safe return to school, we wanted to share our process for communicating about cases of COVID-19 so that you and your family know what to expect in the event of COVID-19 symptoms, exposure, or a confirmed case at your student’s school.

This plan was developed collaboratively with Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) to create consistency and prioritize student and staff safety. You can view the updated school communication plan and flowcharts for the 2021-22 school year at:

We have highlighted a few frequently asked questions about the communication plan below:

When should I keep my student home from school?

We ask all students to please stay home from school if they are not feeling well in any way. Students who feel unwell at school must go to the quarantine room and return home as soon as possible.

It is recommended that students take a COVID-19 test prior to returning to school. We offer a free COVID-19 testing service for students located at ESD113 in Tumwater. Results of this COVID-19 test are typically provided within 24 hours but may be longer depending on the number of tests being processed by the laboratory.

To return to school after showing symptoms, students must be fever free without medication for 24 hours, and in many cases will also require a negative COVID-19 test result provided to the school.

Who do I notify if my student or someone in my household tests positive for COVID-19?

Please contact your school principal immediately if anyone in your household tests positive for COVID-19.

Will I be notified if there is a positive COVID-19 case at my student’s school?

If there is a positive COVID-19 case in a school, NTPS will work with PHSS to support contact tracing within the district. PHSS will contact only those who are considered close contacts and provide next steps. Our schools will not contact families or staff about a single confirmed COVID-19 case due to privacy laws.

In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak (2 or more linked cases in a shared location), our schools will contact the families of students and staff from the affected shared location.

What is a “close contact”?

  • Students in a K-12 classroom – Students who were wearing a mask and were within 3 feet of another student with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period. COVID-19 testing is also strongly recommended for students who were within 6 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 case.
  • Anywhere else at school – Someone who was within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period. This includes exposure between a student and adult or exposure between adults.

What happens if my child needs to quarantine?

Quarantine is when someone who has been exposed to COVID-19 stays home and away from others for the recommended period of time in case they were infected and are contagious. Your child may be exempt from quarantine if they are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms. They should be tested 3 to 5 days following a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

If a student is required to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or illness, the absence will be considered excused. Per district policy 3122, the student will be permitted to make up all missed assignments outside of class under reasonable conditions and time limits established by the teacher.

Please help us keep our schools safe and open by wearing a face covering your nose and mouth, washing hands often, practice physical distancing, and being vaccinated for COVID-19 as you are eligible.

Our priority is to protect the health and safety of our students and staff, including your child. We look forward to welcoming your students back to school this September!

-- NTPS Community Relations