Soaring Over MDE
Week in Review
Next Friday, 11/20/20, report cards will be viewable on HomeLink/Parent Portal. Please remember we are not printing report cards this year. If you need any help accessing your HomeLink/Parent Portal, please contact our Office Clerk, Marianne Krummen, 672-4840 x84508.
I know today, the Contra Costa County Health Services just released information placing us back in the rating of Red. With this comes many questions regarding reopening. I have attached the Superintendent's Friday Letter to hopefully address some of your questions and concerns. I have also pulled out the section regarding how the tier ratings affect MDUSD reopening plans.
I know the non binding survey brought about a lot of questions and concerns. The superintendent addressed this in his letter too.
From the letter: "Non-Binding Survey," sent out to families two weeks ago confirmed a trend most districts have been seeing: around half of families are interested in having their children enter a hybrid learning model. The, "Binding Survey," that was intended to be sent on November 16 will now be delayed, as district leadership gives more time for plan specifics to develop.
How Do Pandemic Tier Ratings Affect MDUSD Reopening Plans?
The Yellow, Orange, and Red Tiers generally allow schools to reopen with certain restrictions. The Purple Tier (worst rating) does not allow schools to reopen without an approved waiver. This answer can be much more specific when we look at the official California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Guidance and the California Department of Education (CDE) Guidance; for those that want to know more, let's digest this in a question and answer format here:
My county was once eligible for school reopening (held a Red Tier status for 14+ days), but has since become ineligible (i.e., reverted back to Purple Tier). Is my school still permitted to reopen for in-person instruction?
No. The CDPH published that a county must be in Red Tier for 14 days for schools in that county to be eligible to reopen for in-person instruction. Schools must have actually reopened for in-person instruction while the county was in the Red Tier in order to remain open if the county moves back to Purple Tier. If the county is in purple tier on the day the school plans to reopen for in-person instruction, the school must wait until it is eligible again (i.e., county in red tier for 14+ days).
If a school was implementing a phased re-opening (e.g., only opened grades 9-10 for in-person instruction with set plans to phase in grades 11 and 12) while the county was in the Red Tier, the school site may continue their phase re-opening when the county reverts back to the Purple Tier, if authorized by Local Health Officer. This is only applicable to individual school sites. If a district has a phased reopening of their schools, the schools in that district that did not open for in person instruction may not re-open until the county is back in the Red Tier for 2 weeks.
What are the criteria for closing a school?
Individual school closure is recommended based on the number of cases, the percentage of the teacher/students/staff that are positive for COVID-19, and following consultation with the Local Health Officer. Individual school closure may be appropriate when there are multiple cases in multiple cohorts at a school or when at least five percent (5%) of the total number of teachers/student/staff are cases within a 14-day period, depending on the size and physical layout of the school. The Local Health Officer may also determine school closure is warranted for other reasons, including results from public health investigation or other local epidemiological data.
How should schools calculate the 5% benchmark for closing?
The benchmark will generally include the denominator of both students and staff, which should be tracked separately. The CDPH guidance provides that each school site should designate a liaison – the school nurse, if applicable – to help coordinate monitoring and communications to local health officials, as well as the school community. The liaison should monitor and report positive cases, and track whether the school approaches the 5% threshold during a 14-day period.
What are the criteria for closing a school district? If a school district is closed, when may it reopen?
A superintendent should close a school district if 25% or more of schools in a district have closed due to COVID-19 within 14 days, and in consultation with the local public health department. Districts may typically reopen after 14 days, in consultation with the local public health department.
Read More of MDUSD's Frequently Asked Questions for 2020-21
Read MDUSD's Full 2020-21 Reopening Plan in English | in Spanish
Read the Full California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Guidance
Read the Full California Department of Education (CDE) Guidance
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