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Mask wearing as a COVID-19 mitigation measure is optional at BSD schools. This means that mask wearing in both indoor and outdoor settings will be an individual choice for students, staff, families, visitors and volunteers. The Bellevue School District strongly commits to a culture of acceptance, where individual choices will be respected, while we work together to ensure a safe learning environment for all.
While masks are no longer required universally in school settings, there will be situations when the use of well-fitting masks may be temporarily required for individuals by the Washington State Department of Health and/or Public Health Seattle & King County.
When are masks required?
- Any time someone aged 2 or older is in the school health room/clinic or isolation area
- Any time someone with COVID-19 symptoms is waiting to leave school
- Masks may also be required as a response to an outbreak or cluster of cases in a classroom or group or in a specific setting
Students, children, and staff will have the choice to wear a mask at school and/or at provider settings, with the expectation that others’ choices will be respected. Some may need to wear a mask because they or a member of their household is high risk for severe COVID-19 disease.
Students and staff who are immunocompromised, medically fragile, and/or otherwise high risk for severe disease should consult their health care provider about whether or not to continue wearing well-fitted masks
Schools will provide masks and other appropriate PPE to staff and students as needed or desired.
Does BSD offer COVID-19 vaccines to students, staff and families?
BSD partners with local health services to host vaccine clinics at BSD facilities throughout the year. Families and staff will receive email and/or text message notification about upcoming clinics. Please ensure your contact information is up-to-date in ParentVUE to receive these notifications.
Where can I access COVID-19 vaccines?
COVID-19 vaccines are available across King County, Washington state and nationally. Availability varies by location. Use the links below to find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic near you:
- King County Vaccination Options
- Need help over the phone? Call the King County COVID-19 Call Center any day between 8am -7pm at 206-477-3977. Interpreters available; state the language you need when you are connected
- Washington State Department of Health Vaccine Locator
- Kaiser Permanente (open to non-members) or call 800-352-3610
- SeaMar Community Health Centers or call 855-289-4503
- UW Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Updates & Information
You may also check with your local pharmacy to make an appointment.
Hand Washing Procedures
The Bellevue School District has established clear expectations and procedures to ensure frequent hand washing by students and staff. The district will provide school-specific posters and other signage about hand washing in all school buildings.
It is recommended that students wash or sanitize their hands upon entering their school building and/or class and frequently throughout the day.
Nearly all classrooms in the district are equipped with sinks. All classrooms will have hand sanitizer available for students.
Hand sanitizing stations will also be provided at entrances and throughout all school buildings.
It is recommended that all staff wash or sanitize their hands upon entering their building and throughout the day.
BSD has developed a cleaning regimen in our facilities and buses consistent with Department of Health guidance and the Infection Control Handbook (PDF).
According to the CDC, “the primary and most important mode of transmission for COVID-19 is through close contact from person-to-person. Based on data from lab studies on COVID-19 and what we know about similar respiratory diseases, it may be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”
The district maintains large quantities of supplies for hand sanitizing and surface cleaning.
To effectively clean all surfaces, students and staff may assist in sanitizing their spaces.
Bellevue School District has developed ventilation standards for all buildings in the district.
For ventilation and air circulation we are layering multiple protective strategies including:
- Increased outside air (ventilation) to each zone to the maximum allowed by the system. Goal will be to exceed rates required by Washington State and ASHRAE. Air is changed over 6.6 – 8.8 times per hour with outside air.
- Disabled energy saving control functions that would reduce outside air exchange.
- Ventilation systems and controls that can be monitored and adjusted over the district network.
- Monitor ventilation systems and controls remotely including carbon dioxide levels which are used as an indicator for fresh air circulation.
- Operate ventilation systems in occupied mode for one week prior to occupancy.
- Operate ventilation systems 2 hours before and 2 hours after occupancy.
- Matching student cohorts to ventilation zones to minimize cross contamination.
- Using MERV 13 filters that are efficient at capturing airborne viruses and changing them at least once every three months.
What is being done to increase ventilation in classrooms and school hallways?
Systems in all BSD schools have been set to pull in air from outside. District buildings have multiple layers of MERV 8-13 filters in place that are changed every three months. Our ventilation systems are fully commissioned and continuously monitor carbon dioxide levels with sensors as a measure of ventilation.
Do Bellevue schools have air filtration systems in place, such as HEPA or MERV-13?
The district does not have HEPA filters in our HVAC system. We use Tri-Dex 2 ply to 4 ply filters which range from MERV 8-13. Occupied spaces are filtered multiple times by different equipment, such as Heat Pumps, DOAS (Dedicated Outside Air Supply) and Heat Recovery Units. Our filters are changed every three months.
Visitors and Volunteers
Are masks required for visitors and volunteers?
No, mask wearing is optional for visitors and volunteers at BSD schools. The Bellevue School District strongly commits to a culture of acceptance, where individual choices will be respected, while we work together to ensure a safe learning environment for all.
Are COVID-19 vaccinations required for volunteers?
All employees and volunteers in educational settings are required to be fully vaccinated or have obtained a medical or religious exemption per Governor’s proclamation 21-14.3.
All volunteers will check-in via LobbyGuard, the district’s electronic visitor management system. School staff will visually verify vaccination status. The following are acceptable:
- CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or photo of the card;
- Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider or electronic health record;
- State immunization information system record; or for an individual who was vaccinated outside of the United States, a reasonable equivalent of any of the above.