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


PLANNING FOR IN-PERSON LEARNING & CURRENT STATUS

What is the current status of the Evergreen School District’s return to in-person learning?

In March 2019 we surveyed families to:
  1. Inform them of our return to In-Person Learning start dates;
  2. Ask if they would like to have their student remain in Distance Learning or return to In-Person Learning.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Student desks will be placed 4 feet apart, and teacher desks will be spaced 6 feet apart from student desks.
  3. 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 .
  4. Students who remain in distance learning will continue to receive instruction and support through Zoom on a daily basis.
  5. Teachers will provide instruction to in-person and distance learning students concurrently.
  6. 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:

Health and Safety Guiding Principle Icon
Health and Safety
Adhere to public health orders and rely on guidance and recommendations from public health officials.
Flexibility Guiding Principle Icon
Flexibility
Provide reasonable accommodations to individual students, families, and employees in response to their unique situations.
Student's Social Emotional Well-Being Guiding Principle Icon
Student's Social Emotional
Well-Being

Support the social and emotional well-being of our students, staff and community.
Learning Guiding Principle Icon
Learning
Provide high-quality instruction aligned with California State Standards.

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:

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.

Have ESD teachers and staff had access to vaccinations?
On February 28, 2021 the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health expanded vaccination access to workers who reside in Santa Clara County in the following industries: education and childcare, food and agriculture, and emergency services. The District continues to work with the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health to reserve appointments for ESD employees, and at this time, all employees have had access to vaccinations.

HEALTH & SAFETY

What will be done to promote physical distancing?
Utilizing signage and pathway markers, ESD will encourage physical distancing throughout the day. Schedules are developed to reduce numbers of students in common areas during breaks, lunches, and to reduce large gatherings. Classrooms will utilize space by spreading desks and tables around the room, as well as using vacant classrooms and outdoor spaces, as available.
What precautions will be taken for ensuring the disinfection of surfaces on buses?
Disinfecting of buses and implementing protocols will ensure the health and safety of students that utilize District transportation. Windows or roof ventilation will be open to maximize ventilation during transport. Students may sit with siblings or members of the same household.
Will there be changes to the arrival/departure procedures?
Per County Health Department requirements, drivers are to remain in their vehicles, to the extent possible, when dropping off or picking up students. When in-person drop-off or pick-up is needed, only a single parent or caregiver should enter the facility to pick up or drop off the child. Schools will have a staggered drop off and pick up schedule. More information will be provided by your school principal. All adults entering the campus for in-person pick-up or drop-off must wear a face covering and stay outside of the designated areas where only students and staff are permitted.
Will schools review hygiene with students?
Hygiene practices will be reviewed regularly with students. ESD will teach and reinforce washing hands, avoiding contact with one's eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff. ESD added hand sanitizer stations to high traffic areas on all campuses.
What measures will be implemented on campus to ensure the safety of staff and students?
ESD will take essential actions to create a physical environment that promotes student and staff safety through established protocols and procedures, including mask wearing, social distancing, self-screening, and following procedures for known positive COVID-19 infections and close contacts. These will include daily disinfection of areas used by students and staff, and focus on high-touch surfaces such as door handles and restrooms during the day.
What is the status of indoor air quality and ventilation for our classrooms? Will the district improve the ventilation situation for the classrooms?

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 RatingFilter OnlyFilter + Ionization
    66.2%34%
    77%61%
    811%84%
    1012%89%
    1346%97%
    1571%99%
    1676%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.
What happens if a student comes to school ill?
Students identified with COVID-19 symptoms are to be reported to a designated school staff, separated from the school population by campus supervision and escorted to the isolation room until they can be transported home or to a healthcare facility, as soon as practicable.
What happens if a staff member or student tests positive? Will the school be closed for 14 days? Is there a procedure in place for quarantining in the event that a person on campus tests positive or in the case that a family member of a student or staff personnel tests positive?
ESD will follow the SCCPHD guidelines for closures, beginning with notification to families and staff members. There is not a predetermined blanket answer. Each scenario has different circumstances that could affect ability to trace likely contacts. The SCCPHD will assist in the process.
I would like my student to return to in-person learning; however, I am also worried he/she may contract COVID-19. What assurances do I have as a parent that every precaution will be taken to ensure my child's safety specific to this virus?
EESD

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
Does the District require COVID testing for staff and students?
The guidelines at this point from the CDC do not require COVID testing for students before attending school, however, it is strongly encouraged. The CDPH recommends routine testing for all staff. Testing is now widely available at testing sites and through healthcare providers. In addition, ESD is investigating options to provide routine testing at a designated site(s).

Even After Receiving a Vaccine...

How often will the classrooms be cleaned?
The classrooms and all school and district facilities will be disinfected at the end of each day, and will have more enhanced cleaning on the day (Wednesdays) that students are not on campus. Restrooms will be cleaned throughout the day as needed. Students will be eating with their cohort of fellow students either in their classroom or outside their classroom, but not in the cafeteria as congregate gatherings do not comply with guidance from Public Health. Drinking fountains will be cleaned and sanitized regularly but staff and students will be encouraged to bring their own water to minimize the use and touching of water fountains. Automated water bottle hydration stations have been installed at most sites and we will have them at all sites by Summer of 2021. All water fixtures will be turned on and allowed to run so that the water system will be flushed and replaced with fresh water.
What are the criteria for closing a school to in-person learning?

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.

If a school is closed, when may it reopen?

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 are the criteria for closing a school district?
A school district should close if 25% or more of schools in a district have closed due to COVID-19 within a 14-day period and in consultation with the local health department.
If a school district is closed, when may it reopen?
LEAs may typically reopen after 14 days, in consultation with the local health department.

FOOD SERVICES

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.

ATHLETICS & ENRICHMENT

Will sports and extra-curricular activities be permitted for the 2020-21 school year?
Students have the option to participate in on-campus sports and extracurricular activities as available. Please reference the Athletics section of the Middle School Plan Details page for additional information.
Will music be provided in either on-campus or virtual options?
Music classes are currently taking place virtually. While in-person music classes are approved within current SCCPHD guidelines, adjusting the schedule with two different cohorts might not be feasible. Likely, music classes will remain virtual. However, ESD continues to monitor developments and adjust accordingly.
Will ESD’s continue to provide its enrichment program after schools return to in-person learning?
ESD’s popular enrichment program will continue to be offered to all students in a virtual format for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

COVID-19 EXPOSURE & ATTENDANCE

Will truancy limits (10 percent of missed days) remain the same in event that a student is sent home for a minimum of 14 days due to COVID-19 exposure?
An absence of this type will not count towards truancy. Students with needs for extended absences will participate in distance learning.
What happens to learning and teaching if an entire classroom or school needs to close?
The teachers and students would transition into an online learning model. ESD will have a plan and teacher training in place for this scenario.
What if a family member that lives in the same home with a student or staff member that tests positive for COVID?

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.


Will students sent home due to COVID-19 exposure move to the distance learning program temporarily until it is safe for them to return, or permanently?
These students will be enrolled in the distance learning program and then return to the in-person hybrid cohorts once they are no longer infectious.

LEARNING MODEL & TEACHER ASSIGNMENTS

When the time comes and a family has to choose an option, will a family’s/student’s choice be for a month, semester/trimester or for the year?
The commitment would be for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

Will my child be assigned to the same teacher for in-person learning?

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.

Hybrid Model AA/BB

If I select a full Distance Learning program option as my preference for my child, will I lose placement at my current homeschool?
No. Students will be guaranteed a spot in their assigned neighborhood school for the 2021-22 school year.

Is ESD providing childcare options for parents?

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.

Will classroom volunteers be allowed on campus?
Initially, volunteers on campus will not be permitted. At some point, ESD would like to have volunteers and will be monitoring safety regulations to welcome volunteers back to the school. The ESD community is working together to prevent illness and reduce the number of people on campus for physical distancing.
What would be the maximum number of kids allowed per class?
The maximum number of students per class is dependent upon the size of the classroom and the required social distancing between students and teachers. For this reason, class size may vary from class to class.

O.B. Whaley Elementary School

  • 2655 Alvin Avenue
  • |
  • San Jose, CA 95121-1609
  • |
  • Phone: 408-270-6759
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  • Fax: 408-223-4537
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