2021-22 School Opening & Safety Updates » 2021-22 School Opening & Safety Updates

2021-22 School Opening & Safety Updates




1.  What changes to masking requirements have been made for K-12 settings?

A:  On February 28, 2022, the California Department of Public Health shared an update on guidance for the use of face masks which included the termination of the universal masking requirement for K-12 and Childcare settings.  In addition, further information related to guidance for K-12 schools in California was shared by the CDPH on March 9, 2022.  After 11:59 PM on Friday, March 11th, the guidance for masking of students and staff in indoor K-12 and Childcare settings will shift from required to strongly recommended, regardless of vaccination status. 


2. Does the change in masking from a requirement to strongly recommended indoors apply to preschool students as well?

A: Yes.  On February 28, 2022, the California Department of Public Health shared updated guidance for the use of face masks.  In this update it is noted that after March 11, 2022, the universal masking requirement for K-12 and Childcare settings will terminate.  Our CDC and State preschools are considered childcare and therefore after March 11th, masks will no longer required indoors.


3.  Will there be any changes to the protocols for students riding the bus?

A: Yes, school buses are considered a K-12 setting and as such, will follow changes to the masking guidelines which begin March 11th at 11:59 PM.


4.  Will teachers support mask wearing for students whose parents want them to continue wearing a mask indoors?

A:  Yes, school sites will have masks readily available for those students who would like to continue to wear a mask at school.  Individual choice regarding mask wearing will be respected.


5.  Will schools still provide masks to those students and staff that request them?

A:  Yes, school offices and staff will still have masks for those students and staff that request them.  If you need a mask, please let your principal or classroom teacher know and they will provide you with one.


6.  What safety mitigations will continue to be in place?

A:  Enhanced cleaning protocols will continue to be in place including cleaning of high touched surfaces throughout the day, nightly electrostatic spraying, easy access to hand sanitizer for staff and students, and encouraging proper hand hygiene.


7.  Will volunteers be required to be vaccinated in order to volunteer in classrooms?

A: Effective March 11th at 11:59 PM, individuals interested in volunteering in the classroom are eligible to do so once they have checked in with the school office to show proof of vaccination or a negative test within 7 days of volunteering. Upon request, saliva tests will be available for volunteers in the school office.


8.  Will the District still report COVID positive cases to the community via the COVID Dashboard on fvsd.us?

A:  Yes, the District will continue to keep our community informed of school-related positive COVID cases through our Dashboard.


9.  Will the District still contact trace when notified of a positive case?

A:  Yes. The District will continue to notify staff and students who may have been exposed to a positive COVID case.  The District will continue to notify parents per group-tracing approach guidelines shared by the CDPH on March 9, 2022.


10.  Will schools have the opportunity to hold indoor assemblies, choir, and/or instrumental music performances?

A: Yes, activities at the school site will fall under the updated masking guidance of strongly recommended while indoors for students, staff and parents.


11.  Can students now come to school with minor signs of illness (runny nose, cough, headache, etc.)?

A: No, it continues to be best practice to keep your student(s) home when they are showing signs of illness.  We continue to encourage parents to keep their student(s) home when they are ill.


12.  If a student enrolled in OCDE’s Community Home Education Program (CHEP) wishes to return to their home school, how can a parent initiate the process of re-enrollment?

A:  FVSD families currently enrolled in CHEP that wish to return to their home school should contact their school office regarding re-enrollment.


Dear Fountain Valley School District Community,
As you may be aware, today, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced changes to the mask requirements in K-12 school settings.
The state announced that after 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 11, 2022, masking for students and staff in indoor K-12 school settings will shift from required to strongly recommended, irrespective of vaccination status.  As such, the Fountain Valley School District Board of Trustees will align its protocols accordingly, which will allow students and staff a choice when it comes to masking on campuses starting on Saturday, March 12, 2022, and moving forward.
While we recognize there are families that believe the mandate should be removed immediately, in turn, there are also families that would prefer the mask mandate to remain in place. As such, I want to take this opportunity to remind our community to continue to be kind and respectful of the personal choices of others.  I encourage each of us to avoid making assumptions regarding someone's beliefs or health status based upon their choice to wear or not wear a mask.
We appreciate your support and understanding over the next eight school days as the District remains under a State masking order that could result in potential litigation and sanctions if violated.  At today's news conference, Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health & Human Services Secretary, shared the rationale behind the selection of March 11th, noting that data indicates transmission rates could drop 25-20% more over the next two weeks and that school transmissions have always been the State's priority.
Thanks to the commitment and resilience of our FVSD community, we have the tools to turn the page and begin this new chapter.  Thank you for your collaboration as we continue to navigate what is hopefully the move toward an endemic state. We appreciate your ongoing understanding and support as we continue to create safe and healthy environments for learning on our campuses in alignment with guidance and requirements from CDPH and our local health agency.  While we know that there may be questions, as we learn more or receive new information, we will continue to keep our community informed.
Charles Hinman, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent
Fountain Valley School District

Dear FVSD Families:

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and well!!  With only a few weeks of summer remaining, we wanted to share an important message with you regarding the safety measures we will have in place for the upcoming school year.  On August 2, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its guidance for K-12 schools.  In addition, they have updated their FAQ, and the Safe Schools for All Hub continues to be one of the best resources for parents to remain up to date.  

At this time, we are busily preparing for students to return to campus on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.  As a reminder, students will return to a regular, full-time schedule, and principals will be sharing more in the coming days regarding specifics related to your child.  In addition, we will return to a modified Thursday schedule to allow for regular teacher planning time.  

One of the most important aspects of schools opening successfully this fall includes the layered COVID-19 Protocols we will be implementing.  Please take the time to read the information below and discuss these practices with your child.  


As students return to in-person learning with traditional schedules, Fountain Valley School District will use multiple strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Staying Home When Sick & Getting Tested

  • As members of our school community, you have a vital role in keeping your child, friends and educators safe. If your child is showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or other infectious illnesses, it’s essential to keep them home and to ensure they are tested for the virus. 

  • Please know that students who come to school with symptoms will be sent home.  

Mask Wearing

  • The CDPH requires all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks indoors in K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. 

  • Masking for students and staff outdoors is optional, but highly encouraged at this time.

Physical Distancing

  • CDPH guidelines state that in-person instruction can occur without physical distancing when universal masking is in place.  That being said, physical distancing should be considered, to the greatest extent practicable.  

Good Handwashing & Respiratory Etiquette

  • Encourage your child to make it part of their practice at school and at home to wash their hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When handwashing is not possible, encourage your child to use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol (and consider including travel sanitizers in student backpacks, when possible). 

  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow can help keep students, educators, and staff from getting and spreading COVID-19, as well as other infectious illnesses.

In the coming days, we will be sharing our COVID Safety Plan for 2021-2022 school year, which will also be posted on our website.  Once again, FVSD will be returning to a regular, full-time schedule this year, and your principal will be providing you with specific information regarding your child’s school.

Mark Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Fountain Valley School District
Dear FVSD Families,
I hope this message finds you and your loved ones well, healthy, and enjoying the summer season.  Recently, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released updated COVID-19 public health guidance for K-12 schools. In addition, yesterday, the CDPH released an FAQ that better clarifies some of the key points included in the new guidance. As a reminder, COVID-19 health guidance is set by state and county health officials, and all public, private, and charter schools/school districts are required to follow the guidance in order to operate for in-person instruction.
At this time, we continue to review the new guidance and seek further clarification in some areas to determine how it will impact the 2021-22 school year beginning on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 for all schools.
Below are some key pieces of information included in CDPH's updated guidance for all schools and school districts across the state, including private and charter schools:
  • California no longer requires face masks in ANY outdoor setting. Masks are optional outdoors for all individuals in K-12 school settings.  (traveling to and from classes when outdoors, during recess, nutrition breaks, lunches, outdoor PE, etc.).
  • California requires face masks to be worn by students and adults indoors in school settings when in the presence of students.
  • Consistent with CDPH guidance from the 2020-21 school year, districts must develop and implement local protocols to enforce the mask requirements.  Students who do not comply with universal mask wearing guidance may be placed in an alternative learning setting.
  • Persons exempt from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition must wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.
  • Physical distancing is no longer required as a result of universal masking requirements.
  • The guidance no longer mentions or suggests the use of desk shields or barriers as a mitigation to physical distancing.
  • As part of the effort to keep students in school to the greatest extent possible, CDPH lessened some quarantine requirements for unvaccinated individuals.
  • Continuing mitigation strategies like ventilation, hand washing, and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection remain critical layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
  • CDPH stated they will continue to assess conditions on an ongoing basis and will determine no later than November 1, 2021, whether to update mask requirements or recommendations.
This new information clarifies some of the state-level requirements, which will help us to prepare for the return of students.  Our team has been hard at work crafting plans for the 2021-22 school year that keep the health, safety, and well-being of students, staff, and families at the forefront.
Our plan for a full-day, in-person instructional model at all schools remains the same for the upcoming school year. We will resume a traditional, full-time, on-campus learning model while continuing to follow the mandated guidance as set forth by CDPH and the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA).  Please note that each school will return to the same bell schedule it used prior to COVID-19 in March 2020, and Thursdays will be the early release day for all schools to allow for teacher planning time.
OCHCA and OCDE released a statement last week stating that OCHCA, OCDE, local school boards, districts, or schools (private, public, or charter) may not implement policies that are less restrictive than the mandates required by CDPH, which are enforceable under the California Emergency Services Act.  We are grateful for your understanding that our school board and district administration are not permitted to lessen the mandated requirements we are under from the CDPH.  If you have any questions or comments about this guidance for CDPH, please feel free to contact them directly at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/contact_us.aspx.
FVSD will continue to collaborate with the OCHCA, the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE), and other Orange County school districts to better understand how these guidelines will impact public, private, and charter K-12 schools and district operations for the 2021-22 school year.  We will provide further updates and provide additional information as it becomes available.
On behalf of the entire FVSD Family, we wish you and your family a restful, relaxing, and fun remaining summer break!

Mark Johnson, Ed.D