2021-22 School Year Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The information shared below will be evaluated weekly and updated as needed or as additional questions arise. Major changes in guidance related to health orders issued by the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) or the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will be communicated directly to parents and guardians via email.
We have organized the information into the following categories:
- Mask Protocols
- Physical Distancing
- Health Screenings & Monitoring of COVID-19 Symptoms
- Positive COVID-19 Cases
- Exposure/ Testing/ Quarantine
- Cleaning/ Sanitation/ Ventilation
- Recess & Lunch
- Sports & Extracurriculars
- Student Information
- Visitors & Volunteers
FAQs last updated on: September 17, 2021
- New updates to COVID Dashboard reporting: The LVJUSD COVID Dashboard is now updated daily each school day by 5pm.
- New section added for sports and extracurricular guidance released on September 1, 2021.
- Shortened quarantine now allows students to be tested on day 5 or later before returning on day 8 if the test is negative. (Original guidance students to be tested on day 6 or later).
- Student COVID-19 testing for modified quarantine is now available. Parents must complete a registration and consent form in order to have their student tested on-campus.
- Are masks required at school?
- Per CPHD & ACPHD guidance released on August 2, 2021, masks will be required for all students and staff when indoors (regardless of vaccination status) and will be optional when outdoors.
- What type of face coverings or masks may be worn?
- A mask that covers the nose and mouth is required. According to CDPH, an effective mask has both good fit and good filtration. A well-fitted mask has no gaps between the face and mask. To see the recommendations for masks: Get the Most Out of Masks
- Can a face shield be worn instead of a mask?
- A face shield can be worn in addition to a mask at any time. A face shield cannot be worn in lieu of a mask unless a person is exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical exemption.
- Where can I find information about mask exemptions?
- Guidelines for those with exemptions can be found on California's COVID-19 website. If you think your student qualifies for an exemption, please contact your doctor. An exemption needs to be provided in writing from a licensed medical physician.
- Are there physical distancing requirements for schools?
- Per CDPH guidance, there are no physical distancing requirements indoors with universal masking or outdoors, however, best practice is for classroom space between occupants to be maximized.
- Are there physical distancing requirements during lunch when students are eating?
- Per CDPH guidance, there are no physical distancing requirements, however, if students are eating lunch indoors, it is recommended and best practice to have students moderately distanced. Options for eating lunch outdoors will be provided to students whenever possible.
Health Screenings & COVID-19 Symptom Checks
- Will online daily health screenings be required for the 2021-22 school year?
- No formal screening will need to be filled out prior to a student coming to school. Parents and students should monitor for COVID symptoms prior to entering a school campus, district office, or other LVJUSD facility. Anyone who is sick with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and call their medical provider for advice. Those symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- What is the protocol for a student exhibiting symptoms of COVID?
- Both vaccinated and unvaccinated students have three options (see COVID Flowchart for Parents) if they are experiencing COVID-related symptoms:
- Option 1: Quarantine for 10 days; return to school on day 11 and when fever is gone for 24 hours.
- Option 2: Get an approved test after day 6 of quarantine and return to school on day 8 if the test is negative. If the test is positive, isolate and return to school on day 11 from when symptoms first appeared and when fever is gone for 24 hours and the student feels better. Contact school office.
- Option 3: Obtain a note from your healthcare provider for an alternative diagnosis.
- What is the protocol for a student that develops symptoms while on campus?
- Each site has a designated isolation space that the student will remain in until their parent arrives to take them home.
Positive COVID-19 Cases
- What should I do if my student tests positive for COVID-19?
- Please contact your school to inform them as soon as possible so that staff can begin the contact tracing process.
- Isolate for 10 days and return to school on day 11 and when fever is gone for 24 hours. See the COVID Flowchart for Parents from the Alameda County Office of Education.
- A negative COVID test is not required to return to school after isolation.
- Will parents be notified when there is a positive case of COVID-19 at school?
- If your student is determined to have been in close contact with the confirmed case, you will be notified.
- Parents can view our LVJUSD COVID Dashboard which is updated daily on school days before 5pm (as of Friday, 8/27/2021) and includes the total number of confirmed positive cases by site.
- Is the District tracking and reporting positive COVID-19 cases?
- Our LVJUSD COVID Dashboard is updated daily on school days before 5pm (as of 8/27/2021) and available to view with total numbers of confirmed positive cases by site.
- What is the protocol for students and staff who have a member of their household test positive for COVID-19?
- Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated students and staff members do not need to quarantine when a member of their household tests positive for COVID-19, but they should use other mitigation strategies at home such as physical distancing, masking and self-monitoring for symptoms for 14 days. If any COVID-19 symptoms develop, they should isolate and get tested right away.
- Where can I see Alameda County’s level of community transmission?
- You can view Alameda County’s level of community transmission on the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker by entering California as our state and Alameda as our county.
Exposure/ Quarantine/ Testing
- What is the definition of a close contact (related to positive COVID case exposure)?
- Close contacts are individuals who have spent more than 15 minutes (cumulatively) over a 24-hour period within 6 feet indoors of a COVID-19 positive individual.
- When would a student need to quarantine?
- They are exhibiting COVID-related symptoms at any time
- They test positive for COVID-19
- If they have been confirmed as a close contact to a positive COVID case exposure (parent will be notified), are unvaccinated, and do not NOT want to undergo modified quarantine testing on campus
- A student should begin a 10-day quarantine if:
- Do fully vaccinated* close contacts need to quarantine?
- Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts do not need to quarantine, but should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after last exposure and get tested if any COVID-19 symptoms develop.
- Students and staff members who have been in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual, must provide proof of vaccination to their school site to avoid quarantine. Individuals that do not provide proof of vaccination are considered unvaccinated and must follow quarantine protocols.
*Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose such as Johnson & Johnson.
- What protocols should be followed if a student has been exposed to a COVID-positive person but is not showing any symptoms themselves?
- If vaccinated, the student can remain in school and monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, the student will need to quarantine.
- If unvaccinated (see following options):
- (and both the COVID+ student and the exposed student were wearing masks), the exposed student should quarantine for 10 days, test on day 5 or later (if negative return to school on day 8), otherwise return on day 11.
- (and both the COVID+ student and the exposed student were wearing masks), the exposed student can remain on campus and test two times a week for 10 days after exposure, engage in no extra curricular activities, return after day 8 if a negative PCR test is collected on day 5 or later. (Modified at school testing will be available soon.)
- (and if either student was not wearing a mask at recess or lunch), the exposed student should quarantine for 10 days, test on day 5 or later (if negative return to school on day 8), otherwise return on day 11.
- Will LVJUSD offer COVID testing for students?
- Yes, on-campus, COVID-19 testing will begin the week of September 20, 2021 for unvaccinated students that have had a close contact positive COVID-19 case exposure in a school setting. Parents must have completed a COVID-19 testing registration and consent form in order for their student to be tested.
- Will my student be tested for COVID without my knowledge?
- Only students that have had a parent complete the testing registration and consent form can be tested on-campus. Parents will still be notified prior to the student receiving a test. Unvaccinated students that do not wish to be tested, will follow the standard exposure quarantine protocols. See COVID Flowchart for Parents
- If I suspect my student may have COVID, can I bring them to school to be tested?
- No. If you suspect your student may have COVID, please keep them home and contact your healthcare provider. Find a COVID-19 testing site near you. On-campus student testing is only available for known exposures on campus.
- How will students complete school work while in quarantine?
- Teachers will provide work for students during the period of quarantine. Teachers will have the choice to provide packets of work, post assignments digitally on Schoology, or to invite the student to log into class virtually.
- Student absences due to quarantine are excused absences.
Cleaning/ Sanitation/ Ventilation
- What are the cleaning and sanitation protocols for the 2021-22 school year?
- Our Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities team is focusing on the daily cleaning of touchpoints (high traffic areas: desktops, chairs, faucets, sinks, light switches, door handles, etc.) using a high quality hydrogen peroxide disinfectant.
- Electrostatic sprayers continue to be used regularly for some of our larger spaces such as locker rooms, libraries, & gymnasiums.
- What protocols are in place for ventilation in buildings and classrooms?
- Our HVAC systems filter the air in our facilities at a frequency that exceeds the recommendation of the CDC.
- Our remote access HVAC system helps to monitor and detect issues and monitor carbon dioxide levels in each room.
- Air purifiers and mobile AC units are available for use in the event that a classroom’s air conditioning unit is in need of repair.
- MERV -13 filters are installed and replaced on a regular schedule.
- What types of events are permissible?
- Student-centric events that are essential to the academic experience (i.e. orientations, sporting events, student performances) are allowed using the current masking guidance.
- Will Back-to-School Nights be in-person or virtual?
- Back-to-School Nights will be held virtually for the 2021-22 school year. Your school site will provide more information.
- Will spectators be allowed at athletic events?
- We anticipate that spectators for sports will be allowed using current masking guidance. We are awaiting more specific information from CPHD related to athletics.
Recess & Lunch
- Will students need to wear their masks at recess and lunch?
- Outdoor recess and lunch will not require that students wear masks. Students eating lunch indoors will need to remove their masks to do so, therefore indoor lunch spaces will include physical distancing between students.
- What is the plan for recess?
- Each school will develop a plan for recess that will give students an opportunity to play and enjoy the outdoors with fellow students, while being mindful of congestion and crowding. Please check with your school for more specific information.
- Will lunches be staggered?
- While the time allotment for lunch is not changing, each school will develop a plan, relative to their student population, that will mitigate crowding and congestion to the extent possible. For example, some students may have time on the playground first and then eat, while another group of students eat first and then have time on the playground.
- Is lunch free for all students this year?
- Yes, as stated in your student’s Powerschool Annual Enrollment Update you completed prior to school starting, all students can receive free lunch at school this year. More information can be found on our Child Nutrition website.
Sports & Extracurriculars
- What are the health and safety protocols for sports, band, chorus, and clubs?
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released new guidance on September 1, 2021 that addresses extracurricular activities including sports, band, chorus, and clubs. The following verbiage is taken directly from the guidance (listed #16 in the guidance link included above) and reads as follows:
The requirements and recommendations in this guidance also apply to all extracurricular activities that are operated or supervised by schools, and all activities that occur on a school site, whether or not they occur during school hours, including, but not limited to, sports, band, chorus, and clubs. Masks are required for all persons while playing all indoor sports, unless wearing a mask during play has been determined to pose a choking hazard by a well-recognized health authority, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics.
For (1) the playing of musical instruments that cannot be done with a face covering (e.g., wind instruments); or (2) when wearing a mask during play poses a choking hazard, at least one of the following options is required:
- Conduct these activities outdoors;
- Use modified face coverings and bell coverings when playing wind and brass instruments, and maintain 6 feet of physical distancing;
- Perform at least weekly screening testing with either PCR testing (1:1 or pooled PCR) or antigen testing of all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated.
- What are the health and safety protocols for sports, band, chorus, and clubs?
- Where can I find the bell schedule for my student?
- Please check your school’s website for bell schedule information. We are returning to pre-COVID schedules, including early release Wednesdays.
- Will students be dressing for PE and using locker rooms?
- Yes, students in middle and high school will be dressing for PE and utilizing locker rooms.
- Are COVID-19 vaccinations required for students?
- COVID-19 vaccinations are not required for students, but are strongly encouraged for those aged 12 and up.
- Are COVID-19 vaccinations required for staff?
- Teachers and staff are required to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing per the CDPH’s August 11, 2021 Health Order
- How do I get vaccinated?
- Contact your healthcare provider or find a COVID-19 Vaccination Site.
- Will there be any vaccination clinics at school sites?
- We do not currently have plans for vaccination clinics at school sites, but we will continue to inform parents of community clinics as they arise.
- Is it a HIPPA violation to be asked what my vaccination status is?
- No. HIPAA, also known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and its subsequently added Privacy Rule include provisions to protect a person’s identifying health information from being shared without their knowledge or consent. The law, though, only applies to specific health-related entities, such as insurance providers, health-care clearinghouses, health-care providers and their business associates. There is nothing in HIPAA that bars asking people about their health —including vaccination status — or requiring proof that the information is accurate. Due to the sensitive nature of vaccination status, teachers and coaches shall refrain from discussing vaccination status with students.
- Are COVID-19 vaccinations required for students?
Visitors & Volunteers
- Will parents be allowed on campus?
- Parents can drop off or pick up their students on the outside perimeters of campus. Staff will be available in the mornings and afternoons to ensure all students get on and off of campus safely.
- Will schools allow parent or community volunteers?
- At this time, per CPHD and ACPHD guidance, we are limiting parent and community volunteers on our campuses.
- Classroom parent volunteers will not be allowed at this time.
- Parents or community members volunteering for a single day, special event (approved by principals) will need to provide visual proof of vaccination.