Returning to In-Person Instruction Spring 2021

  • Phases for Return to In-Person Instruction

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    Phase 1- May Begin In-Person Instruction Two Weeks (14 Days) after the County enters the Red Tier

    Students enrolled in Special Education programs AAC, ATC, BASE, HOPE, KEY and TDS may return to campus. The District Special Education Department and Case Managers are communicating directly with these families. If your child is served in one of these programs and you have questions, please reach out to your child’s case manager. 

    Phase 2 - May Begin In-Person Instruction No Earlier Than Two Weeks (14 Days) after the start of Phase 1

    Students enrolled in Peninsula Continuation High School (including the Bridge program for newcomers), Middle College and various voluntary enrichment programs may be invited to return to campus. 

    Phase 3 - To begin no earlier than five (5) days after the County has entered the Orange Tier and no earlier than five (5) days after the start of Phase 2.

    All students who opt for in-person instruction may return to campus in the educational model for instruction outlined below. 

    What does Phase 3 look like?

    Student schedules will not change. Students will keep the same classes and teachers whether they return to campus or not. Instruction will be delivered via Zoom whether the student is on campus or at home. Students who opt-in to in-person learning will be in a classroom on Zoom while their teacher also teaches the students at home on Zoom. 

    In most cases, teachers will provide instruction via Zoom from their classrooms. Students who opt to return to campus will participate in a hybrid model of instruction. Those deciding to return to in-person instruction will be placed into one of two “cohorts” or groups of students called “Cohort A” or “Cohort B”. Students returning to campus will attend in-person classes on their two designated cohort days each week. Students attend Zoom classes from home on their non-cohort days. 

    Students who opt for 100% distance learning will attend Zoom classes from home just as they have done all school year.

    Health and Safety Guidelines for Reopening

    It is important for families to know that returning to campus will be a different experience than school has been in the past. The District will strictly adhere to COVID guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), California Department of Education (CDE) and the San Mateo County Health Department (SMCHD) to control the spread of COVID-19 including taking the following steps:

    • Testing for staff/students- COVID Testing is expected for all students and staff who opt into participating in on-campus instruction. Testing will be offered through Curative at each school site. Staff and students will be tested for surveillance (testing to monitor the state of the pandemic). The District will ensure that students are tested regularly, approximately every three (3) weeks.  Staff may be tested every two (2) weeks.There will be no charge for students for District testing. Testing used by the District is a painless mouth swab that takes just a few minutes. 

    • Temperature Taking - Effective immediately, the San Mateo Union High School District will no longer use temperature taking as part of its health screening process for students or staff coming to campuses or other District sites. Temperature taking is no longer a requirement of the San Mateo County Department of Health for schools to operate. Temperature taking has not been found to be a reliable factor in identifying individuals infected with COVID-19, and we hope this will eliminate longer waits and potential crowding while completing daily health screenings. Students and staff will still be responsible for filling out the LiveSafe mobile health screening app  or completing the Jot Form daily before entering campus. Students and staff should monitor health daily and be alert to the symptoms of COVID-19. Students or staff with any of these symptoms should not report to school or work and should notify their attendance office or supervisor of their health status. The SMUHSD student health team will continue to monitor students who develop symptoms while at school and will take a students temperature if the need presents itself. If a student does display signs or are reading of a fever over 100 degrees they will be required to go home.

    • LiveSafe App - All students and staff will be required to complete the LiveSafe mobile health screening app  or complete this Jot Form daily before entering campus. This free app/weblink can be accessed via smartphone or web enabled device.Students and staff are required to show their results using a screen shot or email generated by the app that they have completed this process daily upon entering campus.

    • Requirements for face coverings - All students and staff will be required to wear face coverings at all times while on campus.

    • Physical Distancing - All students and staff will be required to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from other individuals at all times. Schools will limit the number of persons on campus at any one time, to allow employees, students to maintain at least a six-foot distance at all times.  

    • Cleaning protocol - The District shall ensure that all classrooms, restrooms, and workspaces that are being used are cleaned daily, including but not limited to desks, doorknobs, light switches, faucets, and other high touch fixtures. All campuses will continue to be cleaned nightly using Clorox 360 and #49. 

    • Ventilation - The District shall ensure all HVAC systems operate on the mode which delivers the most air changes per hour. This includes disabling demand-controlled ventilation and opening outdoor air dampers to 100% as indoor and outdoor conditions safely permit. Only classrooms that have Merv-13 air filters will be used and the Merv-13 air filters will be replaced as needed, in accordance with manufacturer recommendations.

    • Class sizes and numbers of staff on campus - Class sizes and numbers of staff  will be limited based on current/evolving public health conditions and guidance from the San Mateo County Health Department. Class size will be based on the ability to maintain six feet of physical distance. The goal will be to reduce the volume of students and staff on campus while maximizing learning opportunities. 

    • Passing periods: Students will follow hallway protocols (walking on the right side of the hallway); wear a face covering at all times and maintain at least six feet of distance from other students.

    • Lunch/nutrition breaks: Students will eat in designated outdoor areas allowing for enough space to ensure at least six feet of physical distancing. Food will be served in a manner that limits physical contact and maximizes physical distancing. Students will wear a face covering when not actively eating or drinking.
    • Restroom breaks: Students will be assigned restrooms based on classroom location and restroom capacity will be limited to allow for social distancing.