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

2021-22 School Opening & Safety Updates

 
Students with raised hands in classroom
Communication #2: Important Update: FVSD Safety Protocols for Fall 
 

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.  


COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

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.

 
Kindly,
Mark Johnson, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Fountain Valley School District
 
 
Communication #1: Updated School Guidance for Fall 2021 (Friday, July 30, 2021)
 
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 settings. 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 www.cdph.ca.gove/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!

Kindly,
 
Mark Johnson, Ed.D
Superintendent