For many of us the past several weeks and months have been met with questions and a lot of uncertainty. As we approach the holiday season, I want to extend my thanks to you for your support and effort in maintaining our school and community safety throughout this pandemic. Columbia School District remains open for on-site instruction and we are thankful that we are able to continue educating students across our community. As you are probably aware, this past month Governor Inslee issued new guidelines across the state as part of a roll back put into place to curb the rising COVID numbers. You may have questions about what the new restrictions mean for K-12 schools. School districts have been given assurance that provided they continue to meet specific Department of Health expectations at both the state and local levels, we are exempt from these restrictions. The Governor and our state's public health experts continue to emphasize the importance of schools reopening and prioritize local decision-making in doing so.
In case you have not heard yet, district officials have created a new COVID dashboard on the CSD website (csd400.org) that will track weekly COVID case numbers across the school district for our parents and community. If you are interested in learning more, you can find this information under the DISTRICT tab on our website by clicking on the COVID DASHBOARD link. Case numbers will be updated each Friday. We hope this information will provide our parents and community with the latest information concerning case counts across the district and reassurance when sending your child to school each day.
While cases across our state remain high, Walla Walla County Health Officials continue to advise our school to remain open in our current capacity. This is due to the fact that COVID transmissions are not common in school settings. They are primarily occurring in social and family gatherings. We just completed our eighth week of on-site student support and sixth week with all students via the A/B hybrid schedule. I am happy to report that eight weeks into our on-site support we still only have one identified transmission where the virus has been passed from
one individual to another while on-site. This is due to our parents and community keeping potentially sick students at home and following the quarantine guidelines while staff continue to implement the latest safety guidelines and procedures.
This continues to be a very stressful time for our students, staff and community. Columbia School District continues to work hard to ensure all students are learning while providing a supportive environment to meet students' social-emotional needs. We look forward to continued partnering with you throughout this journey. Thank you for your commitment and support!
Todd Hilberg, Superintendent