Weekly Reopening Update - February 19, 2021

Friday, February 19, 2021

Dear GGUSD Families,

This week’s COVID-19 case rates showed that 6 of GGUSD’s 10 zip codes fell below the case rate of 25 per 100,000 which is the requirement that our elementary schools must meet to reopen for in-person instruction. We are delighted to share the wonderful news that 18 of our elementary schools are reopening for in-person instruction over the next few weeks: Allen, Barker, Enders, Garden Park, Monroe and Patton elementary schools will open on February 22; Anthony Elementary School will open on February 23; Gilbert, Northcutt, Zeyen, Cook, Hill and Sunnyside elementary schools will open on February 24; and Heritage, Murdy, Newhope, Russell and Stanford elementary schools will open on March 1.  With COVID-19 case rates on the decline, we anticipate that we will be able to reopen additional elementary schools very soon.

Per state guidelines, our intermediate and high schools that did not previously reopen can only reopen for in-person instruction when Orange County returns to the red tier.   

With school reopening beginning next week, we want to remind all parents about all that we do to ensure your children are safe and remain healthy at school.  If you haven’t done so, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our “Health and Safety Reopening Procedures at a Glance” document which summarizes all that GGUSD is doing to foster a safe environment for students and staff. GGUSD has a variety or health and safety protocols in place including mask requirements that all students wear face coverings at all times except while eating, temperature taking procedures, hand washing, physical distancing and more. Additionally, it is crucial to take your child(ren)’s temperature each morning and keep children home from school if they have a temperature of 100.4 or higher or are exhibiting any signs of illness or symptoms of COVID-19.  All parents are expected to submit a daily health screening form via ParentSquare each morning before sending your children to school. This is an added layer of accountability to ensure that children do not attend school while they are sick and to help us work together to foster safe school communities. Click here for the video tutorial about the ParentSquare health screening form.

GGUSD schools will also offer on-site COVID-19 nasal swab testing thanks to our partnership with the California Department of Public Health and Valencia Regional Lab. When schools reopen, parents will receive an email with instructions on how to pre-register to grant permission for their child to participate when testing is offered. The testing will be offered completely free of charge and will be self-administered by students under the supervision of school staff. All schools will follow Orange County Health Care Agency’s Student Symptom Decision Tree when responding to illness on campus.  While we know that we have and will continue to see positive cases of COVID-19 among our staff and students, we are taking every precaution possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. 

We are also currently working with the county to help expedite getting school employees vaccinated as soon as possible according to OCHCA’s tiered distribution schedule. Currently, OCHCA is providing vaccines for Tier 1A critical and health care workers and individuals age 65 and older. In our area, Latino Health Access is offering vaccines to GGUSD family members (parents, grandparents, etc.) age 65 and older who can receive a vaccine at Valley High School, 1801 S. Greenville Street in Santa Ana.  Call the Latino Health Access COVID-19 Call Center at 714-805-7838 to get an appointment.  Click here for the flyer. For more information about OCHCA’s vaccine distribution schedule and super pod sites, click here.

Our focus on health and safety extends to the mental health and wellness of our students, staff and families. All parents, staff, and secondary students are invited to our Choose Wellness Event on Monday, March 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 which will feature workshops led by local experts on a variety of mental health and wellness topics like building resiliency during a pandemic, stress reduction for parents, the effects of social media on mental health, suicide prevention, and more. We are pleased that the Choose Wellness event will feature a presentation from Dr. Clayton Chau, Director of the Orange county Health Care Agency, who will provide an update on the county’s response to COVID-19 and what families can do to protect themselves.  To RSVP, visit  https://bit.ly/ChooseWellness2021, select the workshops you plan to attend and request interpretation if needed.

As always, we remain grateful for the patience and partnership of our GGUSD families.