Dear WSVSD Families, 

Happy New School Year!  We are excited to welcome all students back to our school buildings full-time this fall.  To ensure the safety of our students, staff, and families, we will continue to abide by the requirements set by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), which you can access at  Here is a summary of what to expect:

  • The first day of school is Wednesday, August 25, 2021.  All schools begin at 8:15 AM.
  • When indoors everyone must wear a mask.  This is a legal requirement set forth by DOH, and it applies to all students and staff.  Also, when riding a school bus, the driver and all riders must wear a mask.
  • A COVID-19 vaccination IS NOT required to return full-time to school.
  • Every student will be seated in their classrooms at a minimum of 3 feet apart, while indoors and wearing a mask.
  • Students and staff may remove their masks indoors at school only to eat or drink.  Therefore, in the cafeteria during breakfast and lunch service, students will be removing their masks.  DOH requires a minimum of 3 feet between every student during meals.  However, I have tasked our school leaders to maximize space between students when unmasked, aiming to provide 6 feet between each student during meals, and when weather allows, we are planning to offer outdoor seating options.
  • When students and staff are outdoors – for recess, lunch, PE, mask breaks or with their class – they are NOT required to wear a mask.
  • There will be handwashing stations strategically located throughout our schools.  Everyone will be strongly encouraged to practice proper hygiene.
  • We will (a) continue to screen students out when they display symptoms, (b) continue to do contact tracing, and if we have a positive case in our schools, we will communicate with all families of students who were exposed, and (c) direct students to be quarantined.
  • As a district, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness.  Our custodial staff will provide a deep and thorough cleaning overnight in every classroom, common space, and office in our schools after every school day.

To help visualize some of the health safety protocols in our schools, we are also releasing a video in the coming days for students, families, and staff to view the application of this guidance in our schools.

So, what has changed from last school year?

  • Families will not complete an attestation form prior to coming to school.
  • There will not be a temperature screening for students prior to entering the school building.
  • The district IS NOT providing an online learning option if students can attend in person.  If families do not want students to attend in-person learning at school, they will have to transfer to a virtual program outside the district.  The district will provide online learning to students due to classroom and school closures, if they were to occur.
  • Each school is equipped to provide COVID-19 tests for students and staff.

You will also be receiving communication from your building principal in the next few days.  It will be tailored to the specifics of each individual facility.  If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call or email them.  They’re happy to answer questions and assist in your students' full-time return to school this fall.

Our hopes and aspirations for our full-time reopening align with the State of Washington, as we aim to maximize in-person learning for every student all school year long, and to minimize the spread of COVID-19 among students, staff, and our community.  We are so excited to welcome everyone back on Wednesday, August 25!


Dr. Sean D. McGeeney
White Salmon Valley School District