January 25, 2022 – No Bus Service to/from Forks

Dear QTS Students, Parents and Staff;

Covid struck QTS transportation today.  QTS as of today is experiencing staff shortages in transportation through at least January 31, 2022.  QTS will remain open, but no bus service will occur to and from Forks, WA January 25 – January 31, 2022.  Parents are more than welcome to transport your children to and from school as QTS will be open.  QTS anticipates normal bus service to/from Forks restarting again on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.  This impacts approximately 25 students who travel to and from Forks regularly to attend at QTS.

Our School Board and I know this is a major inconvenience for our Forks parents that creates additional challenges immediately.  Forks students who are unable to attend QTS due to the lack of school transportation from Forks will be excused for the short time being of January 25-31.  Recall that our LaPush parents have been dealing with no bus service for nearly one and half years of Covid.  QTS encourages students in Grades 3-12 to check their Google Classroom according to their class schedule.  Parents with Grade K-2 students need to connect with their teachers.  The School Board and Superintendent will continue to monitor and may consider closing the school if conditions get worse.  However, today, January 24, 2022, QTS saw its highest attendance of 66%, since January 6, 2022.  QTS is beginning to see a trend of students returning and we are hopeful this trend continues.

If you have questions, please call QTS at (360) 374-2061.

Sincerely,

Mark J. Decker

QTS Superintendent

QTS School Board Motion #1537, January 24, 2022 (Special Meeting)

Posted on January 24, 2022 (6 pm) on QTS Web Page, Auto Dialer and Official Social Media Pages.

UPDATE: Covid – Omicron Thursday, January 20, 2022

January 20, 2022

Parent News! QTS wants our parents and students to know that QTS has reassessed attendance. We have decided to “flex” our student attendance procedures until this Omicron variant passes in order to support parents in making the safest choice for their children and family, who are dealing with Covid.  We want our parents to know to please keep your children home if they are sick related to Covid, please follow the Quileute Tribal Health Flowchart LINK to guide you in your decision making. Your best resource is your medical provider and please remember the school does not employ a nurse and our staff are not medical professionals.  

    • IMPORTANT to guide your children in grades 3-12 to their teachers Google Classroom for school work.  Students who are absent are expected to keep up with their Google Classroom work.  We look forward to your safe return to the classroom.
    • IMPORTANT for parents with children in Grades K-2 to contact the K-2 teachers directly for school work.
    • IMPORTANT QTS received Covid Test kits and can do student and staff tests.  Remember to order online your own home Covid Test Kits now available (https://www.covidtests.gov/)
    • QTS Human Resources available to assist parents include Home Liaison Hailey Miller, Registrar/Receptionist Stephanie Doebbler, Administrative Assistant Cody LeClair, Counselor Karla Kiedrowski  (School Staff Directory is on our web page)
    • Parent Student Handbook: Located on the School Web Page: Students: Parent/Student Handbook: Attendance page 34 (LINK)
    • Web Resources:

In conclusion, QTS will remain open for face to face learning, as long as our front line employees, bus drivers, cooks, para-educators, and teachers can remain healthy.  Like the rest of America we are short handed.  We are trying to differentiate for our employees health and safety, while remaining open for face to face learning as a school, so children continue the learning, albeit we may be low in attendance during January 2022.  Last Tuesday, January 18, 2022 our QTS School Board met and discussed in length that we want our parents and kids to feel safe and yet we also expect students to be accessing their school work.  The School Board agreed to “Stay The Course and Remain Open.”

UPDATE:  The kindergarten classroom has been reopened as of Thursday, January 20th at 8:30 am for learning, due to an exposure issue for the whole class, teacher and paraeducator.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Mark J. Decker

Note: This section on parent news is going out to parents on the autodialler asking parents to reference their email and school web page.

 

Date Total Student Exposures Total Student Covid Cases Student Attendance
1/6/22 10 4
1/7/22 10 1*–> update 2 60% attending (70/117)
1/10/22 8 3* –> update 7 56% attending (66/117)
NOTE: Covid Cases in Grade K, 8, 9, 11, 12
1/11/22 8 3 36% attending (42/117) NOTE: BIE, State, County Health recommending to stay open and work through the low attendance
1/12/22 1 0 41% attending (48/117)
1/13/22 0 0 48% attending (56/117) Staff: 2nd staff covid case since Jan 1, 2022
1/14/22 6 0 44% attending (52/117) Staff: 3rd staff covid case since Jan 1, 2022
1/18/22 1 0 58% attending (68/117)
1/19/22 0 0 57% attending (67/117)
1/20/22
Totals 44 11* –> update 16
* Due to delayed testing results these numbers were updated on 1/14/22

January 13, 2022 – Omicron UPDATE

  GREAT NEWS TODAY

Students are returning …up 14 students from two days ago.  Hailey, Stephanie and Cody will continue to help students and parents understand how to safely return by calling parents.  Seek to understand the link posted here Quileute Nation Covid 19 Flowchart to return safely.

Today’s data for January 13, 2022 @ 4:30 pm

Date Total Student Exposures Total Student Covid Cases Student Attendance
1/6/22 10 4
1/7/22 10 1 60% attending (70/117)
1/10/22 8 3 56% attending (66/117)
1/11/22 8 3 36% attending (42/117)
1/12/22 1 0 41% attending (48/117)
1/13/22 0 0 48% attending (56/117)
Totals 37 11

Parent Communication on Attendance – January 12, 2022

Dear QTS Parents, Staff, School Board Members and Community;

This morning, January 12, 2022, QTS learned that we have been authorized by several agencies to remain open for in person instruction.  The Quileute Nation Incident Commander / Chief of Police as well as other agencies like Clallam County Health Officer, Educational Service District 114, Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Bureau of Indian Education support the decision.  Our local School Board will be discussing the matter of in person learning on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Parents though you may be fearful of Omicron, help is on the way from Hailey Miller, Cody LeClair and Stephanie Doebbler who will be calling you as parents, helping you to understand the Quileute Nation Health Department flow chart for school attendance. Furthermore they will explain there is an expectation that students return to school soon once they are deemed safe and cleared for attendance. This week (Jan 12-14) those conversations will be in an advising tone.  Please start planning on sending your children back to school once they are cleared by QTS where we are following the QN Health Dept Flowchart.  Next week and beyond (Jan 18+), the conversations from Hailey, Stephanie and Cody will turn to discussions around when an absence becomes unexcused.  Reminder Grade 9-12 students have credit implications as the first semester ends on January 31st, so be sure to stay caught up.  All classwork work is expected to be completed in a timely manner for course credit.  If we all work together we will get through this battle with Omicron safely and most likely it won’t be cleared up until late January 2022.

Meanwhile, Grade K2 parents are to connect with their teacher by text/email (see our staff directory on the web page).  Grades 3-12 students are connecting in Google Classroom.   QTS is NOT offering remote learning opportunities for students once they are determined safe to return to school. Again, Hailey, Stephanie, and Cody will help parents understand that process.  Parents may choose online learning programs that are offered in WA State and parents are welcome to investigate them, de-enroll from QTS and enroll their child in those approved online programs should they choose.  We would really like you to continue your child’s education at QTS by following the QN Health Department Flow chart and getting your children safely back into in person learning at QTS.

Reminder that the School Web Page (www.quileutetribalschool.org) and the official School Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/quileute.tribalschool.3) are places for families to get the correct information for the school. All other sites are considered unofficial sites and should always be reviewed with caution.

This email will be followed by an auto dial informing parents to check their email on file with the school.  Stay safe and know that QTS is here to assist!

Sincerely,

Mark J. Decker
QTS Superintendent

NOTE:  This message went to parent cell phones/text, parent emails, staff emails, official school web page and official school social media facebook page.

Date Total Student Exposures Total Student Covid Cases Student Attendance
1/6/22 10 4
1/7/22 10 1 60% attending
1/10/22 8 3 56% attending
NOTE: Covid Cases in Grade K, 8, 9, 11, 12
1/11/22 8 3 36% attending NOTE: BIE, State, County Health recommending to stay open and work through the low attendance
1/12/22 1 0 41% attending
Totals 37 11

QTS Omicron UPDATE January 12, 2022

Posted on January 11, 2022 @ 5 pm and updated January 12, 2022 @ 7 am

QTS will be contacting parents on how to bring students back to QTS Safely based on the LINK Tribal Health Quileute Community Covid 19 Procedures .

Expect to hear by phone from:

  • Home Liaison Hailey Miller
  • Receptionist/Registrar Stephanie Doebbler
  • Administrative Assistant Cody LeClair

According to the LINK Tribal Health Quileute Community Covid 19 Procedures, exposed (and eventually post covid) students will soon be able to return to QTS.  Hailey, Stephanie and Cody will begin helping parents understand how to safely get their child back into school in the coming school days.  As of the close of January 11, 2022, QTS is being advised to remain open.  With many students absent we know some parents and family members are challenged with work schedules, children at home and/or working through Covid.  Students in Grades 3-12 please access Google Classroom. Parents of Grade K2 students, please communicate with classroom teachers.  Our aim in the coming days is to help parents understand the process established by the Quileute Health Department in getting your children back to QTS safely.

FYI: 19 of 20 schools on the West End are conducting “In Person” (IP) learning as of January 11, 2022. Three Tribal Schools based on advice of their Councils and Boards have switched to “Remote” (R) for a couple of weeks including Chief Leschi (Jan 5th -Puyallup), Lummi Nation School (Jan 12th-Bellingham), and Queets Clearwater.

QTS Omicron Variant STUDENT DATA 2022 – Students returned to QTS on January 5th, 2022:  117 students are enrolled. Between January 7th – 11th, zero (0) QTS staff have been found positive for Covid – Omicron though as of January 11th we have three staff absent waiting on covid test results.  83% of QTS staff is vaccinated with boosters.  Staff data is not included in the student data below.

Date Total Student Exposures Total Student Covid Case Student Attendance
1/6/22 10 4
1/7/22 10 1 60% attending
1/10/22 8 3 56% attending
NOTE: Omicron Cases in Grade K, 8, 9, 11, 12
1/11/22 8 3 36% attending NOTE: BIE, State, County Health recommending to stay open and work through the low attendance
Totals 36 11

Superintendent UPDATE for January 9, 2022

Superintendent UPDATE:  January 9, 2022

Dear QTS Students, Parents, Staff and School Board;

Omicron Variant and You!  Wear an appropriate well fitted mask in public spaces, wash your hands, watch your distance and get vaccinated.  QTS had four student cases of Covid, probably Omicron, in the student body last week and currently zero staff have Covid with 83% of staff vaccinated. Staff cases in the past have been both unvaccinated and vaccinated break through cases, of which three cases resulted during the Winter Break with no students exposed.  QTS had a 60% attendance rate on Friday, January 7th with 16 students …parents reporting…their child was exposed at home or through relatives and friends. Eighteen (18) parents, out of fear, removed their QTS students short term.  None of the student cases to QTS’s knowledge resulted in hospitalization.  We know this variant is milder and typically much like the symptoms of a cold or non-existent, for those who are vaccinated.   

Please review the Quileute Nation Health Center Flow Chart (January 4, 2022) in caring for those exposed to Covid. For the Quileute Nation a 10 day quarantine applies for exposure and covid cases and individuals should consult the QTS web page for Covid and School Closure updates.  QTS uses the QN Health Center Flow Chart as of January 3, 2022.  The Clallam County Department of Health Return to School Flow Chart is slightly different on caring for students/staff exposed should also be reviewed. The County has aligned the new guidance with Washington State’s best practices for the new omicron variant.  QTS was using this flow chart prior to the holidays for its off reservation students.

What to expect at QTS?  The Superintendent is daily monitoring, communicating and working with Quileute Nation Incident Commander/Chief of Police Michael Foster, as well as area Superintendents and Clallam County Health Officials.  Two thirds…of the 25 QTS staff respondents out of 42 surveyed… anonymously agree that QTS should remain in face to face instruction.  The Superintendent and QN Incident Commander/Chief of Police report that unless QTS begins seeing covid health issues crop up with the QTS teaching staff that the school will remain in face to face instruction to get through this phase of Omicron.  Most Federal, State, County, and Local officials believe the variant will burn out by the end of January and continue to recommend face to face instruction in schools.  The Quileute Tribal School Board will discuss the current events at their upcoming Tuesday, January 18, 2022 School Board Meeting.

What do I do as a Student?  Come to school, appropriately wear an approved mask, monitor my distance, follow the tightened up school protocols for masks and continue my studies in person and online, UNLESS I have been exposed or contacted Covid. If I am exposed and symptoms show up OR I test positive for Covid, I must quarantine for ten days (10), I must daily access my course schedule through my Chromebook/charger and my internet JetPack while in quarantine.  The expectations for learning continue as the first semester comes to a conclusion on January 31st. Many high school students still need to acquire their credits for high school coursework and graduation and are expected to do so according to the normal processes of the school.  Teachers are placing student work to be completed into the same systems “Google Classroom” and Skyward that we have been using at QTS for nearly one and half school years.  

What do I do as a family? We encourage those families who are fearful of exposure to reconsider bringing students back to QTS when they soon become comfortable, so far QTS has strong evidence that covid is not being spread at school, but rather through weekend or after school behavior.  The staff is almost all in agreement that our students after the holidays have been doing much better with masking protocols and listening to the teachings of the teachers and their Principal.  If staying at home due to fear, Grade 3-12 students need to be accessing their normal school schedule work via their Chromebook, Charger, and JetPack.  It is more of a challenge for grades K2, so know that teachers use SeeSaw or please contact your K2 teacher.  None of our teachers are expected to perform synchronous or asynchronous video sessions at this point, as this is a characteristic of 100% remote, which is not our status.  We are in face to face instruction.

What do we know?  Students are resilient.  Staff are doing their very best to help their students…it is what the heart, mind, and hands of a true educator does. I know the La Push/Forks community values their educators and we must remember that our teachers, paraeducators, bus drivers, cooks, administrators and custodians are on the front line of this Covid matter.  Remember to show your support and care for your local educators.  So how do we all handle stress?  Relax…Reflect…Reassess…Rehearse…Ritualize.  See Ann-Penn Charles Prevention Specialist article in the latest Talking Raven (pg. 6, The Five R’s of Dealing With Change Related Stress). Learn and grow from this covid experience.  We know that the models for educating our students need to change with these covid conditions.  Our students will persevere and our paradigm of education might not look like it has in the past. Our students most likely won’t be in the same places academically.   So let’s all give ourselves some grace in this matter and most importantly, recognize that many of our students may be learning in other ways we have not considered or thought of, so how do we support, care for and build them up in this new environment.   I suspect the answers can be found in social emotional learning, project based experiences and from our families.

Sincerely

Mark J. Decker

QTS Superintendent 

My Google Professional Profile LINK