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Mapping Our Way to Reopening School

A Message from the Superintendent 

boy with backpack and mask

The question on every parent and school employee’s mind: “What’s the plan for reopening school?” 

Safety and learning remain our top priorities. On June 5, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department (PHD) issued guidelines, allowing us to add more details to our plans. Plans will be modified as public health guidelines are updated. The PHD has also been very clear that the guidelines issued for summer camps are not necessarily indicative of what schools will need to do to reopen.

In light of this new guidance from health officials and state agencies, we know that things will look different when school resumes in August.  We are providing information to you based on some current assumptions.

Guardrails for the Journey

On-campus and distance learning:

  • Schools will likely reopen with a continuum of learning that include on-campus and distance learning. decision guide graphic
  • To  maintain social distancing, students will not be on campus every day. 
    • Groups of students—about half of the teacher’s class—will be on campus, while the remaining groups of students will be learning at home. These groups and their teachers will keep to themselves throughout the day and should not mix with other groups.
    • We are doing our best to plan for students who live in the same household to be on the same schedule.

    Before leaving home:

    • Families will be asked to check for symptoms and take temperatures daily before going to school. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 or higher should not go to a school site. 
    • Students and adults should also screen themselves for respiratory symptoms, such as cough and shortness of breath, before coming to school each day. Students and adults experiencing those symptoms should not attend school.
    • Fewer students will be on the bus (to allow for social distancing) and will only be available for students we are legally mandated to transport.

    Arriving at School

    • Arrival times will vary to allow for social distancing. (Dismissal times will vary also.)
    • There will be health checks before entering campus.
      • Students with virus symptoms will wait in a separate, supervised area until they are able to go home. 
      • Staff with symptoms will be sent home. 
    • Face coverings are recommended for anyone over the age of 6 and required for anyone 13 and older.
    • Parents and visitors will have limited access to the school campus.

    Throughout the Day:

    • Schools will follow disinfection guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for school campuses, including classrooms, workspaces, outdoor spaces, and playgrounds.
    • Physical barriers, such as plexiglass may be installed where social distancing is not possible.
    • All students and staff will be encouraged to wash/clean their hands regularly.
      • Handwashing stations with soap and/or hand sanitizer will be available in classrooms.
    • Schools will limit sharing of supplies between students and disinfect between uses if sharing is unavoidable.
    • To maintain social distancing and smaller groups of students in shared spaces, we will be:
      • Serving meals in small group settings
      • Arranging work spaces so there is a minimum of 6 feet between students/staff
      • Serving individually plated or boxed meals
      • Preventing student cohorts from mixing
      • Staggering lunches, recesses, and other transition times
      • Prohibiting large gatherings, such as assemblies and dances
      • Designating a sick room for students who are not feeling well after arrival to minimize contact with others until they are able to go home.

    Other Considerations

    • Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school. They are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.
    • Gloves are not recommended for use by students or staff, with the exception of those conducting duties such as cleaning, first aid, or food service.
    • The economic impact of COVID-19 will result in a reduction of school funding at the same time increased expenses for school operations and limitations on the services that can be provided. 

    Focusing on the Destination

    Our district’s mission is to educate every student to his or her highest potential, and that is our destination. There is more than one route to take for reopening schools.

    Just as leaders from all 32 Santa Clara County school districts have been working together with county officials from public health and the office of education to develop a common approach to reopening, we have district work groups that are organizing efforts for our own schools.

    The work groups have secured the safety requirements needed to reopen school, and now we can focus more fully on preparing the educational components of planning. Our district planning team—which consists of parents and staff members from different roles in different schools across the district—will be delving into many proposed plans for the school schedule, narrowing them down, and designing the learning program that best meets the needs of our district’s students and staff.

    Stay tuned for more! During the summer, our updates will be coming out every couple of weeks, and we anticipate providing our reopening plan to you by the end of July.