I hope you’re all enjoying the cooler fall weather. It was such a pleasure to see our community demonstrate their Halloween spirit by creating safe ways for students to enjoy the day in spite of the current conditions.
Thanks to all of you who completed the recent survey. The information we received will assist us in planning for our reopening once we are in tier 2 (red).
While Sonoma County remains in the purple tier (widespread Covid in the community), it is not possible to identify a date when schools will be allowed to consider reopening.
Counties must meet the criteria for “substantial” (red tier) for two weeks before officially moving into that tier. Once Sonoma County is officially in the red tier, the state dictates that schools must still wait an additional two weeks until they are authorized to reopen under the state’s framework.
This means that even when Sonoma County meets the criteria for the red tier, it will be four weeks at a minimum before schools would be able to open without a waiver. Our staff continues to plan for reopening and learning from districts who have successfully opened their doors.
What will in-person instruction look like when it is allowed?
Schools that reopen will follow California Department of Public Health guidance and the Sonoma County Office of Education’s “Roadmap to a Safe Reopening.”
We developed a reopening plan to follow as a guide. School districts must carefully consider the safety of staff and students and the varied and individualized needs of students and families. The following protocols must be implemented when schools reopen:
- 6 ft. distancing throughout school campuses
- Face coverings for students and staff - Hand sanitizer
available in all classrooms and the office
- Daily health screenings for staff and students
- Limited sharing of materials
- Single point of entry/exit
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection
- Isolation areas for persons demonstrating symptoms
- Adequate room ventilation
- Contact tracing should someone test positive
- Staff Covid testing every two months
What have we done to prepare to reopen?
Our leadership team is meeting with districts who have successfully opened, and we know that reopening of school for our students will be unlike anything they have experienced before. There will be new rules, norms, and protocols for everyone to learn in order to keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.
Students and staff will need time to understand and transition to the new model, so the first two weeks of school will focus on helping students and families get accustomed to how their schools now operate.
To date, the District has:
- Secured PPE for students and staff.
- Purchased hand sanitizer, no-touch paper towel dispensers and thermometers for each school site for daily temperature screening
- Purchased pop-up tents for every campus to serve as isolation areas for students or staff exhibiting symptoms
- Schools and classrooms will be disinfected on a daily basis.
- Our staff has participated in contact tracing training.
- We are also hiring a staff member responsible for contact tracing for when we reopen
- We are contracting for Covid testing for the required testing of staff members every two months.
- We will host meetings with parents in English and Spanish to explain how school will look when we are able to reopen.
A Last Note
We DO understand the frustration and fear that this pandemic has caused because we are experiencing it alongside you. The tremendous changes we've all undertaken to optimize our health and safety speaks to our resilience.
There is no room for blame or for being unkind to one another. Our children are watching us, and they get their cues from the people around them. We ALL agree that we want to be back in school and "back to normal." We owe it to our students, our staff and our community to return as safely as possible. And we will. We are stronger together.