News from Piedmont Unified School District
Welcome to Piedmont Ahead!
We have been listening to your feedback and know you want information in a format that is easy to read quickly. We designed this news digest to keep you informed on key developments in the district, and plan to send it out regularly. We hope you enjoy this new form of communication!
Kindergarteners arrive on campus for the first time; 1st and 2nd graders return for in-person learning
Face coverings could not hide the exuberance of parents, teachers and students as kindergarteners arrived on campus for the first time on Tuesday, February 9! First graders returned on Wednesday and 2nd graders returned on Thursday.
Superintendent Booker watched kindergarten students arrive at Wildwood School on Tuesday with joy and relief. "We are thrilled to move ahead with our re-opening plans and look forward to welcoming 3rd-6th graders back to in-person learning during the week of February 23! You can find more details on the Elementary Reopening Presentation that was made to the Board on January 27.
At the February 10 board meeting, Board President Cory Smegal shared the thrill of seeing students arrive at school after 11 months of distance learning. "Some of our board members were at the sites and were able to see our kindergarteners come back for the first time in 11 months," said President Smegal. "To see those kids walking into class made us so happy and so proud of the partnership we have with the teachers."
Superintendent Booker commented on how impressed he was with the kindergarteners ability to wear face coverings and keep them on.
A parent testified to express her gratitude that schools re-opened. "Thanks to everyone: to the entire board and Superintendent Booker. I have a kindergartener and a 2nd grader. It's only been two days, but it has been wonderful! Our kindergartner, who has been struggling with distance learning, is over the moon. I know you have all taken a lot of heat, but now is the time to soak in the joy! Thank you!"
Superintendent Booker Reflects on Reopening
Words cannot express how thrilled I am that we have begun to reopen our schools! The road has been bumpy at times, but we are on our way back. Thank you all for your patience as we worked out a complex plan to keep our students, teachers and everyone who works on our campuses safe!
Those who attended Monday and Wednesday's board meetings know that Board President Cory Smegal and I both shared reflections on the long road to reopening our schools. I invite you to read my full comments from Monday's meeting. I'll share just a few excerpts here:
"I deeply regret the toll the pandemic has taken on our community in many ways, including diminishing the strong sense of mutual trust and respect between parents, teachers and school leaders that has been a hallmark of our community. We have not handled every situation perfectly, and if we could go back in time, we might handle some things differently. That being said, I hope you do not doubt that every decision was made with the goal of providing the best education possible for our students, while keeping our entire community safe and healthy by following the guidance and protocols issued by the Alameda County Public Health Department. [...] As superintendent, it is my job to hear critical, even angry, feedback, and I am prepared for that. Given the high emotion, however, I want to ask everyone to be mindful, empathetic and considerate of the impact of your words on others attending the meeting. If you are a parent, please try to put yourself in the shoes of a teacher who may have a loved one at high risk for serious complications from Covid, or who is scrambling to make arrangements for the education of their own children as they return to the classroom. If you are a teacher who does not have children at home, please try to imagine the strain of supervising several children engaged in distance learning, while juggling the demands of a high-stress job, or the fear that their children are suffering emotionally or academically from the extended isolation. [...]
We are proud to be one of the first public school districts in Alameda County poised to re-open, and I am grateful to my hard-working team for the detailed and complex planning behind the scenes.
I want to thank all of you for your patience during this difficult time of waiting and planning. We look forward to welcoming your students and beginning a new era."
Plan to Travel Over the February Break?
Please keep our schools open by following health guidelines!
We are aware that some families are planning to travel over the upcoming holiday. We want to thank you in advance for following our Community Care Agreement and provide you with the latest guidance from the Alameda County Public Health Department on travel, excerpts of which are included below.
We cannot require that families who travel follow these guidelines, but by following them you will be doing your part to allow us to reopen schools and keep students, teachers and staff healthy.
If you have additional questions regarding safety protocols, please feel free to contact the district nurses at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidance for Returning Travelers from The Alameda County Public Health Department:
COVID-19 infections remain common in the Bay Area and across California. The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) recommends against non-essential travel. Traveling increases your chance of infecting loved ones or getting infected and spreading the virus to others when you return.
What should you do if you traveled outside the Bay Area?
If you traveled more than 120 miles from your home and spent time with people you normally do not live with, you can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 to others by doing the following:
1. If you traveled from out of state or from another country, you should, in most cases, stay home for 10 days after the date you return—refer to the California Department of Public Health Travel Advisory for more information.
2. Consider getting tested 3-7 days after returning from travel and stay home for 7 days after returning from travel.
- Stay home for the full 7 days even if you test negative.
- If you test positive, isolate yourself to protect others from infection. Isolation instructions can be viewed here.
- If you do not get tested, stay home for 10-14 days after returning from travel. If you must leave your home during this time keep at least 6 feet away from others and make extra sure that you are always wearing a face covering. Read more about quarantine here.
3. If you get tested or do not get tested, avoid being around anyone who is at risk for severe sickness from COVID-19 for 14 days. More information about this can be viewed here.
4. Pay attention for symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. A list of COVID-19 symptoms can be viewed here.
- If you develop symptoms, be sure to tell this to the people you recently had contact with.
5. Get tested immediately if you start to feel sick or if someone you were in close contact with starts having symptoms or tests positive. Alameda County’s free testing sites can be viewed here.
- Please keep in mind that you can get symptoms 2-14 days after being exposed. If someone was exposed on January 1st, they could develop an infection by as late as January 15th.
Kinder - 6th Grade Timeline for Return to Campus
If the adjusted case rates remain below 25 per 100,000, PUSD will return students to on-campus instruction accordign to this board-approved timeline: