Frequently Asked Questions
These frequently asked questions and answers summarize and distill the majority of the in-person learning questions the District Office has received to date. This page will be updated often. Please remember, all of our plans for reopening our schools are subject to the guidance/orders of Santa Clara County Public Health Department, California Department of Public Health, local guidance from SCCOE, California Department of Education, to name a few, and all working conditions are subject to collective bargaining with our labor partners. The staff FAQs have been posted on the staff information webpage, and will also be updated frequently. Thank you for your patience and understanding. For more information see the ESD Return to In-Person Learning Plan and webpages.
Updated April 18, 2021
What is the current status of the Evergreen School District’s return to in-person learning?
- Inform them of our return to In-Person Learning start dates;
- Ask if they would like to have their student remain in Distance Learning or return to In-Person Learning.
- Ask for family schedule preference for hybrid learning days for families wanting their student to return to In-Person Learning.
Since then, both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have updated and adjusted the previous guidance of 6 feet of physical distance between students while in classrooms and recommended a minimum of 3 feet between students.
In the recent agreement reached with the Evergreen Teachers Association:
- Students will return to in-person learning on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through the end of the 2020-21 school year, beginning on April 19, 2021 for TK-8 grade, Pre-school, Special Day Class, TK-2, and seventh and eighth grade. Grades 3-6 will start on April 26, 2021.
- Student desks will be placed 4 feet apart, and teacher desks will be spaced 6 feet apart from student desks.
- The approved revised school schedules will apply to students participating in distance learning and in person learning. View elementary school schedules here and middle school schedules .
- Students who remain in distance learning will continue to receive instruction and support through Zoom on a daily basis.
- Teachers will provide instruction to in-person and distance learning students concurrently.
- Families who do not wish their students to attend school for in-person learning more than 2 days per week will need to notify their school office.
For Elementary and Middle School Students:
- We are also offering an after school on-campus supervised learning option for students who have returned to in-person learning. Supervision will be provided by classified staff. More information about this option will be provided by your school principal.
- As we look ahead to the 2021-22 school year, our goal is to provide a full day, five days per week schedule for all students.
What are the dates for students to return to in-person learning?
The start date will depend on whether students will be in a hybrid or four day a week schedule:
- Week of April 19: Special Day Class, Pre-school, Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Grades 1, 2, 7, and 8 (an email and draft bell schedules will be sent to middle school families)
- Week of April 26: Grades 3, 4, 5, 6
Final schedules will be provided by your school principal.
What if I want to change my student’s learning model?
You will need to contact your school office directly by April 13 to inform your school that you would like to change your previous choice.
What guidance is Evergreen School District consulting as it considers returning to in-person learning?
The Evergreen School District’s Return to In-Person Learning Plan is based on the following goals: to develop a robust teaching and learning plan that addresses keeping students and employees safe, returning to in person learning under various circumstances, adapting our learning environment to various circumstances, and creating an equitable learning environment for all students under any circumstance.
The Guiding Principles used in this process are:
ESD will continue to work closely with regional officials in determining when and how to return to in-person learning. Guidelines that will influence our return to in-person learning plans include:
- COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework & Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year, January 14, 2021
- Criteria and Processes for School Reopenings Under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy Framework
- CDC-California K-12 Schools Guidance Crosswalk, February 16, 2021
- CDC Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation, February 12, 2021
- Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards, December 1, 2020
- CDPH Guidance Related to Cohorts, September 4, 2020
- CDPH Guidelines K-12 In-Person Instruction, March 20, 2021
- Cohort Guidance FAQ, September 4, 2020
- COVID-19 Prepared: Reopening Santa Clara County K-12 Schools for the 2020-2021 School Year
- Current Santa Clara County Public Health Guidance for TK-12 School District Superintendents, School Boards, And Other School Administration Leaders.
What is the status of returning ESD schools to in-person learning?
On March 17, 2021, the ESD Board of Trustees approved the district’s in-person learning plan to commence the district's return to in-person learning on April 19, 2021.
We will maximize, to the extent feasible, the quantity of outside air for our buildings with mechanical or natural ventilation systems.
- To include circumstances where the amount of outside air needs to be minimized due to other hazards, such as heat and wildfire smoke.
- Determining how the ventilation system will be properly maintained and adjusted.
- Determining if it is possible to increase filtration efficiency to the highest level compatible with the existing ventilation system.
- The District has contracted with Pacific West energy management company to install ionizers on every HVAC unit in the district. These will increase air filtration in all occupied spaces.
- The District will-upgrade building air filters to the highest efficiency possible, pending availability and as recommended by the CDC. Adding the ionizers to the existing MERV 8 Systems will filter the air to a level of MERV 16+ without any added wear and tear to the HVAC unit itself. Any new HVAC units installed will have MERV 13 filters with the ionizers. This chart shows the air filtration efficiency. Testing has proven that existing MERV 8 combined with ionization achieves >MERV 13 filtration near HEPA levels.
% of Virus Controlled Based on Technology MERV Rating Filter Only Filter + Ionization 6 6.2% 34% 7 7% 61% 8 11% 84% 10 12% 89% 13 46% 97% 15 71% 99% 16 76% 99.90% 17 (HEPA) 99.9% 99.99%Image: Filtration performance from EPA study “Transmission of Viruses in Indoor Air”. Ionization improvements based on independent tests by Blue Heaven Labs & the National Research Council of Canada. Source: Pacific West
- The District shall ensure all HVAC systems operate on the mode which delivers the maximum fresh air changes per hour, including enabling settings that provide constant outside air ventilation. HVAC air filters shall be changed at the recommended intervals.
- All locations with functioning windows and doors shall be encouraged to keep windows and doors open depending on weather, temperature, or air quality conditions.
- If an occupied space is unable to have proper ventilation, due to power outage or mechanical failure of the HVAC system the following actions shall be taken in order until the situation is corrected.
- Open windows and door(s) to increase ventilation and airflow.
- Bring in fan(s) to increase ventilation and airflow placed to push air out of the room.
- Relocate students and staff to a different area where there is appropriate ventilation and airflow. To minimize the risk of waterborne illnesses, the following steps recommended by the CDC have been taken to ensure that all water systems and features (e.g. sink faucets, drinking fountains) are safe to use after the prolonged facility shutdown.
The safety of the students and staff is our highest priority. Please review the ESD COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist and ESD COVID-19 Prevention Plan for more information about the measures we will be taking to reduce infection risk. ESD continues to monitor, adjust, and follow CDPH and SCCPHD guidelines and orders to ensure safety. Health and COVID-19 safety measures that must be followed while learning on campus include:
- Required use of masks except when eating or drinking
- Required physical distancing
- Frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer
- Stable student cohorts that do not mix
Individual school closure, in which all students and staff are not on campus, is recommended based on the number of cases and stable groups impacted, which suggest that active in-school transmission is occurring. Closure should be done in consultation with the local health department. Situations that may indicate the need for school closure:
- Within a 14-day period, an outbreak has occurred in 25% or more stable groups in the school.
- Within a 14-day period, at least three outbreaks have occurred in the school AND more than 5% of the school population is infected.
- The local health officer may also determine school closure is warranted for other reasons, including results from public health investigation or other local epidemiological data.
Length of closure: 14 days, or according to a decision made in consultation with the local health officer.
The State Safe Schools for All Technical Assistance teams (TA teams), comprised of experts across multiple state agencies, will be available to assist schools with disease investigation for those with outbreaks that cannot find resources to investigate the outbreaks. The TA teams will also be available to help schools that close in order to identify and address any remediable safety issues.
Schools may typically reopen after 14 days and if the following have occurred:
- Cleaning and disinfection
- Public health investigation
- Consultation with the local health department
What precautions will be taken for issuing food services on campus? What meal options will be provided for online learners?
Grab and Go lunches will be available to all students daily following student dismissal time. Pick-up times will be slightly different for each school and times will be noted on the final schedule. Principals will be sending the final bell schedule to their families.
We understand the need to increase student socialization and connection. For this reason, each school will offer a schedule that provides In-Person Learning students with the opportunity to eat lunch at school and engage in lunchtime games and activities at least once per week. Your principal will follow up with families who have chosen In-Person Learning with more information.
What will recess look like?
The school schedules will be adjusted to reduce the numbers of students in common areas during breaks and recess to reduce large gatherings. Markings to indicate spacing for any area where students may line up such as the lunch area are in place.
Recess times will be staggered throughout the school day.
- Students may be assigned playground areas to keep them apart from other stable classroom groups. Students must remain in the same groups during recess, no mixing of groups.
- Staff and/or administration must monitor and supervise students during recess.
- Social distance be maintained between all students and between students and staff, to the extent possible.
- Face coverings must be worn by all students and staff.
- No sharing of equipment, such as balls and jump ropes.
- If shared equipment is used, cleaning will be done between use.
- For playground use students will wash their hands before and after and be monitored for social distance.
- Equipment should be cleaned between use, or at least once daily.
Close contacts (household or non-household) of confirmed COVID-19 cases should be sent home immediately, instructed to get COVID-19 testing. Additional required steps are outlined in the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health’s Test Result Decision Tree: Isolation and Quarantine Recommendations While Awaiting and After Receiving COVID-19 Test Results, as shown in the image below.
To minimize disruptions to student learning, to the greatest extent possible, each school site will ensure that students will remain with their currently assigned teacher(s) whether they are in in-person learning or distance learning. However, exceptions may occur, and your school site will contact you if your child is assigned to a different teacher.
We will be offering an after school on-campus supervised learning option for students who have returned to in-person learning. Supervision will be provided by classified staff. More information about this option will be provided by your school principal.
Childcare is provided at school sites by outside contractors, Champions and YMCA. Please contact these providers if you have any questions about childcare. For more information about Champions, which is based at Cedar Grove Elementary, visit the Champions website. For more information about the East Valley YMCA, which is based at Silver Oak Elementary, see this YMCA webpage.