COVID-19 FAQs

This document was developed with guidance from the North Shore Health Department, CDC, neighboring districts, and other authorities. The District will update this document regularly as new questions arise.

MULTIPLE LAYERS IMPROVE SUCCESS
The Cleveland Clinic's Swiss Cheese Respiratory Pandemic Response Defense recognizes that no single intervention is perfect at preventing the spread of the Covid-19. Each intervention (layer) has holes.
swiss cheese
Thank you for doing your part to keep our schools safe and open. Use the outline below and the navigation links in the right hand column to find documents in the FAQ:
 
Topics
  • Masking
  • Covid-Testing/Vaccinations
  • Learning Model Transitions
  • Social Distancing/Lunch
  • Instructional Technology
  • Virtual Learning/Enrollment
Student COVID test results email: COVIDResults@Shorewood.k12.wi.us


If you have a question/concern that is not addressed and may benefit the community, please submit your question here

 Masking/Safety
 
Yes, masks are a key part of our COVID mitigation strategies and all individuals age 2 and over are required to wear a face covering at all times indoors. We ask that your child/ren wear a high quality, clean mask each day.  While we have a supply of masks available if students forget to wear their mask, we want to be good stewards of this supply. Please send your child/ren to school with a mask each day.  This will ensure that we have an adequate supply of masks when they are needed. If you are able, an extra mask is a good idea in case mishaps occur as well.
 
  • Face shields are not considered a face covering.
  • All students and staff will be held accountable for properly wearing their masks at all times. Anyone seen wearing masks incorrectly will be promptly reminded of proper mask-wearing protocol.
 
Review the CDC's How to Wear a Mask video.
Schools have a limited supply of face coverings for distribution as needed. If you are having difficulty obtaining a face covering for your child, please contact your child’s teacher or school for help.
The District follows the CDC guidelines for types of masks and respirators that should be worn. Please review the CDC Types of Masks and Respirators document and the info graphics below. You can also view this Guide To Masks.

Masks for daily use should be 2-3 layers of cotton/ cotton blends, breathable, and well fitted to the face (covering the nose and mouth without gaps on the sides). As a reminder, gaiters and bandanas are not permitted as they do not seal the face and tend to be touched and adjusted more frequently by the user.  Masks with one-way exhalation valves are also not permitted as they allow air to escape unfiltered, which could increase the risk of the spread of the virus.   


We ask for your help in continuing to promote proper mask-wearing. The more that this protocol can be reinforced, the safer our Shorewood students and community will be.

masks

masks
 
No. To protect the health and safety of all Shorewood students and staff, the District is authorized to and has implemented a policy requiring face masks (for ages 2 and up), applicable to all persons entering District buildings regardless of vaccination status. No exceptions will be made to the District’s mandatory mask policy, except in cases where accommodations are required in accordance with state and/or federal law.
We have been informed about situations when students are not wearing their masks properly. We want to be clear in defining this topic. When we talk about mask compliance, we refer to a situation when a student is refusing to wear a mask correctly, or not at all. There have been no mask compliance incidents in our elementary schools or the high school. One issue of mask non-compliance has occurred at the Intermediate School. Age-appropriate, progressive consequences include a warning from the Principal, to a family meeting with the Principal, to sending the student home for the day. Removal from school pending a reinstatement meeting with parents/guardians is a further option.   
 
On a daily basis, teachers/staff correct students who are not wearing masks properly (above their nose). In the less than ten days that school has been in session, I have seen mask-wearing among our students improve daily, to the point where very few students now need to be redirected. 
Currently, no students or staff in the District have received an accommodation of this kind. When and if an accommodation is made, we will consult with legal counsel and follow their recommendations regarding notification.

Proper mask wearing is a key mitigation strategy, District-wide. This has been a focus of staff training, our back-to-school communications with families, and orientations with students at all grade levels at the beginning of the school year. Everyone’s vigilance is necessary to make this successful, and we are grateful to students and their families for doing their part to mask properly, observe social distancing guidelines and practice good hygiene. We have notified parents about what constitutes a high-quality mask as well as proper mask wearing protocols multiple times. School leadership teams, classroom faculty and staff have made great progress in teaching, integrating and monitoring these practices just a few weeks into the school year. 

We are confident that reminders and redirection about correct mask wearing, social distancing and other policies will help the District follow current COVID-19 guidance for schools. We encourage families to review this video on mask wearing:   How to Wear Your Face Mask Correctly Video

The expectation is that all mask breaks and snack breaks take place outside unless recess is cancelled (heavy rain, extreme cold.)  In cases where a snack break must take place indoors, teachers will hold a very quick and quiet snack time (5 minutes), students will be appropriately distanced,  and dividers will be used at tables/desks during the snack break, with masks reapplied immediately after the snack has been eaten.
We will be reviewing the mask requirement as part of our regular review of COVID trend data. We will also continue to seek guidance from a wide variety of national, state, and local sources to guide our decisions. These include: the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, federal Department of Education, the state Department of Public Instruction, North Shore Health Department, and Shorewood’s Medical Advisory Group.
You can find the list of the COVID mitigation strategies here, which are enforced District-wide.
 
Additionally, each school has outlined more specific COVID protocols which can be found by clicking the links below.
 

ATWATER AND LAKE BLUFF ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Click here for important elementary school student and family back-to-school information regarding COVID safety and school construction updates. 

SHOREWOOD INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL 
Click here for important SIS student and family back-to-school information regarding COVID safety.

SHOREWOOD HIGH SCHOOL
Click here for important SHS student and family back-to-school information regarding COVID safety and construction updates.

Covid protocols/mitigation strategies were reviewed with staff at our Back to School as part of our employee professional development. In this session, the following information was communicated using the same format for all schools. It included:
  • multiple and layered mitigation strategies
  • sharing the district and school plans distributed on August 10
  • guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting the classroom
  • masking
  • face and desk shields
  • use of a self-screener
  • contact tracing
  • lunch strategies
  • recess strategies
  • arrival and departure
  • other information on water fountains, bathroom use, visitors & guest speakers, and field trips

Additionally, principals have been sending many reminders to staff since school began about the importance of the information listed above.

We have been informed about situations when students are not wearing their masks properly. We want to be clear in defining this topic. When we talk about mask compliance, we refer to a situation when a student is refusing to wear a mask correctly, or not at all. There have been no mask compliance incidents in our elementary schools or the high school. One issue of mask non-compliance has occurred at the Intermediate School. Age-appropriate, progressive consequences include a warning from the Principal, to a family meeting with the Principal, to sending the student home for the day. Removal from school pending a reinstatement meeting with parents/guardians is a further option.   

We have made many improvements to our ventilation system as part of the facilities work we are undergoing, including improving our windows. Teachers and principals are working together to ensure the optimal ventilation in classes, which may include open windows.
 
We continue to look to recommendations from the CDC and DPI as we make decisions to ensure the safety of students, and know ventilation is part of that decision-making.
Masking requirements extend to indoor PE classes, but if PE classes go outside, masks will be optional but not required. 
Covid-Testing/Vaccinations
 
District-administered rapid testing has not been a protocol in the past, and currently is not in use in our health rooms, because a confirmatory PCR test result is required to initiate contact tracing
 
The COVID-19 self screener is a critical piece in keeping students and staff who are displaying any symptoms of illness home, as it is an important virus mitigation strategy in schools, and we encourage you to give your child a rapid test at home if they show symptoms. (Our policy is to send students showing two or more symptoms of illness home, unless we have a record of an approved negative test result.) If a rapid test is done--whether through CLIA laboratory or at home--and it returns a positive result, we also encourage families to report it to covidresults@shorewood.k12.wi.us and the principal of your student’s school.
 
Rapid testing is not as reliable for individuals who are not symptomatic, though, and that is why we have focused our resources on the PCR testing with Summit Labs. 
 
Also, a positive at-home test does not meet the requirements for beginning contact tracing and isolation, per public health authorities; a rapid or PCR test from a CLIA laboratory is required. The addition of Summit diagnostic testing services for District students and staff, and their families, has expanded testing resources in the community, and thus far, their turn-around time has been less than 24 hours. We believe using this method - with such a fast turnaround - enhances safety and assuredness in test results. Therefore, even if we did administer Rapid tests, it would not speed up the process of notification as we would send the student for a confirmatory PCR test.
We will continue to take advantage of state-funded COVID testing, and have contracted with a third party for some levels of testing using these grant dollars. There are multiple levels of testing available as part of this grant, and we have used two types of the four tests available.  With guidance from the North Shore Health Department, we have used this grant to conduct both event and outbreak testing in the District last year. The District does not plan to conduct COVID-19 screening testing at this time, as these testing protocols must be implemented at a scale beyond the District’s capacity to manage and sustain. We are currently investigating diagnostic testing and are exploring this voluntary testing option and have more details by Sept. 3.  
Only tests performed at a CLIA certified laboratory will be accepted. Home tests are not accepted.
Yes. The District has partnered with Summit Clinical Laboratories to provide free, optional, diagnostic COVID-19 testing for the Shorewood Schools community. District students, staff members (and their families), volunteers, as well as parents/guardians and siblings of students may choose to participate in this optional testing. Individuals who are asymptomatic OR symptomatic may get tested. You can register for testing here.
Regular testing is a safe, effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our schools open for in-person learning. Many people with COVID-19, especially children and teens, don’t have symptoms but can still spread the virus, so regular testing helps find infections before they can spread to others. This is especially important for children under 12 years old who are not yet able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, families and staff with younger children at home, and others who are not vaccinated or are otherwise at risk for getting seriously sick from COVID-19. Regular testing will help us keep students in the classroom and allow students to take part in the other activities they love.

Diagnostic testing by Summit Clinical Laboratories takes place in the Shorewood Village Center, in the lower level of the Shorewood Public Library, 3920 N Murray Ave, Shorewood, WI 53211. Testing is offered on an ongoing basis on the following days: 

Tuesdays 7:30-9:30am 
Thursdays 3:30-5:30pm
Fridays 7:30-9:30am

Street parking is available on Shorewood Blvd or Murray Ave, as well as in the lot off of Frederick Ave. Enter through the Murray Ave exterior door and the north meeting room doors will be open. Individuals are asked to remain in the meeting room for their entire visit.

No appointment is needed to be tested at the District’s partnership testing site. 

  • Registration:  
    • Everyone will need to register on COVID Connect to be tested. 
    • Adults age 18+ may complete the registration before or at their visit. 
    • Important note: When prompted to “Select Test Center”, please click on “I’m being tested at a non-public site.” 
    • Upon completion of the pre-registration form, you will be emailed a QR code for each person. 
    • If you pre-register via COVID Connect, you will present your QR code upon arrival to the testing site.

  • Consent for those Under the Age of 18:  
    • A parent/guardian will need to complete a consent form AND registration for each child prior to testing. 
    • The Summit Clinical Laboratories team can help register participants on COVID Connect in-person, but a parent/guardian must accompany minors to give the consent OR send this consent form signed with their minor the day of the testing.  
    • Parents/guardians need to sign the consent form one time prior to the first test and all future testing will be covered by the initial consent form. 
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing will be conducted by Summit Clinical Laboratories (our state-funded testing partner). PCR tests have a turnaround time of approximately 24 to 48 hours. The actual times may vary based upon the amount of community testing and spread.
 
Summit Laboratories will use a swab to collect respiratory material found in your nose. The swab is a soft tip on a long, flexible stick that goes into your nose, and the nasal test will involve gently swabbing the inner part of the lower nostril. The test is not painful.
 
The PCR test has been the gold standard test for diagnosing COVID-19 since authorized for use in February 2020, and it’s accurate and reliable.
Employees of Summit Clinical Laboratories manage and conduct all COVID-19 testing, including registration, parental consent for minors and reporting of results. Any questions regarding testing should be directed to them.
COVID-19 tests will be free to District students, staff members (and their families), volunteers, as well as parents/guardians and siblings of students. You will never receive a bill, and your insurance will not be charged.
You can utilize the testing service as many times as you feel it is needed. Testing is available:
 
Tuesdays 7:30-9:30am
Thursdays 3:30-5:30pm
Fridays 7:30-9:30am
The results of the test should typically be available within 24 to 48 hours after testing. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing does not provide immediate results. 
When we applied for grant dollars for this diagnostic testing, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) contracted with Summit Clinical Labs to provide COVID-19 testing for students, families and staff in all Wisconsin schools. Summit plans and manages protocols at their testing sites. In observing operations at the site, we have seen proper social distancing. The testing is done in the largest room in the Village Center and three air purifiers provide an added level of mitigation. We will relay all concerns to Summit Labs and make sure that families know of other testing sites available. 
We have recently expanded our current testing to include diagnostic testing, in addition to event and outbreak testing. As you may know, this is voluntary and takes place three times per week. The District will be taking some time to see how many people are using this service and what impact it is having.  At this point in time, we are not pursuing student COVID screening testing. 
School: No. The District is not conducting screening tests. COVID-19 testing available is optional, although strongly encouraged. Advance registration, and parental consent in advance is required before visiting the testing site.

Sports/Extracurriculars: No, COVID-19 tests are optional, although strongly encouraged. However, if a sports team or extracurricular program schedules a group outing, participants will be required to receive rapid testing before leaving and upon returning from the outing.
Test results for individual students will be shared only for public health reporting purposes and school attendance, through the District Nurse’s Office. Those who test positive, close contacts and others exposed or potentially exposed to COVID-19 are not identified in any notifications that schools will send to keep parents and community members informed of a case in school.
At this time, District staff members are not required to be vaccinated or to disclose their vaccination status.  We respect each individual's right to privacy, and the decision to disclose this information is solely up to each staff member. Students eligible for vaccination are not required by the state to provide immunization records for the COVID-19 vaccine at this time.  We anticipate and hope that at some time in the future, the State of Wisconsin will add the COVID-19 to the list of required immunizations for students.
Contact Tracing/Quarantine
In addition to using the North Shore Health Department (NSHD) contact tracing and quarantine protocol, the District has the following two important documents:
 
1) Updated SSD Self Screener and Info Packet - which also details contact tracing and quarantining information.
 
2) A Close Contact Quarantine Chart - which provides close contact quarantine guidelines and requirements for each quarantine duration. 
 
Local case management will be coordinated with NSHD public health officers. The District Nurse's Office will communicate with students, families and staff about individual quarantine and testing needs, as well as the submission of test results. Students and staff are not permitted to return to school before receiving authorization from the District Nurse. 
 
The District's COVID-19 dashboard will report weekly on positive cases in each building.

It can be unsettling when you receive the news that your child has tested positive for COVID or is a close contact to someone who has tested positive.  

Because this is important information to share, the District has a notification protocol in place to inform families regarding COVID cases.  When it comes to classroom, building, and staff cases, we follow the specific notification procedures of the North Shore Health Department. 

Our procedure for notification is as follows:

  1. With confirmation of a positive test, students, families, teachers and/or staff involved identify close contacts, who are to quarantine or take needed steps to confirm vaccination status, etc. Close contacts receive quarantine letters.
  2. Other individuals - not close contacts - receive a low-risk notification letter* Ex: If a student tests positive, their entire class as well as their teachers (classroom and specials, as needed) are notified.
  3. Once the District is sure that all close contacts are identified, all other families receive a letter informing them of a positive case in their school; additionally, building staff also receive an informational letter, alerting them to a positive case in their building.

*Please note: if your student is in a class where a positive case has been identified and you did not receive a low risk notification letter, this could be the result of your contact preferences in Infinite Campus. If you believe this may be the case, please contact Iris Bohan in Pupil Services and she will assist you in correcting your settings.

Please know we are taking COVID protocol and communication very seriously as we all want a safe working and learning environment.  

The District's quarantine, testing and contact tracing protocols are limited to active or potential student or staff cases only, as healthcare privacy laws (HIPAA) prohibit us from accessing patient/medical information for any other individual. 
 
Parents or other members of the community who want to report a potential case of COVID-19 should contact their local health department (Northshore Health Department, City of Milwaukee Health Department, etc.) for follow-up by public health officers. 
 
Asynchronous learning materials will be available through Google Classroom/SEESAW for isolation, quarantine, and other situations that require an extended absence. School faculty will not provide remote instruction or stream classroom lessons at this time.
 Learning Model Transitions
 
We will use North Shore Health Department trend data regarding community burden as well as in-district COVID cases of both students and staff to determine next steps. The ability to fully staff is also a criteria.
If we reach levels where we would move to remote learning in all schools, district-wide, we would not enroll all students in the Kiel program. We would again be providing the instruction. I hope we do not need to do this, but we are prepared should we need to move in this direction. The last 18 months certainly have taught us all agility!
 Social Distancing/Lunch
At this point, we do not have plans for renting tents for lunch or classes. We know that tents were helpful during the spring months last month, but as we investigated using tents this fall and winter, operational and safety concerns made this option unfeasible; cost is not the issue. We are focused on utilizing staff and other resources to create the best possible experience for our students in lunchrooms, classrooms and other learning spaces. 
We are having lunch in the lunchroom while keeping in mind safety precautions, as are most schools in our area. We are setting up the cafeteria with students seated 3 feet away from each other, the CDC guideline. Students are assigned to a table and partitions are in place in the center of the tables. Hand cleaning will be provided upon entering, and all tables will be sanitized between the four lunch periods. There will be four lunch periods at both Atwater and Lake Bluff to take student numbers down. As we did last year, families are welcome to have their student eat lunch at home.
The District's Back-to-School plan balances COVID-19 mitigation with the social/emotional well-being of students. As we know from our own past experience, and from studies about in-school transmission and K-12 education during the pandemic, in-person learning is best for students, and critical to their long-term development. Most schools in our region have transitioned to eating in the lunchroom.  Our plan is based on federal and state guidance for schools, as well as recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and other highly-regarded child and adolescent health and education experts.
Classroom teachers may elect to take students outside for lunch; we are not able to support a paid or volunteer lunch monitor program both inside and outside. Wisconsin weather also makes outdoor lunch an option for only a short time of year; we need a sustainable, safe model. We do offer the option for students to go home at lunch for those that do not want their child to eat in the lunchroom.
Students who can go home for lunch are welcome to do so. This option is not available for recess.
Your elementary student is welcome to come home for lunch again this year. In the previous school year, teachers were not teaching in person five days per week and were providing virtual instruction. This year that is not the case; they are teaching five days per week in person. That is why we are not offering this half in-person/half virtual instructional “hybrid” model this year. If you do want virtual instruction, please look into the Kiel Virtual School option.
Instructional Technology
 
Students in 5K through Grade 4 will not be taking devices home; therefore, no device check out sheet is necessary. Any use of the iPad will be in class for education purposes at the discretion of the teacher.
Yes. The District Tech Team is available to help troubleshoot issues with district devices. If you need assistance, please email helpdesk@shorewood.k12.wi.us.
 
Teachers and staff are also receiving continuous technology support and training from the District Tech Team.
Virtual Learning/Enrollment

Virtual learners can enroll with Kiel Virtual School or Edgenuity. The Kiel Virtual School option has limited capacity due to the need for a licensed teacher to oversee each section, so because of this, the District is recently announced a partnership with Edgenuity should seats in Kiel become unavailable. 
All learning will happen at your home. With younger students especially, we encourage some adult assistance, at least until the student becomes comfortable in a routine. 
Instruction will be asynchronous, meaning students will receive packets or workbooks to complete with the help of online recorded video instruction. For younger grades, there may be some synchronous (live) instruction.
Our students who elect to learn virtually are our students, and we want our students and families to feel connected to their home school regardless. Because of this, if families elect to do so, any student learning virtually is allowed to participate in traditional school co-curricular /extracurricular activities. Please contact your school principal if your student is enrolled in the Kiel program and would like to take part in some school or after school activities. We welcome this!
You can enroll your student in Kiel for first semester once the school year has started but space is limited and seats may fill up. Once the max level is reached, no more students will be accepted into the Kiel program. The deadline for second semester enrollment is December 10.
 
A few important things to note:
  • Enrollment is for the semester or year.
  • Though we understand that changing conditions may impact family needs during the school year, the District does not have the capacity to provide remote instruction on an individual student basis. 
Kiel

Once you have enrolled your student in Shorewood and have declared your intention to be virtual, the District will create a schedule that the Kiel virtual school will then align directly with the same or similar classes they are offering.

Edgenuity

We will do our best to ensure what our teachers are doing in their classroom mirrors the curriculum unit Edgenuity offers. Please understand, this is the Edgenuity curriculum. A licensed teacher will look at where the Shorewood's teacher's class is at the time of enrollment and match it up as closely as possible to Edgenuity's program.
Most instruction is asynchronous but there may be some live instruction for grades 5K-8.
The Kiel School District will follow any IEP in the given parameters.
All students will be monitored by the Kiel & Edgenuity teaching staff as well as our own. Your student will be assigned a district mentor who will check in on your student to ensure their success.
Students are graded based upon Kiel & Edgenuity's virtual school’s own grading systems. All grades will be transferred back to the district upon the completion of the program and appear on the student’s transcript.
Any student who needs a device may complete the device check out form and we will schedule a time for you to pick up a Chromebook from the Intermediate School.
You can visit the Kiel website here.
 

You must remain enrolled until the end of the semester. The first semester ends on January 21, 2022, and we would welcome your student back to in-person learning that following Monday, January 24, 2022.  You would need to let us know this is the option you elect by December 10. Either option you elect is a sound one, and we respect your right to choose.

The district will use a backup program through Edgenuity. This 5K - 12 asynchronous learning program will include the four core component areas plus an option of two electives.