2020-21 SCHOOL REOPENING PLAN Student graduation banner

Garden Grove Unified School District’s 20201 School Reopening Plan is included on the webpage below and is also available as a PDF to download in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. The plan was sent to parents, students, and staff via ParentSquare on July 31.

GGUSD 2020-21 School Reopening Plan English
GGUSD 2020-21 School Reopening Plan Spanish
GGUSD 2020-21 School Reopening Plan Vietnamese


Dear GGUSD students, families, and staff,

As our nation and community confront the challenges presented by COVID-19, school and district leaders in GGUSD have been working diligently to create a school reopening plan that will meet the educational needs of our community and adhere to county and state health guidelines published in June.

On July 17, the state and Governor updated direction for school reopening, indicating that school districts cannot open for in-person instruction until their respective counties remain off of the state’s monitoring list for rising COVID-19 infections for 14 consecutive days. Monday, August 24th is the scheduled first day of classes in GGUSD. With Orange County currently on the monitoring list and with the recent surge of coronavirus cases, according to state guidelines, we must begin the 2020-2021 school year with online instruction only. The superintendent and district leaders have been planning for this contingency and are prepared to pivot entirely to online-only distance learning.

The Board and district leadership team understand that for many of our families – distance learning is not easy – with challenges like childcare, work schedules, and access to technology. There is absolutely no replacement for the classroom experience where teachers are face to face with students, ensuring that their unique learning needs are met through tried and true instructional strategies. Rest assured, district leaders are working around the clock to ensure that distance learning will look and feel different than it did in the spring when COVID-19 first shuttered our schools.

We cannot predict when COVID-19 conditions will improve in Orange County, but we are committed to keeping our community informed every step of the way. We will re-survey families and staff about reopening again once the county is off of the monitoring list for the required 14 days.

Once we are clear to re-open for the 2020-2021 school year and through the span of the COVID-19 pandemic, GGUSD will offer three learning options

  1. Students attend in-person class (all or some of the day/week, depending on each site’s capacity and ability to implement given required physical distancing);
  2. A hybrid model of some in-person class and distance learning;
  3. A Virtual Academy which will include online learning led by a teacher through virtual lessons with opportunities for tutoring on campus if needed.

We wanted to provide you with our plans for reopening so that once we are cleared you know what to expect! The enclosed GGUSD’s reopening plans are based on health and safety guidelines from the Orange County Health Care Agency and the California Department of Public Health as well as the Orange County Department of Education and California Department of Education. Guidance may change based on the status of the pandemic and GGUSD will remain flexible. If at any time after reopening, the county or state COVID-19 conditions call for another cancellation of in-person classes and return to distance learning for all, we will be prepared to do so.

GGUSD’s reopening plans were developed with feedback from those we serve, including nearly 30,000 family surveys, 2,100 employee surveys, and feedback from our stakeholder task force which met throughout June and July and included nearly 200 students, parents, and staff members. We realize that in a district of 41,000 students and 67 schools, we serve a diverse community with a wide range of needs. There is no one-size-fits all plan for our 67 schools and each school has developed a site specific reopening plan based on feedback from its own students, families, and staff.

It is our hope that the information in this document and the plans presented by our 67 schools help families make the best educational choice for their needs. We will continue to offer the same high quality education our families know and expect and we know that additional wellness supports and learning interventions will be more important than ever.

We want to sincerely thank you for your trust and patience during this unprecedented time in education. As always, we remain committed to equipping all students with the academic and personal skills for lifelong success. That’s the Garden Grove Way!


  • Received state and county guidance on reopening
  • Held weekly district leadership meetings to plan for reopening and new Virtual Learning Academy
  • Sent reopening survey to all families and staff
  • Launched GGUSD Stakeholder Task Force on School Reopening
  • Provided administrators with support to develop school-specific reopening plans
  • Conducted in-depth building/classroom space analysis at all 67 sites
  • Continued to order personal protective equipment (PPE) and other health and safety supplies for school sites
  • Held regular meetings of the Stakeholder Task Force on School Reopening
  • Conducted site-by-site analysis of survey data
  • Developed school reopening plans based on survey data and site capacity
  • Developed protocols for reporting positive cases of COVID-19
  • Received new reopening guidance from California Department of Public Health and Governor
  • Communicated school plans to all families
  • Educate and train staff, students, and families on new distance learning guidelines and health/safety protocols
  • Finalize enrollment for all schools including new Virtual Learning Academy
  • School begins August 24th with online-only distance learning classrooms

GGUSD will continue to send out regular updates regarding school reopening plans.


GGUSD is committed to timely and comprehensive communication with all stakeholders, especially in this challenging time of a global pandemic. To ensure effective communication, GGUSD already had in place existing Home-School Communication Guidelines for district and school communication between students and families. The guidelines below are designed to augment those existing guidelines and create consistency in the manner and frequency that GGUSD communicates with students and families during this period of athome learning. GGUSD is committed to ensuring that all families have access to important information, being mindful not to overwhelm families with too much communication during an already stressful time.

GGUSD sends out Weekly Reopening Updates through ParentSquare email/text/app notification to parents, students (4th-12th grade), and staff. All ParentSquare messages about COVID-19 are posted on our COVID-19 Communication Updates webpage: All academic, wellness and community-based resources relating to COVID-19 and distance learning are posted on our COVID Resources webpage here:

Overview of District Communication Regarding COVID-19 and Reopening
Level (Message Sender) Platform/Frequency
(Board, PIO, District Departments)
  • ParentSquare (average of one to two times per week including Weekly Reopening Update and other informational posts; emergency/timesensitive posts/alerts as needed)
  • Phone calls and emails (as needed)
  • Website (weekly)
  • E-newsletter (regularly)
  • Social Media (regularly)
(Principal, Assistant Principal, Counselor, Secretary)
  • ParentSquare updates (average of once per week or “post without notifying” option for non-timely messages)
  • Phone calls and emails (as needed) - all sites have voicemail
  • Website (regularly)
  • Social Media (regularly)
  • Signs and Marquee
  • Technical support for students and parents
  • ParentSquare/Email (daily/weekly/maximum once daily)
  • ParentSquare - use the “post without notifying” option unless time sensitive (limitless)
  • Zoom/Google Classroom and Hangouts/Classroom Dojo and other apps (daily/weekly following distance learning plan)
Other Support Staff,
including Community Liaisons, School Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech Therapists, Instructional Aides, etc.
In coordination with school principal or direct supervisor:
  • ParentSquare/Email as needed
  • Phone Calls or Email Wellness Checks (once per family/follow-up as needed)
  • Schedule or attend Zoom meetings as needed
  • Weekly student participation calls
  • Referrals - socio-emotional support
  • Technical support for students and parents

Important updates are also posted on our district’s social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.




GGUSD asks for the cooperation and support of all stakeholders in creating a safe school/work environment. Students, families, and employees are asked to self screen from home and stay home if they have these symptoms:

  • Please take your temperature each morning and do not come to school/work with a fever of 100.4 or higher.
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

All school and district facilities will display signage reminding the public that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms must not enter the campus.

Knowing When to Stay Home and Self-Isolate

GGUSD has developed the following chart to help students and employees know when they must stay home.

Tested positive or have symptoms** and are in the process of being tested,
Close contact* to a person who has tested positive, or has symptoms** and is in the process of being tested,
Close contact* to a person who has been in close contact* to a person who has tested positive, and the exposed person has no symptoms and has not tested positive,

Stay home.
Self-isolate until all the following are met:

  • 3 days with no fever;
  • Symptoms improved
  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared

Stay home.
Self-isolate for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Continue to work
unless/until you ro the exposed person exhibits symptoms or tests positive.

*Close contact refers to being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes.
**Symptoms of COVID-19 are listed above

Reporting COVID-19 and Absences

Students and employees who are staying home as a result of testing positive for COVID-19, experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, or having close contact with someone who has tested positive or has symptoms should report this information to the school secretary for students or to their immediate supervisor and the Office of Personnel Services for employees. Personal illness, quarantine, and COVID-19 illness or symptomrelated absences will be excused.



The health and safety of our students, families, and staff is our highest priority. Once we are cleared to resume in-person classes, arriving to school will look different as GGUSD will adhere to county and state safety guidelines. Safety protocols may change based on the current status of the pandemic and the guidance issued by health authorities.

  • Wellness checks will be conducted of those entering campus, which may include symptom screenings and temperature checks.
  • Plexiglass barriers are installed in front offices for staff members who have regular communication with the public.
  • A staggered schedule (depending on school site plan) may be implemented to ensure for physical distancing at ingress/egress as students enter/exit campus.
  • Campus signage will remind students/staff about face coverings, social distancing, hand washing, spreading of germs, symptoms of COVID-19 and other important health and safety information. Each campus will display the attestation* from OCDE and OCHCA confirming compliance to safety protocols.
  • Parents and visitors will have limited access to the school campus.

*See appendix for attestation.

Face Coverings

GGUSD will work in accordance with the Governor’s mask order and guidance from the California Department of Public Health. Students and staff will be provided with reusable cloth face masks and reusable plastic face shields. If students in preschool through second grade cannot properly wear a face mask, a face shield is an acceptable alternative. When a cloth face covering is temporarily removed, it should be placed in a clean paper bag (marked with the student’s name and date) until it needs to be put on again. In limited situations where face coverings cannot be used for developmental reasons, a face shield can be used instead of a cloth face covering as long as the wearer maintains physical distance from others.

Individuals will wear face coverings any time they cannot maintain 6 feet social distancing, including:

face mask
  • While in the classroom
  • While waiting to enter campus
  • While on school grounds (except when eating or drinking)
  • While leaving school
  • While on the bus

Staff Requirements: All staff must use face coverings in accordance with CDPH guidelines unless Cal/OSHA standards dictate otherwise.

Gloves are only recommended for employees conducting cleaning, first aid, food service, or handling frequently touched objects.

Exemptions: Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering including those who are unable to remove a face covering without assistance are exempt.

*For additional face covering information and exemptions, please see Appendix

Physical Distancing

Keeping 6 feet of distance between yourself and others helps reduce the spread of COVID-19. Schools will implement the following practices to help ensure 6 feet of distancing is implemented whenever possible:

Social Distancing
  • Parents and non-essential visitors will have limited access to campus beyond the main office to reduce traffic on campus.
  • Gatherings and group activities will be limited as much as possible.
  • Classrooms will be reconfigured to ensure 6 feet of distance between desks.
  • Routes will be established for high-traffic areas and floor decals provided to demonstrate 6 feet of distance where needed.

Safety Protocols

Classroom Cleaning

Campus and Classroom Cleaning: Following CDC guidelines, a daily disinfecting and cleaning schedule will be in place for regular and frequent cleaning of common touch points, (desks, seats, devices, door knobs, etc.) based on clearly articulated standards of cleanliness, with a system for verifying sanitized areas through cleaning logs. Playground equipment will be regularly cleaned and student use will be limited. Custodians will follow Cal/OSHA requirements including proper ventilation during cleaning and disinfecting.

Food Services

Food Services: Each school will implement a plan to limit physical interaction during meal preparation and service. Buffets and share tables will be suspended. Pre-wrapped grab-and-go meals will be distributed to students attending each school. If student is not present, student ID must be provided.


Hygiene: New hand-washing protocols will be established to ensure students and staff have multiple opportunities to wash their hands throughout the day. Every classroom without a sink will be provided with hand sanitizer. All sinks will have signage to remind students/staff about proper hand washing.

Response to Illness

Response to Illness: Individuals who present symptoms of COVID-19 will be isolated, sent home, and contact tracing protocols will be enacted under the direction of the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Ongoing Trainings

Ongoing Trainings: Employees will complete mandated COVID-19 online trainings as required by the CDC, state, and county.


Sharing: Sharing of devices, books, instruments, and other items will be restricted whenever possible.


Transportation: Bus drivers and students will be required to wear face coverings. Students will sit one student per seat per row and every other seat when possible. Students will board the bus one at a time, filling the bus from back to front. Bus windows will be opened when possible to circulate fresh air. Buses will be cleaned and disinfected daily including seats and other frequently touched surfaces.


Ventilation: To ensure proper ventilation, classroom doors will be open when practicable. HVAC filters will be CDC compliant and replaced regularly. HVAC systems are being adjusted to increase intake/circulation of fresh air.

Responding to COVID-19 At School

The following measures will be followed when a student or staff shows symptoms, has close contact or is confirmed positive with COVID-19. GGUSD will collaborate with Orange County Health Care Agency regarding communication to school communities.

Student or Staff with

1. COVID-19 Symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, difficulty breathing)

Symptom Screening: Per CA School Sector Specific Guidelines

  • Send home
  • Recommend testing (If positive, see #3, if negative, see #4).
  • School/classroom remain open

2. Close contact (*) with a confirmed COVID- 19 case

  • Send home
  • Quarantine for 14 days from last date of exposure
  • Recommend testing (but will not shorten 14-day quarantine)
  • School/classroom remain open

3. Confirmed COVID-19 case infection

  • Notify Orange County Health Care Agency
  • Isolate case and exclude from school for 10 days from symptom onset or test date
  • Identify contacts (*), quarantine & exclude exposed contacts (likely entire cohort (**)) for 14 days after the last date the case was present at school while infectious
  • Recommend testing of contacts, prioritize symptomatic contacts (but will not shorten 14-day quarantine)
  • Disinfect and clean classroom and primary spaces where case spent significant time
  • School remains open

4. Tests negative after symptoms

  • May return to school three days after symptoms resolve
  • School/classroom remain open

*A contact is a person who is within 6 feet from a positive case for 15 minutes or more.
**A cohort is a stable group with fixed membership that stays together for all courses and activities (e.g., lunch, recess, etc.) and avoids contact with other persons or cohorts.

Any decisions to close a school would be made in consultation and at the recommendation of OCHCA based on the number of cases, percentage that test positive and/or other epidemiological data. According to CDPH, closure may be appropriate when there are multiple cases in multiple cohorts at school or when five percent of the school are COVID cases within a 14-day period, depending on the size and layout of the school.


As noted in the introduction, due to new state guidelines, schools in Orange County must open with distance learning. All schools will start with distance learning on August 24. Distance learning is academic instruction in which the student and teacher are in different locations. This instruction does not have to occur at the same time and typically involves the use of technology. Distance learning can be:

  • one in which students learn at the same time (synchronous) OR learn at different times (asynchronous),
  • completely digital (all technology-based) OR hybrid (partially digital and partially print); in special circumstances, print only may be provided

Learning Models for 2020-2021 School Year

When we do re-open in person, GGUSD will offer three learning models during the 2020-2021 school year, including:

  1. in-person learning
  2. hybrid of in-person and distance learning
  3. an all-online Virtual Learning Academy
Online Only

The hours and days that students can attend will vary by school and level to adhere to physical distancing requirements in the classroom as the district must ensure that all students on campus have supervision.

Every School, Every Plan

With a commitment to equity, our goal is to ensure each school is meeting the educational needs of their families and their community. Administrators from each of GGUSD’s 67 schools developed a school reopening plan using site-specific survey results and classroom/building capacity. Each administrator analyzed classroom space capacity (removing unnecessary furniture and ensuring six feet between desks) to determine the percentage of students that can safely learn in each classroom as well as the needs for alternative learning spaces and supervision when students are not in the classroom.

Each school plan will include logistics addressing the following elements, among others:

  • Percentage of students on campus
  • Schedule for in-person and distance learning
  • Supervision if all students cannot be in classroom or on campus at same time
  • Ingress/Egress before and after school to ensure physical distancing
  • Recess/Lunch to ensure physical distancing
  • Special Education maintaining inclusive setting
  • Supporting special programs on campus
  • Restroom usage and regular hand washing
  • Health office and quarantine area
  • Procedures for drop-off and pick-up
  • Schedule of delivery of instruction (concurrent or consecutive teaching)

Online Learning

Teachers have created online classrooms for students using Google Classroom. Younger students may have a simpler learning space set up for them to interact with their teacher through the Seesaw app or web portal. In addition, teachers are using the online meeting tools, Zoom and Google Meets, to conduct live face-to-face lessons with students as well as hold office hours for students to receive extra help. Parents and students will continue to receive messages and notices through ParentSquare.

Primary Use
Teacher’s virtual classroom.
Online classroom that allows teachers and students to organize assignments, collaborate, and have on-going communication.
Online video conferencing platform for use with students.
Allows teachers to conduct real-time online video meetings with students to participate in live teaching sessions and hold office hours to provide students with extra help.
Online video conferencing platform for use with parents and students.
Allows teachers to conduct real-time online video meetings with students and parents for activities such as teaching a lesson or conducting a parent meeting regarding student progress. Provides opportunity for grouping via Breakout Rooms.
Teacher’s virtual classroom for students who might be working with their parent and teacher during online learning.
Online learning journal where students and teachers post materials, conduct learning activities, and have on-going communication.
Coursework for use in online learning.
Coursework that provides digital materials in the form of videos and online activities designed for online learning.
Virtual classroom for early childhood education.
Allows teachers to create a learning path for students using engaging, interactive online activities within their virtual classroom.
Mass communication platform.
Allows teachers to send students and parents direct messages, e-mail, and text messages.
Teacher communication application used with parents.
Provides teachers an additional communication portal with parents to increase communication and community building.
Personalized extended learning platform.
Provides students extra practice and tutoring on skills and content standards that teachers are working on with students.
Digital textbooks accessed through ClassLink web portal or Academic Resources webpage.
Online digital textbooks are available for students to access and may include enhanced learning platforms that students use in addition to the digital textbook.


GGUSD is opening a free Virtual Learning Academy to provide an interactive, teacher-led online distance learning program for students in TK/kindergarten through twelfth grade. The Virtual Learning Academy was developed for families who are not ready for their children to return to in-person classes yet. The Virtual Learning Academy offers:

VLA logo
  • Latest instructional technologies provided free to eligible students
  • Students learn safely from home using GGUSD curriculum
  • Live interactive instruction via video and other online platforms
  • Instruction provided by highly-qualified GGUSD teachers
  • Opportunities for on-campus tutoring and social-emotional supports

Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) teachers teach from classrooms at the district’s Skylark Campus for TK6th grade and Lincoln Education Center for 7-12th grade with on-site tutoring and support available for students when campuses reopen. VLA students benefit from both GGUSD’s high-quality standards-based curriculum and curriculum learning modules from Edgenuity. Elementary course offerings include: English, Math, Science, History/Social Science, P.E./Health, Art and Music, Coding and Keyboarding. Secondary course offerings include A-G courses/College Prep, NCAA and UC approved courses, English, Math, Science, History/Social Science, P.E. and electives based on student interest. Due to the fact that all schools will begin the school year with distance learning, families will be given a second opportunity to enroll in the Virtual Learning Academy once schools resume in-person classes.

Applications for priority registration are due August 7 and August 14 for final registration. For more information and to complete an application, visit

Extra-Curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities will resume on school campus as we re-open our schools. Working with Activities Directors and club advisors, each student organization will provide information to students and their families about the guidelines and approved activities that follow the National Federation of State High School Associations as well as the Orange County Health Care Agency COVID-19 phasing guidelines.

Student 1
Student 2
Student 3

Social Emotional Supports

The need for social-emotional support is more important now than ever. GGUSD recognizes that the experiences of a world pandemic have affected all of our students in some way. Acknowledging this, GGUSD will continue its Choose Wellness initiatives to include an increased awareness for supporting our students’ mental health and social-emotional well-being as they return for a new school year. GGUSD recognizes that students are facing COVID-related fear and anxiety and other emotional hardships as a result of the abrupt transition to distance learning in March. In response, GGUSD has prioritized our students’ social emotional well-being by implementing a “Start Strong” initiative district wide to deliver numerous socialemotional lessons and supports to students at all grade levels, across all classrooms. A GGUSD team of school psychologists, counselors, social workers, nurses, and instructional leaders has developed learning modules and resources to support student well-being during the first two weeks of school. “Start Strong” learning modules will empower students with tools to overcome emotional hardships and barriers to learning, working to establish a safe and supportive learning environment that promotes social emotional learning. The first two weeks of school will focus heavily on supporting school connectedness and student wellness, with the goal of continuing to integrate social-emotional learning throughout the school year.

As always. GGUSD will continue to provide robust school based mental health services for students and families at no cost. During the 2019-2020 school year, GGUSD provided over 28,000 hours of direct counseling support to students and families. District leaders anticipate a possible increase in the need for mental health support for students in the upcoming year and school counselors, school psychologists and school social workers are ready to support. In the upcoming school year, GGUSD will offer a menu of flexible counseling options that include in-person (when deemed safe) to virtual counseling sessions. GGUSD students or families who need support are encouraged to reach out to a school counselor, school psychologist, school social worker or principal to discuss next steps.

To further support student, family and employee wellness, GGUSD recently partnered with Care Solace to increase access to mental health support and counseling. Care Solace, offers a free 24/7 concierge service to support GGUSD students, families, and staff through the process of finding individualized mental health support to meet each unique need. The Care Solace concierge assistant helps screen mental health providers, identifies virtual therapy options, reduces wait time, and assists with scheduling appointments. Care Solace helps individuals quickly find the right mental health support to meet each need. To get started, contact 1-888-515-0595, email or visit, or



On July 20, the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section (CIF-SS) released a modified athletics schedule for the 2020-21 school year. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional athletics schedule was restructured from three seasons (fall, winter, and spring) to two seasons (fall and spring) with the fall season starting on December 14. The following is a breakdown of which sports will be competing in each season:

FALL SPORTS (December 14, 2020-April 17, 2021)**
Boys/Girls Cross-Country, 11-Man Football
Traditional Competitive Cheer
Boys/Girls Volleyball
Boys/Girls Water Polo
SPRING SPORTS (March 6, 2021-June 26, 2021)**
Baseball, Boys/Girls Basketball, Competitive Sport
Cheer, Boys/Girls Golf, Boys/Girls Soccer, Softball
Boys/Girls Swimming, Boys/Girls Tennis, Boys/Girls
Track And Field, Boys/Girls Wrestling

**For specific information regarding each sport’s schedule please click here.


Guidance for School Reopening

Resources from Orange County Health Care Agency


"Thank you to GGUSD students and families for your trust and patience during this unprecedented time in education. District leaders are working tirelessly to develop reopening plans that provide our 41,000 students with a high quality education during the 2020-2021 school year. We are gratefull for our administrators, teachers, and support staff who are dedicated to helping all students succeed.
That's the Garden Grove Way"