Frequently Asked Questions

  • Return to In-Person Learning - Frequently Asked Questions
    Updated March 8, 2021


    Covid-19 Testing

    Education Model Related | Technology |  Ventilation | Spring Break Related  |  Cohorting/Days on Campus

    Movement Around Campus  |  Physical Education / Dance / VAPA |  Flexibility in Return to In-Person Learning/DL

    Vaccines and testing   |  Notification of Cases  | Behavior Outside of School  | Transportation / Parking

    Choosing between sports and in-person learning; coming on campus for select classes   |  Fall 2021 | Athletics

    9th Grade | Assessments | Student Employment  |  Face Coverings  | Mental Health  | Cleaning Protocols

    Education Model Related

    Q: Where will teachers physically be located in Phase 3 (their classroom with students, another classroom, at home?) Will each student in the classroom have headphones on? Will in-person students have all their interactions with the classroom teacher through zoom, including questions, responses and clarifications?

    A: In most cases teachers will be in the classroom with the students who are on campus that day (one exception would be a teacher who instead teaches from home due to an underlying health condition). Teachers will provide instruction over zoom to both the students in the classroom and students who are at home. Students in the classroom will wear earbuds provided by the District or they may bring their own headphones or earbuds from home. There will be the opportunity for students in the classroom to interact with teachers to ask questions and get clarification. 

    Q: Will students have the opportunity to work in groups, physically distanced at school, or will they still have to do breakout rooms over Zoom, even if they are in person?

    A: When conditions allow, we will encourage our teachers to allow students who are on campus to work in groups when they can safely do so. 

    Q: Why are you asking for parent volunteers? Are they meant to replace teachers?

    A: Volunteers are meant to support the overall operations of our schools. They would help direct students, answer questions, etc. Volunteers cannot replace our teachers or any of our other staff members. 

    Q: How many teachers will not return to campus due to a health issue or other concerns? Will parents have the opportunity to know who is coming back and who isn’t before making a decision?

    A: We are working through this issue now. We are not able to share this information with families at this stage. 

    Q: Will hybrid students receive in person instruction from all their teachers and change classes to do so or will they remain with just one of their teachers for the two days and Zoom into other classes?

    A: Students will move to different classrooms for each of their courses. They will Zoom from the classroom of the teacher who is currently teaching the course. This will allow for some in-person interaction between students and teachers with all safety protocols being followed.  

    Q: Will students be able to do labs in person (like biotech)? What about culinary classes? 

    A: Our teachers are enormously creative, and are working on ways to provide this type of experience if possible. 



    Q: For students that will be coming for in-person learning, will there be a charging station for their laptops? or will they be able to plug in their laptops in the classroom?

    A: Yes, there will be charging stations available in the classroom, however, while their device is being charged, a student will use a loaner chromebook provided by the school. If students are bringing their own laptops, they will be responsible for ensuring that it is charged and functional. The technology team cannot service student’s personal devices. Students are encouraged to use the school issued chromebooks. 

    Q: Will students bring their computers from home or use the school’s computers at school?

    A: Students are encouraged to use the school issued chromebook which they should bring from home each day they come to campus. 

    Q: If using a school computer will they be sanitized between classes?

    A: Students will use their own device (either school issued or personal device). When a student uses  a loaner chromebook, the chromebook will be sanitized after each use?

    Q: Will students bring their computers from home or use the school’s computers at school?

    A: Students are encouraged to use the school issued chromebook which they should bring from home each day they come to campus. 

    Q: If using a school computer will they be sanitized between classes?

    A: Students will use their own device (either school issued or personal device) 


    Q: Is the District committed to having windows open in the classrooms?

    A: In addition to the measures we mentioned in the presentation including delivering maximum air changes through our HVAC systems and the use of Merv-13 air filters, schools will open windows and doors as often as it is feasible. 

    Spring Break related

    Q. If we go out of town for Spring Break and travel more than 120 miles, do we need to have our student quarantine at home for 10 days?  Is it OK for a student in this situation to do distance learning while quarantining after travel.

    A: As of today, County guidelines state that individuals travelling further than 120 miles from their home, should quarantine at home for 10 days upon return. We will expect students to follow these guidelines as well. 

    Cohorting/days on campus

    Q: If students choose to return to in person instruction, what days will they be on campus? 

    A: Students choosing to return to in-person learning will attend class on campus two days a week either Monday and Tuesday (Cohort A) or Thursday and Friday (Cohort B).  

    Q: Can siblings at the same high school be in the same cohort so that they attend in-person school on the same days and times?

    A: Yes, the District will work to place siblings at the same high school in the same cohort so they attend school in person on the same days.

    Q: How big will the cohorts be?  How many students per class?

    A: The cohorts will be no larger than 30% of the total student population. The number of students in each class will vary depending on the number of students who decide to return in person. However class size will be limited to ensure there is 6ft between individuals at all times. 

    Movement around campus

    Q: Will students move from classroom to classroom to change classes like they did in the past. Will they go to the classrooms listed on their schedule they got at the beginning of the semester?

    A: Yes, students will change classes as they have in the past. Yes, they should go to the rooms listed on their class schedules. Students may be assigned to specific areas on campus for a particular period/class if their teacher is not returning to campus due to higher risk factors. 

    Q: Will students be able to enter campus from multiple locations or from the front of the school.

    A: Students can get more information about where to enter and exit their campuses in the Reopening Plans posted on our website

    Q: Will lockers be in use?

    A: No, lockers are not allowed in our current tier. They may be allowed once the County moves into a different tier. 


    Q: How will PE/Dance be handled? Will locker rooms be open, and will students change for PE? 

    A: Students will not change for PE as they have in the past. We suggest students wear clothing that allows them to be comfortable in PE to school on the days they have PE. We may be able to allow students to “dress out” for PE when we move to a less restrictive tier. 

    Q: Can you please address what will happen in the VAPA classes, especially choir and band  once phase 3 starts?  Will students be allowed to sing/play in the classroom?  Or can teachers take the students outside to sing/play their instruments?

    A: Teachers will make every attempt to find creative solutions so students enrolled in these courses can sing/play their instruments safely outside.  

    Flexibility in Return to In-Person Learning/DL

    Q: If my student opts to return to campus and then decides that they are not comfortable being back on campus can they switch back to full distance learning? What about the opposite scenario - If my student decides to proceed with distance learning and then change their mind and wants to be on campus will they have the opportunity? 

    A: Students who opt for in-person learning and later wish to switch to distance learning may do so. We will consider allowing students who choose distance learning to switch to in-person learning as space is available. We ask families to consider their options carefully. 

    Q: If a student/family changes their mind on the return to in person learning survey, can they contact someone in the District office and fill out another survey before the March 4th deadline?

    A: It is our hope that each family provides only one response per student since reopening will occur very soon.  However, you can update survey responses until Thursday, 3/4/2021, 6pm.  After that, the survey will close and the last response taken will be validated and confirmed.  

    Vaccines and Testing

    Q: Will the teachers all be vaccinated prior to starting in-person?

    A: We believe that all teachers and staff will have the opportunity to receive their first dose of the vaccine prior to returning to campus (depending on the phase and vaccine availability), and receive the second dose within the appropriate vaccination schedule advised by the CDC. 

    Q: How often will teachers be tested for COVID-19? Will results come back prior to being in the classroom?

    A: Testing is expected of all teachers and staff who return to campus, and they have the opportunity to be tested every two weeks. Test results are generally available within 48 hours after having the test. Future test dates for staff are March 8 and 22. 

    Q: Will students be tested and if so, how often? 

    A: Testing is expected of all students who opt for in-person learning or participate in district athletics. Students will have the opportunity for testing every three weeks during the school day with some opportunities before or after school. Results are generally available within 48 hours of testing. 

    Notification of cases

    Q: How transparent will school be and how quickly will families be notified as soon as even one positive case has been discovered? Who does the contact tracing?

    A: Please see our reopening plans for detailed information. The District will communicate with families and students when we learn of a confirmed positive case in the school via email and text. Students/families will be directed on what next steps to take based on their level of exposure. We suggest that familes check their settings in Aeries communication to be sure you are allowing for these notifications. Our Student Health Coordinator works closely with the County of San Mateo’s Health Department on contact tracing. 

    Behavior Outside of School

    Q: How will the District educate students and families about how behavior outside of school impacts safety at school.

    A: In addition to following community expectations which outline the risks of mass gatherings outside of schools, all students and staff will be required to complete the LiveSafe App each day before coming on campus to affirm that they have not traveled more than 120 miles outside of the Bay Area and have not participated in mass gatherings. 


    Q: Will school buses be offered for students living in Foster City? 

    A: We are working on this issue and will keep you updated. 

    Q: Can 10th graders or other students apply for parking permits so they can drive themselves and park on campus? 

    A: We believe so. Please contact your site administrator. 

    Choosing between sports and in-person learning; coming on campus for select classes 

    Q: My 10th grader has been practicing with the softball team, would she be able to continue with that and become part of one of the cohorts to go to classes on campus or, would she have to choose?

    A: Yes, students can participate in in-person instruction and after school sports, clubs, or activities on campus.. 

    Q: Could students come on to campus for performing arts classes but not all of their classes. If so, how should they indicate that preference?

    A: Priority will be given to students who wish to come onto campus for all of their classes. We will focus on filling these classes first and then make a determination about other requests.  

    Fall 2021 

    Q: Will the District reopen its schools to all students for 100% in-person learning for the Fall Semester.

    A: While it’s too early to say exactly what the Fall of 2021 will look like, we plan to open schools to all students if public health conditions allow. We will continue to offer a virtual option for students. 


    Q: Are spectators allowed at athletic events?

    A: The County has released new guidelines on allowing spectators at outdoor athletic events. The important highlights are that no more than four family members including no more than two adults and siblings may attend athletic events as spectators. All observers must maintain at least 6 feet from non-household members. 

    Ninth Grade

    Q. Will there be an orientation for Current Ninth Graders who have never been on campus?

    A. Yes, There will be orientations for new 9th graders. Parents should consult their site administration about dates/times as they vary by school. 


    Q: Does our family’s decision about whether our student attends classes in-person, or online impact their ability to take AP exams. 

    A: No, a family’s decision about in-person or distance learning has no bearing on a student’s ability to take AP exams. There is no advantage or disadvantage to students returning to in-person learning (for the purposes of the AP test administration). Read updates about AP testing on our website

    Student Employment

    Q: If a student works outside of school, can they attend classes in person?

    A: Yes, as long as students are following the four pillars in their work, they may attend class in person

    Face Coverings

    Q: Will students have the opportunity to remove their masks during the school day if they are suffering from mask fatigue?

    A: Students will be expected to wear their masks all day. The only exception is during lunch or brunch breaks when students will eat in designated outdoor areas allowing for enough space to ensure at least six feet of physical distancing. 

    Mental Health

    Q: What mental health services will be available to my student in Phase 3?

    A: In Phase 3, therapists will continue to offer telehealth care services and interventions via Zoom: individual sessions (scheduled and requested); drop-in hours (schedule once); parent, family, staff consultations; case management; student group counseling; and Substance Use Support and Restorative Justice Programs for Students and Families. In addition, there may be the opportunity for limited in person sessions, to be determined by site and space.  We will continue to support students to meet their social and emotional needs. If a parent/guardian has any questions please reach out to their school site Wellness team or call the Manager of Mental Health Program, April Torres directly at 650-558-2372.  

    Cleaning Protocols

    Q: Will seats/desks be sanitized during passing periods?

    A: The District will 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, #49 and  Eco Lab QC57 - which kill Sars COV-2. Students will be provided with cleansing wipes containing soap and water to clean items including desks before and after use as necessary.