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Diligence with Health Protocols, Tracking are Keeping Students and Staff Safe

A Message from the Superintendent

boy student smiling behind mask

In Campbell Union School District, we have been committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment long before the COVID-19 pandemic. With the new coronavirus, we gave great attention to reducing the spread of germs in order to make it safe for students and staff to return to campus and the dynamics of in-person instruction. 

During the pandemic, and well before welcoming students back to campus, we monitored public health orders closely and ensured that our staff had the information and training needed. In all cases, our first focus is on what needs to happen to ensure student safety. Next, we do the necessary follow-up procedures and communications.

For everyone’s safety, we implemented the multi-layered measures for reducing the risk of infection: wearing facial covering, physical distancing, small/stable groups, hand washing and schedules that support those efforts. 

Our district nurses, staff in Expanded Learning, Preschool, and Human Resources departments make up our team of tracking and tracing officials. This team has received weekly training with the county public health department all year to ensure processes and protocols are known, understood and implemented. 

When a COVID-19 case comes to our attention, our nurses and Human Resources staff work closely with public health officials to begin a thorough tracking and tracing process. This case-by-case process includes pinpointing the specific dates, times and locations where that person may have exposed others. They upload the information to a secure database shared with public health officials. When it is determined that a student or staff member is a close contact, information is sent directly to  those individuals. The information informs the staff or family of what actions they need to take. It is an extensive, time-consuming and very worthwhile effort. Thankfully, cases of COVID-19 have been few, and, as yet, we have had no internal spread of the virus in our schools and workplaces.  

In late March 2021, we introduced a new COVID-19 dashboard to allow our community to see the numbers of cases and classroom/program closures by site. This was a new endeavor to provide transparency while also balancing the need for medical privacy to individuals as required by law (HIPAA).  As with many new processes, we experienced a few glitches as we attempted to incorporate the most current data into our procedures and work through some behind-the-scenes technical issues. As a stop-gap, we entered confirmed case data manually as we worked through issues with the automated data transfer between ours and Google’s systems.

As of May 24, the dashboard version 2.0 is working well and has some new features to help the viewing public dig into the numbers more easily. It shows how many cases are related to staff vs. students, whether a case was contracted internally or not, and whether exposure resulted in closing a preschool or TK-8 classroom within a 10-day quarantine period. As with all improvement efforts, we have implemented some additional steps to ensure accuracy of the information for those wishing to know. 

The pandemic has affected our families and community in many ways, financially, emotionally, and physically. Experts predict that the impacts will be felt for years to come, especially among children and youth. Through the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, Campbell Union School District will continue to partner with families and the community as we focus efforts on safely educating students to their highest potential.