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Covid-19 Safety Protocols

July 23, 2021

Dear Simi Institute for Careers & Education Community,

We hope the summer is going well for you and your families. We are looking forward to the upcoming 2021-2022 school year! 

We know that you have many questions about this new school year and what it will look like in terms of COVID protocols. This message will give you most of the information about our COVID health and safety protocols for the coming school yearOur goal is to return our schools to as close to pre-COVID normal as possible. In order to do this, the District is required to follow the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines with regards to COVID protocols. We ask that you please read through this entire message as the information is essential for the smooth reopening of our schools.

Face Coverings Will Be Required Indoors (On-Campus)

  • No matter the person’s vaccination status, CDPH requires mandatory face coverings for all Kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) students and adults on K-12 schools/campuses when sharing indoor spaces with students. Masks are optional outdoors for all students and adults in K-12 school settings. It has been erroneously reported that school districts can choose not to enforce these guidelines. This is not true. The District must follow the current CDPH guidelines.
  • The mask can be a cloth mask, disposable paper, or double-layered gator. Please see CDC guidelines regarding acceptable facemasks. We will have disposable masks available.
  • Masks will not be required outdoors, during recess, nutrition, lunch, Physical Education (PE), or outdoor instruction.
  • Students who meet the criteria for a mask exemption per CDC guidelines can wear a face shield with a drape.
  • All individuals are required to self-screen before entering any school district facility. Individuals should stay home if they have had any symptoms related to COVID-19 within the past 10 days, which include flu-like symptoms such as fever, coughing or shortness of breath, chills, muscle or body pain, fatigue, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, a new loss of taste or smell, or if they are subject to quarantine due to being in close contact with someone currently having COVID.

COVID Vaccinations

  • The District will continue to encourage and provide information to staff and families about COVID vaccination opportunities. However, the COVID vaccination is not required for staff or students.
  • Staff will continue to be encouraged to submit their vaccination status information to the District.

Sanitization

  • We continue to practice sanitation and cleaning techniques that were started during COVID.  Classrooms will be provided hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment as well.
  • Custodians at all school sites have been trained in the necessary cleaning and sanitization protocols. Our custodial staff will regularly sanitize all classrooms, offices, and common areas.

Quarantines

  • Healthy/non-symptomatic vaccinated students and staff will not need to be quarantined if they are exposed to a COVID-positive or symptomatic individual.
  • Should a student or staff member test positive for COVID, or show symptoms commonly associated with COVID, they will be asked to isolate for 10 days (unless they provide documentation of being fully vaccinated, in which case a negative COVID test will be required).

Physical Distancing

  • Physical distancing will no longer be required, however we will encourage staff and students to practice social distancing when possible.

Hand Hygiene

  • The District will continue to encourage good hand hygiene, such as reminding students to wash hands after using the restroom, before meals, etc., and provide access to hand sanitizer stations.

Disinfection

  • Touchpoints (i.e. doorknobs, light switches, etc.) will continue to be disinfected throughout all buildings on a daily basis.
  • Teachers and staff will continue to have access to disinfectant supplies, including disinfecting spray, to clean high-touch areas regularly if desired.

Ventilation

  • The District follows The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards for air quality.
  • The District uses the highest-grade filters compatible with our HVAC systems.
  • The ASHRAE recommends keeping CO2 levels indoors between 800 and 1,100 parts per million (ppm) while operating in a COVID environment. SVUSD will maintain levels below the ASHRAE recommendations.
  • Filters have all been checked during summer and are replaced across the District every six months.
  • Teachers will be encouraged to keep classroom doors open during the day.

Visitors at SVUSD Schools/Facilities

  • In the 2021-2022 school year, visitors will continue to be limited in schools. In-person meetings may take place for parent conferences, Parent-Teacher Organizations meetings, and other essential events (registrations, orientations, back-to-school night, school tours) as determined by the school’s principal. For these and similar in-person events, face coverings will be required. Classroom and office volunteers will not be permitted. Masks are required to be worn during school events that take place indoors. Masks are recommended, but optional, during school events that take place outdoors.

Virtual Options

  • The state legislature did not renew SB 98, which allowed districts to provide learning virtually. Instead, they passed AB 130, which requires districts to offer independent study for students who do not wish to attend school in-person. Fortunately, our district already has a robust independent study program at Monte Vista School. However, this is not the distance learning our families experienced during the pandemic. Independent study is just that, independent. Students have weekly check-ins with teachers, but for most grades this will not include daily instruction. The students work independently at home. Unfortunately, the District cannot provide the same type of distance learning as we did during the pandemic, because the legislature removed that option.
  • More guidance is forthcoming from CDPH.   

Thank you for your ongoing patience and partnership as we continue to navigate the COVID pandemic. 

Sincerely,

The SICE Staff