COVID Safety at Pacific School in 2021-22
Pacific School is planning for a full reopening next year in accordance with the current COVID rules for schools and workplaces, which are summarized here. (This is a living document that Santa Cruz County Office of Education keeps updating as rules change.)
We will also continue our collaboration with UCSC researchers, which provides an additional level of safety (see details below). Families who are not comfortable with in-person school for 2021-22 should consider our home study program.
How does your collaboration with UCSC COVID researchers work?
Our collaboration with UCSC protects student privacy while providing an extra layer of COVID protection. Pooled samples are taken from face masks to detect the presence of coronavirus, allowing the school and families to be notified of any possible asymptomatic cases at the school. More details are available here.
What modifications has Pacific School made to its ventilation systems?
Our HVAC system is only a few years old. In 2020, we installed MERV 13 filters on the HVAC system, and set the system to maximize incoming fresh air. In addition, we are encouraging teachers to keep windows and doors open and to teach outdoors whenever possible. When these options aren't feasible, such as during very bad weather and/or smoky days, we have stand-alone HEPA air filters for the classrooms.
What will the requirements be for face coverings?
We expect that the for at least the fall of 2021 face coverings will be required for all adults when working with students, and for all students when indoors, but not when outdoors. The current state of COVID rules for California schools and workplaces is summarized here.
Will students be kept in cohorts?
At this time, we expect that cohort requirements will not be in place during the 2021-22 school year. Students in grades 1-6 will interact primarily with their own consistent classmates, but will interact with students in other classes, both indoors and outdoors, at times, in order to accommodate our coordinated math and recess schedules. Students in preschool and kindergarten will interact primarily with other students in their own class.
What will happen when students eat?
We are hoping to structure our class schedule so that students can eat outside as much as possible. When it is necessary to eat indoors, students will be spaced out as much as possible.
Will screenings of staff and students be conducted?
Staff will be expected to conduct a health self-screen each day before arriving at work. Families should also screen their students at home. Students who display COVID symptoms at school will be kept outside and away from other students until they can be picked up.
Will staff be fully vaccinated?
Yes, all Pacific School staff will be fully vaccinated.
Will parent volunteers be allowed on campus?
At this time, we expect that fully vaccinated parent volunteers will be allowed to work on campus and in classrooms. They will need to provide the office a copy of their vaccination card, sign the student privacy form, and wear an appropriate face covering while on campus. All other visitors will be kept to a minimum.
What other safety measures is Pacific School taking?
Custodial staff hours are being increased to allow for additional cleaning. Staff will ensure that all students (and staff) wash their hands frequently throughout the day.
Get a Free Smart Thermometer
Pacific School is participating in this program. Please download the app and get your free thermometer now, in preparation for school opening for in-person instruction. Limit one per family.