Reopening School Information » Update on Return to Campus Plan - January 21, 2021

Update on Return to Campus Plan - January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021
Dear LGUSD Families,
I wanted to provide some clarity regarding the planned reopening of school in light of the changes in guidance from the State.  
For grades K-5 and 6th grade, what is actually changing with last week’s new California public health directive? Has this affected the authorization of the Board for a “Go” to resume in-person school?
Besides organizational logistics, such as the requirement to submit safety plans to the state, there is only a slight change in the metric to return to school. At the Jan. 7th board meeting, the board approved the metric announced by Governor Newsom over the holidays of a case rate below 28 per 100,000. In Thursday’s update from the state, this was modified slightly to less than 25 per 100,000.
metricsCould the adjustment from 28 to 25 affect the anticipated return date?
Due to the slight change, it is possible that Santa Clara County’s reported case rate on Jan. 26th would land above the 25/100,000. This graphic shows the current case rate as of Jan. 19, 2021
When can we realistically expect our K-6 students to be back in school?  
We are currently tracking the daily case rates. It appears that most Santa Clara County area case rates are now on a downward trajectory. We don’t wish to speculate, but it could possibly be a few weeks until the 25/100,000 is met, thus pushing off the start of school a few weeks. If it’s earlier, we are ready and would welcome in-person school to resume. 
If there is the possibility of the county not meeting the metric on Jan. 26 or Feb. 1, why are we offering COVID student testing sign-ups?
We are proceeding under the assumption we will soon be back in school, even if the start is delayed a few weeks. In addition, these early testing windows have provided parents and students an opportunity to register in the system and learn the process. When we return, under state guidance, we will be required to offer weekly staff and student testing if we are >14 cases per 100,000, which is likely.  
Are we legally obligated to follow the state guidelines as a district?
Yes, we are legally obligated to follow the State’s guidelines. Last Thursday’s announcement was a California Public Health Directive, and all school districts and charter schools are mandated to comply.  
What about 7th and 8th grades? Can’t they open since we were under the impression we were considered “open”?
The Jan. 14th new state guidelines specifically grouped grades 7-8 with high school grades 9-12 and provided a revised case rate metric of 7/100,000. This is the first time grades 7-12 have been issued a metric number for a return to school from the state. 
Under the updated state guidelines, LGUSD does not qualify as “open.” In order to be considered open, school sites must have offered every student at an entire grade level the option for in-person instruction. This means that our previous full special education programs and full class pilots don’t qualify us as “open”.     
Are these new guidelines final?
Since last March 2020, nearly every month has brought changes from the state and county. Our district is required by law to follow the county and state mandates. We anticipate further refinement to these guidelines and will adapt our plans accordingly.
Please take some time to look at our revised Return to Campus Reopening Plan. We have been busy updating that plan to address the many changes in guidance from the State. 
LGUSD appreciates your support and patience during this time of uncertainty and change. We will continue to communicate changes and updates as they become available. 
Yours In Education,
Paul Johnson