Weekly Reopening Update – February 5, 2021

Friday, February 5, 2021

Dear GGUSD Families,

We were encouraged to see that the COVID-19 case rate numbers posted by the Orange County Health Care Agency on Tuesday showed another week of incremental improvement for our area.  Click here for this week’s COVID19 case rates for GGUSD schools. This data reflects a positive trend that indicates some elementary schools in GGUSD may soon reopen for in-person instruction.

As a reminder, according to the district’s reopening plan, elementary schools that reach COVID-19 case rates of 25 (or lower) per 100,000 will reopen beginning February 16.  All other elementary schools will be able to resume in-person instruction for TK-2ndgrade students no later than the month following their COVID-19 rates reaching 25 (or lower) per 100,000.  Elementary principals will notify families with at least five working days of advanced notice of their reopening date and schedule. Secondary schools that did not previously open may not reopen for in-person instruction until Orange County returns to the Red Tier. Once schools are reopen, they will not close unless mandated by the county or state.

As we approach school reopening, parents are encouraged to attend one of our upcoming Health and Safety Webinars via Zoom on February 9 at 6:00 p.m. or February 10 at 9:00 a.m.  to learn more about the safety measures and protocols in place. Parents will learn more about health and safety expectations as well as what they can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our school communities safe. Click here for the flyer. Parents can register to attend at https://linktr.ee/GGUSD

As a reminder, when schools reopen for in-person instruction, parents must complete a daily health screening form via ParentSquare each morning before sending their child(ren) to school to confirm that children are not coming to school with symptoms or recent exposure to COVID-19. Click here for instructions on completing the form in ParentSquare.

As part of our comprehensive safety planning, GGUSD is preparing to implement on-site COVID-19 testing for students and staff at schools that reopen for in-person instruction. The district will participate in a partnership with the California Department of Public Health’s Valencia Regional Laboratory, which will provide services that allow schools to implement the on-site testing for individuals without symptoms. Additional information will be forthcoming.

While our weekly messages have focused on important reopening updates, it’s important to know that GGUSD scholars continue to excel in their distance learning classrooms. Each day, students reach new academic achievements and milestones. If you have a standout student who you would like to recognize for academic or personal success on our GGUSD social media pages, feel free to email us at pio_department@ggusd.us with their name, school, accomplishment and photo.

Our employees continue to go above and beyond to support the academic and personal needs of students and families.  GGUSD remains a leader in educational excellence!  In fact, GGUSD was one of only 28 districts across the state to be named a 2019-2020 California Honor Roll District and 48 GGUSD schools were named to the California Honor Roll for high student achievement, a reduction in achievement gaps and high college readiness in students.  Earlier this year, GGUSD also received a prestigious Golden Bell Award for our successful College and Career Mentoring Program, which provides alumni-led mentoring to at-risk students at 33 elementary schools across the district. 

We’re proud of our success and committed to supporting our students and families during this pandemic.  All parents and secondary students are encouraged to Save the Data for our Choose Wellness Event on Monday, March 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 for workshops led by local experts on a variety of mental health and wellness topics. 

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What if our elementary school’s COVID-19 rates don’t fall to 25 per 100,000 by February 9th. When will we reopen? Elementary schools will be able to resume in-person instruction for TK-2nd grade students no later than the month following their COVID-19 rates reaching 25 (or lower) per 100,000.  We are checking these numbers weekly and will provide schools and families at least five working days of advance notice prior to their reopening date. 

My child is in third through sixth grade. How soon can these students return for in-person instruction after the school is allowed to reopen? Schools can either bring third through sixth grade students back immediately once allowed to reopen or in tiers. Families will receive a message from the school principal regarding their reopening schedule.

If COVID-19 numbers spike again after our school reopens, will we be forced to close again?  Schools that are reopening for in-person instruction will only close if mandated to do so by the county or state.

Will my child be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine to attend school? The district does not currently have any plans for requiring vaccinations of students for COVID-19, pending any state or county direction to do so (which there has not been to present). The CDPH and OCHCA dictate which immunizations/vaccinations are required for school attendance and, thus far, they have not indicated that the COVID-19 vaccination will be required for students. Additionally, vaccinations are not yet available for children under age 16.

Are vaccines available for school staff? Nurses, health assistants and a small group of specialized instructional aides have begun receiving the COVID-19 vaccine which is administered by the county and is only available for critical and health care workers, law enforcement working in high-risk settings and adults aged 65 and older. Educators will be eligible in the next round of vaccines, which could begin as early as February. The district is advocating for OCHCA to allow us to use our sites to distribute vaccines to our employees, but currently all vaccine distribution is coordinated through OCHA and the county health care networks.

What is the current status of athletics? GGUSD will soon allow for competition in low contact sports including cross country and tennis. The remaining sports remain in strength and conditioning until Orange County returns to the Red Tier.

Will my child be able to attend school in person, once in-person instruction resumes, if he/she has had COVID-19? Yes. Once in person learning returns to your child’s school site, your child will be able to come to school in person after all isolation and quarantine requirements are fulfilled. Your child may return school at least 10 days from onset of symptoms or date of positive test, be 24 hours fever free without use of fever reducer, and symptoms are resolved.

Why is my child’s school asking for information about my child testing positive for COVID-19? To ensure that state and local public health experts can respond to confirmed cases of COVID-19, the State of California requires school districts to report all known positive cases to the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA). The reporting of these cases helps OCHCA understand the extent of disease transmission in our communities and allows appropriate support with treatment and prevention strategies. The information is confidential and not shared with any other government agency.

Can my child return to campus for Boys and Girls Club, athletics, in-person instruction or other activities if they are not up-to-date on required immunizations or physical exams? No, families must continue to adhere to the state requirements relating to health exams, oral health assessments and immunizations. Click here for the list of requirements by grade. The COVID-19 pandemic has not altered these requirements.