FAQs about COVID safety and protocols

August 4, 2021

Section Links:

COVID testing
Health and Safety

Vaccinations

Daily Health Screener

Learning

Volunteers

Meals Mental Health

 

 

COVID Testing

Will students be COVID tested? Will testing be available at all school sites? Will it be mandatory?

Please see our Quarantine and Testing webpage

 

Will students be required to present a negative COVID test result before starting school?

No, but we strongly encourage families who have either been traveling or are concerned about a potential exposure to get tested as a preventative measure. If you have traveled, please continue to check California Dept of Health and the CDC websites for updated testing guidance.

 

What will COVID test frequency be for staff? 

Please see our Quarantine and Testing webpage

Where can we get COVID testing?

Free, asymptomatic testing is available:

Click here to schedule through El Camino Health at El Camino Hospital or MV Center for Performing Arts.

Click here to schedule through Santa Clara County.

If your child has symptoms of COVID or has had a known exposure to someone who may have COVID, please contact your child's pediatrician for testing information. If you do not have a health care provider, click here to make a symptomatic testing appointment with a county provider

Is COVID testing required for people who have recently traveled?

Please see the CDC’s travel guidance here.

 

Health and Safety

 

What is the rule about masks?

Everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask while inside and outside on school grounds. MVWSD will be requiring masks for outdoor activities such as recess and physical education in alignment with CDC recommendations. Staff members are required to be masked on school grounds when working/meeting with other adults.

 

 

Can you require/provide only high quality masks (eg. 5 layer KN95 or similar masks)? 

No, MVWSD will not be providing N95 or KN95 masks to students as they are not recommended for small children.  MVWSD will have masks available for students if they forget theirs. N95 masks (or equivalents) will be provided by MVWSD for staff members who are not fully vaccinated. 

 

 

Will students be allowed to take “mask breaks”?

It’s possible that students can get supervised mask breaks, outside and away from others. Check with your principal about how your school handles mask breaks.  

 

 

How does the district plan to deal with the possibility of children potentially spreading the virus asymptomatically after being exposed to a positive family member?
As required by the County, staff members will be tested on a regular schedule. Student COVID testing will also be available. We will continue to use the daily screener, OktoReopen, to check for fever and other COVID symptoms. The screener helps MVWSD to monitor and help families to follow the guidelines for students coming into campus. If a staff member or student becomes positive, please see the “What happens if someone tests positive for COVID” section below.

 

What safeguards will be in place to protect both teachers and students?
The District has instituted many safety measures including improved ventilation, universal mask wearing, and touchless faucets and soap dispensers, in order to prevent transmission of the virus and to keep staff safe upon return. We will also be using updated recommendations released this summer from:

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

California Department of Public Health

 

Health guidance from county officials Dr. Cody and Dr. Dewan, Sep 2021 (Spanish letter)

What happens if someone tests positive for COVID after being on campus? When do people need to quarantine due to COVID?

Sick individuals who test positive will be quarantined as needed and outlined by the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, and MVWSD will be closely adhering to and enforcing these guidelines. COVID quarantine parameters have been adjusted for the coming school year, based on masking and vaccinations. Please see updated guidance here. 

 

 

If your child is sick or needs to quarantine, how can learning continue during that time? 

Please contact your child’s teacher to get missed assignments. Our schools are not offering concurrent, online instruction to students at home.

 

 

What system will we use for contact tracing/student COVID testing/accountability to health screening? 

Daily health screenings for students and staff members will continue to be completed through OKtoReturn (see below). All those who enter campus will complete a symptoms screening prior to arrival. The Public Health Department of Santa Clara County leads contact tracing efforts in the event of positive cases.

 

 

Good ventilation is an important factor in limiting the spread of COVID. How is MVWSD doing in this area?

Our schools’ HVAC systems have been updated to include MERV-13 filters, which is the highest-grade filter available for our units, or air purifiers with filtration ratings at least as high as the MERV-13.   Additionally dampers on all of our units are maximized to take in as much outside air as possible.  These improvements will minimize COVID transmission as well as protect classroom air quality during wildfires. Our District works with mechanical engineers who advise us on settings and upgrades.

 

What about ventilation in times of wildfire smoke and poor air quality? Our schools’ HVAC systems have been updated to include MERV-13 filters, which is the highest-grade filter available for our units, or air purifiers with filtration ratings at least as high as the MERV-13. These improvements will minimize COVID transmission as well as protect classroom air quality during wildfires.

 

What will arrival and dismissal look like?

Before school, parents should complete the daily, at-home screener (OKtoReopen) and submit their results through that platform.  Everyone should maintain social distancing and wear masks. Similar to last year, parents will not be allowed to enter campus during arrival and dismissal. Pick up and drop off will happen at gates/designated areas. Community members, siblings, parents and volunteers cannot be on campus while students are still present. There is limited community access to campus after 4 p.m. 

 

 

Daily Health Screener

 

How does the daily screener work?

Parents will receive an email and/or text message early each school day from Reminder@oktoreopen.com. This online survey has four simple questions about your child's health. Please complete them and click submit (either by text or email). The screener needs to be completed first thing in the morning before children come on campus.

Parents can adjust their OKtoReopen settings to receive text or email only, or both, by contacting their school office to make the change in Powerschool. Questions can be answered for more than one child within the same window, using the drop-down menu at the top right. It is not necessary to download an OKtoReopen app.

 

How to use Oktoreopen (English video

daily screener graphic

Will students have their temperature taken when they arrive at school?

Temperatures will be taken only when there is a concern. 

 

 

Vaccinations

 

How many school staff members are vaccinated?

We will continue to encourage and track staff vaccinations. Our staff members have a high rate of vaccination. You can view the statistics here. There are some employees who have medical exemptions for COVID vaccines.

 

 

Can you require students to be vaccinated?

Children younger than 12 are not eligible for vaccination yet. MVWSD is encouraging all eligible individuals to get vaccinated, and has held several vaccination clinics on campus in partnership with local health agencies. It is currently not a requirement.

 

 

Where can I get a vaccination?

They are free and convenient. Please see: https://covid19.sccgov.org/covid-19-vaccine-information

 

 

Learning Options Specifics


What are parents’ options if they are concerned about the health risks of their residents at in-person school?

All students are expected to attend in-person instruction. However, students and families that feel in-person instruction compromises their health may elect to participate in a Remote Independent Study program as outlined in state law for the 2021-22 school year. Remote Independent Study learning will be provided to MVWSD students by Edgenuity, a third-party provider, and will not look like the Distance Learning program MVWSD offered in the 2020-21 school year. Please see this webpage for more information.

 

 

What will PE, recess, music and lunch look like for students on campus?
Meals: During times of unmasked eating, students will be socially distanced to the greatest extent possible and outdoor seating areas will be maximized.

 

Recess and PE: MVWSD will be requiring masks for outdoor activities such as recess and physical education in alignment with CDC recommendations. Masking will allow students to move more freely between play areas and friend groups. During outdoor PE, teachers will use their discretion about whether students need to unmask due to the level of physical exertion. 

 

Vocal and aerosol-producing instrumental music: MVWSD will proceed with regular classes this year.  Students will be socially distanced to the greatest extent possible and outdoor instruction areas will be maximized. Additionally, MVWSD will provide instrument bell covers and specialized music masks to reduce the possibility of COVID transmission.

 

 

What happens if COVID or wildfire smoke force school closure?

Please see our Air Quality webpage

 

 

Can classes go outside for learning?
Outside learning is encouraged as an option, following safety protocols. Whether classes go outside is determined by the teacher, school schedule and access to these areas.


Will there be policies for student behavior, such as mandatory mask wearing, to ensure safety and reduced disruption for classes in person?
Yes, schools will have consistent practices for student behavior regarding masks and social distancing. These expectations will be communicated to students and parents. We are confident our students and families will be able to follow safety rules.  If a student cannot comply with mask wearing, he/she will be referred to the remote independent study program. 

 

 

What plan is there to orient students/families as part of back to school?  

Schools will be hosting orientation activities during the first week of school to ensure that students are familiarized with their campus and get to know their peers, especially after a long time away. More details will be coming soon from your site principal.

 

 

Volunteer Guidelines

At the August 3rd Board meeting, Trustees requested that staff update the MVWSD volunteer guidelines to include additional requirements.  MVWSD continues to work on a plan for phasing in volunteers as younger students are vaccinated. Please see mvwsd.org/returntolearn

 

 

Meals

What should students do about lunch?

Due to federal funding, the district is able to provide free breakfast, snacks and lunches to students on campus daily. Menus and nutritional analysis are posted at https://www.mvwsd.org/nutrition. There will be a vegetarian option each day. Our Food and Nutrition Services Department may be able to meet some specialized dietary restrictions. Please contact the department at 650.903.6965. Gluten free lunches are not available. A count of those taking school lunch will be taken at the beginning of the school day. Students may bring their own self-contained lunches if desired.

 

 

Will food distribution at Castro continue when the district reopens?

MVWSD will continue providing free grab and go meals at Castro Elementary (500 Toft St) during lunchtime for children in the community who are not on campus.

 

Mental Health

What can we do for students’ mental health?
In addition to our ongoing partnership with CHAC, our site based counselors, and the recent hire of a Director of Wellness, MVWSD has allocated funds for student orientation activities, social-emotional learning and targeted tutoring. Over the next two years, each school will be developing and rolling out these plans for the benefit of students. 


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