HCSD Friday Newsletter!

Friday, 10/9/2020 Update from HCSD

COVID Testing For Students - Thank You, HSF!

This week, 585 COVID tests were distributed to K-5 students, which was made possible through the support of HSF.


We continue to need your help.


Please donate here to support the needs of the district, which include testing for students and increased technology for virtual teaching. We are exploring making repeat testing available, if we’re able to raise enough funds for the effort.


Thank you to all our families who have donated and please click here if you would like to increase your donation to further support these efforts.

Welcome Week for K-5 Return to School Students!

Welcome Week Schedule - GRAPHIC below!

Measured, Sequential Approach to begin In-person learning


Return to School (RTS) Week 1: Welcome Back to School for Return to School Students! (see schedule below)


Monday 10/12/20: Distance Learning All. Synchronous Instruction until 10:00 AM, then asynchronous asynchronous instruction for students starting at 10:00 am.
Staff training starting at 10:30 am for all K-5 Educators, including Virtual Classroom teachers.

Tuesday 10/13/20:
Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 4th grade students on campus (whole class-in person). 1st grade, 3rd grade, and 5th grade: Distance Learning


Wednesday 10/14/20:
Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 4th grade students on campus (whole class-in person). 1st grade, 3rd grade, and 5th grade: Distance Learning


Thursday 10/15/20:
1st grade, 3rd grade, and 5th grade students on campus (whole class-in person). Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 4th grade: Distance Learning


Friday 10/16/20:
1st grade, 3rd grade, and 5th grade students on campus (whole class-in person). Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 4th grade: Distance Learning

RTS Week 2 (10/19-10/23): Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 4th grade students on campus (whole class-in person); 1st grade, 3rd grade, and 5th grade: Distance Learning


RTS Week 3 (10/26-10/30): 1st grade, 3rd grade, and 5th grade students on campus (whole class-in person); Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 4th grade: Distance Learning


RTS Week 4 (11/2-11/6): Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 4th grade students on campus (whole class-in person) - except Friday; 1st grade, 3rd grade and 5th grade: Distance Learning.

Friday modified schedule: Distance Learning All. Synchronous Instruction until 10:00 AM, then asynchronous asynchronous instruction for students starting at 10:00 am. Staff training starting at 10:30 am for all K-5 Educators, including Virtual Classroom teachers.


RTS Week 5 (11/9-11/13): 1st grade, 3rd grade, and 5th grade students on campus (whole class-in person); Kindergarten, 2nd grade, and 4th grade: Distance Learning. No School on Wednesday, November 11th - Veterans' Day


Week 6 (11/16-11/20): All Students Return to Campus


11/23-11/27- Thanksgiving Break

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FAQs on COVID-19 Screening and Testing Plans

See FAQ about the district’s current COVID-19 screening & testing plans, which will be updated regularly with new information, located here: https://bit.ly/30aPFai

The Ambry CARE app for Daily Symptom Screening is HERE!

The Ambry CARE app for daily symptom screening, COVID test ordering, and support for school contact tracing, is open for K-5 students to register! Please register your K-5 student(s) in the app before their first day of in-person school.


Crocker parents will receive a link to register Crocker students at a later time before their return to school date.


https://hcsd.students.care.ambrygen.com


We recommend all parents bookmark this URL on the device where you will perform daily screening, so you can easily access this link daily.


TIPS: The app seems to work best on Google Chrome browser vs Safari. You may need to turn off popup blockers if you are notified that CARE is trying to show a screen that your popup blocker has prevented.


We recommend you register your child, including entering insurance information and performing the initial health history screening, prior to their first day of in-person school, as this step takes the most time. Daily screening after initial registration and health history will be much shorter.


  • Each student must be registered with an email address. We recommend you use their [Google Classroom user ID]stu.hcsdk8.org email address. Note students are not expected to read or reply to CARE automated emails (stu.hcsdk8.org will reject emails outside the HCSD organization anyway).
  • The parent email address will be used for CARE communications about the student. As a reminder, the Google Classroom user ID is “first initial+last name.[2-digit graduation year]”.
  • If you are not sure of your child’s email address, contact Maureen Sullivan (msullivan@hcsdk8.org).


Please use a unique email address to register each child.


  • After registering your first child, open the registration link in a new browser window (hcsd.students.care.ambrygen.com) and start again, entering a new email address for your next K-5 student.
  • You can use the same parent email address for all your students, if you wish.
  • This means you will get communications from CARE to that parent email address for each student you register.


For technical issues with Ambry CARE, contact care4covid@ambrygen.com for assistance.


  • After registering, you will receive daily reminders to perform daily symptom screening for each student.
  • After performing screening and receiving a green badge, use your phone's Screenshot function and save each child's green badge to your phone Photos, so you can easily show each student's green badge at morning drop-off without having to log onto the app at traffic circle.


Unaccompanied bikers/walkers should check in at the office to be cleared through the Ambry app (checked for Green badge in the system).


Students without a green badge will not be admitted to class.

TIP: be sure to do the screening well before 8:15 each morning!


Be sure to check the HCSD CARE 4 COVID FAQ, which is updated regularly, for further details on the HCSD Screening & Testing program.

Moving to In-Person Instruction at Crocker Middle School

As the county is now in the "Red" or "Substantial" tier, K-12 schools are allowed to re-open AFTER a review by the San Mateo County Office of Education.


As we already have a granted waiver for K-5 students, we are moving forward with In-person instruction at our elementary sites through a "measured, sequential approach" to the start of school. As a district we know that this approach is particularly difficult for our working families and we do apologize for this. In terms of safety, this approach is not only recommended, but actually required by the county.


The same will be true for our Crocker students when they return to school the Week of November 16th. We are in the process of submitting paperwork for Crocker Middle School - grades 6-8, and the review process for this paperwork will take 10-14 days. We are confident that we have all safety protocols and procedures in place for a successful application.


We know that a lot of our families are anxious for Crocker students to return to campus - we are excited to bring back our students as well. Please do remember that we also have Crocker families who want to continue with a virtual program. With this being the case, we will survey ALL CROCKER families next week, asking for your commitment for either in-person or virtual classroom for Trimester 2.


The following are FAQs from the San Mateo County Office of Education focused on Moving to In-Person Instruction.


Now that we are in the Red Tier, can we return students to school for in-person instruction? You must first submit your return to in-person instruction plan to San Mateo County Office (SMCOE) and San Mateo County Health (SMCH) review. You can find information on that process here.


When can schools begin to bring back students for in-person learning now that the County is in the Red Tier?

Schools can open campuses to in-person learning once the Return to Campus Plan has been submitted and reviewed by SMCOE and SMC Health. Plans that are complete, clear, and thorough will likely make it through the review process fairly quickly.


What does our plan need to address?

The plan submission form lists these items, which include clear steps for addressing the items in the Four Pillars, COVID-19 testing for staff, and contact tracing, and describes an incremental approach for bringing students back on campus for in-person learning.


Is this review process unique to San Mateo County?

No, the process is consistent with that of other Bay Area counties and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) directives for schools.


Are we required to follow CDPH guidance if the county is in the Red Tier?

Yes. The guidance applies to all public and private schools operating in California. The term guidance is misleading as it is actually a public health directive and the Governor has ordered, in multiple executive orders, that all California residents heed the guidance and directives of the state public health officer. Schools must also follow guidance provided by San Mateo County Health (SMCH). CDPH and SMCH guidance are reflected in the Pandemic Recovery Framework.


If a school opens to in-person learning while the county is in the Red Tier, and the county moves back to the Purple Tier, does the school have to close?

No, but it must increase its COVID-19 testing cadence for staff. According to California Department of Public Health guidance of July 17, “schools should begin testing staff, or increase frequency of staff testing but are not required to close,” if cases or positivity rates increase countywide.


Can we still bring back small groups of students for specialized support if we don’t want to submit a plan to return students for in-person instruction?

Yes, schools that will continue in Distance Learning can still serve students with urgent, higher needs for in-person instruction under the CDPH’s small group setting guidance.


Can schools bring back all of their students for in-person learning at once?

CDPH, SMCH, and SMCOE all recommend an incremental approach to bringing students back for in-person learning. This gives schools time to ramp up and adjust policies and practices as needed. We all want to avoid bringing students back only to send them all home because of the spread of COVID-19 in the school community. An incremental approach gives schools the opportunity to get used to all of the safety procedures required for a safe return to in-person learning. Schools may also consider continuing to offer a distance education option for students who may not be able to return to school for in-person learning.


What if our school already has a waiver approved by the CDPH? Do we need to submit a Return to Campus plan?

If a school already has a waiver approved by the California Department of Public Health and wants to bring back students in additional grade levels (beyond TK-6), they will need to note that on the request for plan review form and add an addendum to their plan that reflects their proposed changes.


What if our school is currently in the waiver review process?

If a school has already submitted a waiver application, which has not been approved yet, and wants to bring back students in additional grade levels (beyond TK-6), they will need to note that on the request for plan review form and add an addendum to their plan that reflects their proposed changes.

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Join Us! A Critical Conversation with Dr. Andrea Pascarelli from Child Mind Institute

APG and RISE Parent Group invite you to a critical conversation with Dr. Andrea Pascarelli from Child Mind Institute.


Date: Monday, October 19

Time: 7pm- 8pm

Location: Online via ZOOM


“Children Under Pressure: Managing Stress and Supporting Children During the COVID-19 Crisis”


Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://hcsdk8-org.zoom.us/j/86118967547?pwd=S25QY2dxSTRWWHU4UDFPQlVaYkVKZz09
Passcode: 12View
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,86118967547#,,,,,,0#,,855652#
Or Telephone:
Dial: US: +1 669 900 6833
Webinar ID: 861 1896 7547
Passcode: 855652
International numbers available: https://hcsdk8-org.zoom.us/u/kehBryy65X

HCSD School Board Meeting on Wed., October 14 at 6:00 PM / Special Session Prior to the Start at 4:45 PM

Topics for Discussion include:

  • Special Session - Learning from Home Survey Results
  • QKA Facilities Master Plan
  • HCSD Draft Goals and Priorities
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in HCSD


Connecting to the Board of Trustees meeting via Zoom:

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://hcsdk8-org.zoom.us/j/86118967547?pwd=S25QY2dxSTRWWHU4UDFPQlVaYkVKZz09
Passcode: 12View
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,86118967547#,,,,,,0#,,855652#
Or Telephone:
Dial:US: +1 669 900 6833
Webinar ID: 861 1896 7547
Passcode: 855652
International numbers available: https://hcsdk8-org.zoom.us/u/kehBryy65X


If you would like to ask a question or comment during to the open session portion of the Board meeting: Members of the public can join the meeting via Zoom and will have an opportunity to ask questions or provide comments during the appropriate time in the meeting.


Meeting Agendas can be found by clicking HERE. The agenda for the September 9th meeting will be posted on Saturday, October 10, 2020.