NEW COVID Quarantine & Testing Updates
Dear Villa parents,
Our community’s incredible support has made all the difference during the pandemic, and it will continue to serve as an anchor during this new wave. We are profoundly grateful for your due diligence and caution, knowing that Villa’s safety protocols are only as strong as our collective choices. While it sounds simple, even the choice of staying home with simple cold symptoms protects our students, teachers, and staff. Thank you for remaining a dependable and trusted partner!
The state of Washington’s Department of Health has updated its COVID requirements and guidance for K-12 schools. As such, there are
updates to Villa’s COVID isolation and quarantine policies. We also wanted to share our progress in providing diagnostic and screening
COVID testing at Villa.
When any COVID symptoms are present, please stay home and get tested as outlined below:
Changes/Additions to Villa’s Isolation, Quarantine & Testing Policies:
Individuals who test positive for COVID, with or without symptoms, no longer need to provide a negative test taken on day five before
returning to school on day six.
Individuals returning to school on day six after testing positive for COVID should be certain to use a well-fitting, three-ply mask
while at school or in public on days six through ten of their COVID timeline.
If a person with COVID symptoms tests negative for COVID with a rapid antigen test, then that person should take a confirmatory PCR test or
repeat a rapid antigen test within 48 hours of the initial test. This follow-up testing is needed before coming to school.
A summary of our updated COVID procedures is HERE.
Preparing for COVID testing at Villa:
We are in the process of establishing two types of COVID tests at Villa. Antigen tests will be available to help diagnose positive COVID
cases, and pooled PCR tests will be implemented to screen the entire school community once a week to identify any unknown positive cases of
Signed parent consent is required for Villa and the COVID testing company(ies) to complete both types of self-administered,
adult-supervised COVID testing at school.
Parents who do not wish to give consent for their child to participate in COVID testing at school will need to provide their own
off-campus testing documentation in the same timeline as the school-based COVID testing.
form includes all of the possible test types and testing companies that Villa could need to use this year to provide on-site COVID testing. Please
sign and return one consent form for your family to Audra Higgins, firstname.lastname@example.org,
by January 14th.
Rapid Antigen Tests at Villa:
Last week, the state approved the school for an order of rapid antigen tests to have on hand at school. We expect these tests to arrive very
shortly. They can only be used once families have completed their consent forms.
- Rapid antigen tests will be used as diagnostic tests if a student or adult has symptoms while at school.
Additionally, these tests can be used as an extra layer of safety for group events, such as high-risk athletics or fine arts programs, and
when a larger group of students attends an event like Ski Bus where students cannot fully distance themselves from each other.
PCR Pool Testing at Villa:
We have registered to provide PCR pooled screening tests for all students once a week. The local company that offers this service for
schools is, not surprisingly, delayed in getting their additional schools processed through its systems.
Even though this anticipated delay may impact our ability to begin screening testing quickly, we also want to have this service in place for
our use in the months ahead.
Pooled testing requires the implementation of additional processes at school each week. The administration team is currently working behind
the scenes to establish our processes to implement the screening tests as smoothly as possible.
- We will share specific details about this process with Villa families when our registration for pooled testing becomes active.
Villa’s Strong COVID Mitigation Layers:
We continue to have a high level of ventilation in the school building. All windows in all common areas and classrooms are open in multiple
- Distancing between classroom desks remains three or more feet apart and six or more feet apart during lunch.
Most importantly, we are proud to share that our eligible Villa community is
and that number continues to grow.
- 98% of our 6th - 8th-grade students are double vaccinated. Many of these students are now eligible and strongly encouraged to receive their third vaccination.
- 84% of our 3rd - 5th-grade students are double vaccinated.
- 81% of our K - 2nd-grade students are double vaccinated.
- At least ¼ of the K-5 students who are not fully vaccinated are in process or have appointments to begin their vaccinations.
Lastly, please note that even before the pandemic, all schools were experiencing a teacher shortage, including an acute shortage of substitute teachers. The pandemic has exacerbated this shortage, and though we have been fortunate, there remains the real possibility that Villa will experience some short-term staffing shortages, leading to grade or division level remote learning for short periods of time. The best way to help mitigate this potential disruption is by following COVID precautions and protocols. As always, it is our plan to have in-person learning as safely as possible for all learners with the least amount of disruption possible.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, flexibility, and cooperation as we weather the Omicron wave together. Your commitment to Villa’s transformational, Cabrinian mission and your ongoing grace, compassion, and kindness are a testament to our wonderful community.
With deep gratitude,
Julie Thenell Grasseschi, Interim Head of School