Reopening School Information » Reopening School Update - January 15, 2021

Reopening School Update - January 15, 2021

Updated State Guidance

January 15, 2021
Dear Los Gatos Union School District Families,
As you know, on January 7th, the Board of Trustees authorized reopening as presented on November 19th, if state/county metrics are met. The board-approved reopening plan is still fully in force. When the metrics are met at specific grade levels, reopening will occur.  
We are proceeding with all preparation activities gearing up for the reopening of school. This includes professional development and safety training, in addition to staff and student COVID testing. Throughout this school year, we have continued to refine our plans based on changing guidance from the county and state. 
Yesterday afternoon (1-14-21), the State released detailed guidelines that altered the metrics as previously presented by the Governor. This guidance is a public health directive that applies to all public and private schools operating in California, and schools must comply with the orders and guidance. As with previous guidance, it is subject to change.  
For the first time, the State has separated our District grade levels into two groups: K-6 and 7-12, with a different metric for each group. Here are the new metrics to reopen in-person school: 
Grades K-6
The adjusted case rate has been less than 25 cases per 100,000 population per day for at least 5 consecutive days. (This is a change from the <28 per 100,000 previously announced metric).
Grades 7-12
The adjusted case rate has been less than 7 cases per 100,000 population per day for at least 5 consecutive days. (This is a change from the <28 per 100,000 previously announced metric).  
What does this mean for LGUSD?  
  • Each Tuesday, the State releases the adjusted case rate and it is posted by Santa Clara County each Wednesday. If the metric is not met on January 19th, the District will continue weekly assessment. Once the metric is met as reported by the State, students in either K-6 or 7-8 will return the following Monday.  
  • Fisher Middle School will return in two separate waves according to the new guidance. Sixth grade will return when the adjusted case rate is less than 25 per 100,000. Seventh and eighth grade will follow when the adjusted case rate of 7 per 100,000 is met.   
  • These new guidelines do not impact our ability to implement targeted support for students. This process is underway as teachers and principals identify students most in need of support.
This is another example of a changing landscape during this pandemic and I thank all families for your patience and perseverance. We will be communicating the progress of LGUSD according to the new State metric on a weekly basis, and will share updates on guidance as they become available.  
We have had a positive development this past week. County Public Health informed us that educator vaccines should begin in late January. This is only a few weeks away and we anticipate this will help expedite the full scale return of students to schools in our community. I’m hopeful that the case rates will drop so we can resume full scale general reopening as soon as possible.  
Yours in education,
Paul Johnson