Return Health

Return to Health
Reopening Schools: Layers of Safety


Evidence from around the world shows that schools can safely reopen utilizing layered mitigation measures of safety.  School reopening supports our students’ academic progress and addresses educational inequities exacerbated by the pandemic and access to distance learning.  As the CDC advises, the most important actions for districts and school administrators to take in fully reopening schools is planning and preparing. 

The following Return to Health Plan serves as the SCUSD COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP) for in-person instruction and meets the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) COVID- 19 Prevention Program (CPP) and the COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist requirements. The SCUSD Return to Health plan provides our operational strategy to support K-12 schools in opening for in-person services, support and instruction, and remaining open through an integrated package of mitigation measures.

Public Health Recommendations

This  plan was developed using recommendations from Sacramento County Public Health (SCPH), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to meet the unique needs of our school community.  SCUSD will remain flexible in responding to changing public health conditions and will continue to revise our Return to Health plans in accordance with the most current orders or guidance provided by the CDPH.

Per the California state public health order issued July 11, 2021:

All individuals must continue to follow the requirements in the current COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, the current COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for Child Care Programs and Providers, and the portions of the current K-12 Schools guidance that have been made explicitly applicable to day camps and other supervised youth activities.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Community

  • Get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible – encourage all household members to get vaccinated when eligible.  Vaccination slows the spread of COVID in communities and protects those not yet eligible for vaccine.
  • Stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms and get tested for COVID-19.  Follow Appendix B: Illness and Symptoms Guidelines for Staff and Students for guidance on returning to school after symptoms.
  • Register for COVID-19 testing and get tested regularly – this helps detect when COVID-19 is spreading in our communities and enables us to take steps to stop the spread.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or if a close contact has tested positive, stay home and immediately notify your school site or supervisor so we can respond appropriately.
  • Wear your face masks appropriately, covering your nose and mouth, indoors and outdoors when at school spaces or during school activities. 

Layers of Safety Health Precautions


As we discuss mitigation measures, it is important for our community to know how COVID-19 is spread and controlled. COVID-19 is mostly spread by respiratory droplets released into the air when people talk, sing, laugh, cough, or sneeze.  Over the course of the pandemic various mitigation measures have been adopted to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The Swiss Cheese Respiratory Pandemic Defense recognizes that no single intervention is perfect at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.  

Vaccination is the most effective strategy we have, however each strategy (face masks, distancing, testing, etc.) decreases the risk of in-school transmission.  While  no one layer is 100% effective, a combination of layers is proven effective and has been shown to decrease transmissions.   

1. COVID-19 Vaccine

CDPH strongly recommends that all persons eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine receive them at the first opportunity. COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the FDA have been shown to be safe and effective. Current vaccines are approved for individuals 12 years and older. Vaccines help our immune system fight infections in the future. COVID-19 vaccines protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19 without having to get the illness..

SCUSD, operates Immunization Clinics through the Vaccine for Children (VFC) program and is able to provide COVID-19 vaccine.  SCUSD is committed to working closely with SCPH to provide access to COVID-19 vaccine to all educators, education support staff and students.  SCUSD continues to host a series of vaccination clinics with health partners to do our part in stopping the spread of COVID in our community.

For more information about how to register for a clinic, visit

SCUSD continues to promote the vaccine. View the media toolkit.

2. Face Masks

Universal Use of Face Masks 

Wearing a face mask prevents a person from spreading respiratory droplets while talking, singing, breathing, or coughing. They are meant to protect both the wearer and other people.  Face masks are one of the best tools we have to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Universal masking permits modified quarantine for students, supporting more instructional time and minimizing missed school days for students.

Face Masks Protect our Community from the Spread of COVID-19

  • All SCUSD staff, students in all grades, parents/guardians, community partners and visitors – including fully vaccinated individuals -  are required to wear a face mask at all times in all settings indoors and outdoors, including on the bus, unless they meet a CDPH approved exemption.
  • Individuals may wear a face mask of their choosing that meets CDPH requirements
  • SCUSD will provide face masks at no cost to all individuals who need them. See the CDC Guide to Masks for further information.
  • Face masks are required for outdoor activities.  Face mask breaks may be taken, as long as individuals are spaced more than 6 feet of physical distancing 
    • Individuals should take a break from exercise if any difficulty in breathing is noted and should change their mask or face covering if it becomes wet and sticks to the player’s face and obstructs breathing. Masks that restrict airflow under heavy exertion (such as N-95 masks) are not advised for exercise.

Face Mask Breaks

Some students may need limited face mask breaks throughout the day.  Signs students may display include fidgeting with the front of the face mask or removing it. 

Face Shields

  • Face shields with a cloth drape can be used for those who are unable to wear face masks for medical, pedagogical or developmental reasons, and should be worn using guidance from CDE and Cal/OSHA.
  • Staff must return to wearing a mask when a face shield is no longer needed.

Face Mask Guidance

Guidance for Daily Use of Face Masks
  • Use a freshly washed or clean face masks for each onsite visit
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the face mask
  • If you are not already wearing it, apply your face mask before coming onto the worksite 
  • Avoid touching the face mask
  • Avoid eating or drinking while wearing the face mask
  • Face masks should not have valves, as these permit droplet release from the covering, putting others nearby at risk. SCUSD will not permit face masks with valves
  • Replace face mask if soiled or wet
How to Remove a Face Mask
  • Avoid touching the front of the face mask, which is contaminated
  • Only handle the face mask by the ties, bands or loops
  • Throw any disposable face mask in a waste container
  • Wash your cloth face mask by hand with warm water and soap or in the washing machines
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after touching a used face mask
A face mask should not be worn in the following situations:
  • Children under age 2
  • During nap time or sleep
  • Persons exempt from wearing a face mask due to a developmental or medical condition must be confirmed by the school district health team, therapist or medical provider.  
    • A “COVID-19 Student Face Mask Exemption Request and Medical Certification” must be submitted and approved by SCUSD Health Services. See Appendix J.
  • In the event a face mask exemption is approved, the school will notify others who share those spaces and physical distancing will be enforced.  
CDPH guidance allows for times when a face mask can be temporarily removed:
  • When people are eating or drinking.  Individuals must eat and drink in designated spaces and maintain as much physical distance as possible from other persons who are not members of the same household.  The space must be well-ventilated - eating outdoors is best if weather permits.
  • For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, when the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.  Face shields with a cloth drape are recommended in this situation
  • When a person is not sharing a common area, room or enclosed space with others
  • When a face mask is temporarily removed, it should be placed in a clean paper bag or ventilated location (marked with the student’s name and date) until it needs to be put on again.   Replace the mask as soon as you can after these activities to reduce risk of infection.

What if a person refuses to wear a face mask? 

Continual efforts will be made using positive reinforcement teaching strategies to ensure face masks are worn properly. If a concern about wearing masks arises, notify the assigned School Nurse and/or Health Services or assigned supervisor immediately for additional support. Each unique situation will be assessed and support strategies will be employed for the well-being and safety of all. In the event that a student who is not exempt from wearing a face mask continually refuses to wear one, the CDPH requires schools to provide independent study for these individuals.

3. COVID-19 Testing

Used in combination with other mitigation strategies, COVID-19 testing is a valuable tool to support safer in-person instruction. Testing may allow for early identification of cases and reduced transmission. Testing is provided for free on a voluntary basis to all staff, students, their families and other community partners or volunteers.  Parent/guardian notification and consent for minors is obtained via registration on the testing software platform. 


Diagnostic testing: Testing used for individuals with symptoms or exposure to COVID- 19 to diagnose COVID-19.  If an individual is symptomatic a rapid antigen test result should be confirmed with a laboratory-based PCR test.

Post-exposure testing: Testing of people who are asymptomatic, but have been exposed to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.  If a person is asymptomatic during quarantine, per CDPH testing guidance, any FDA-approved rapid antigen diagnostic test and/or PCR diagnostic test may be used to exit quarantine.  

Screening testing: Recurrent testing of asymptomatic individuals to detect COVID-19 early and stop transmission quickly.  The goal of screening testing is to detect cases early, and reduce the number of new infections.

Pre-Entry testing: Testing performed prior to entering an event, competition, congregate setting or other venue in order to reduce the risk of spreading infection.  

Do not test:  Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days should not test again until the 90 days have passed, unless experiencing new symptoms.

Where to Get Tested

Testing will be available daily during school hours at each school site upon request during school hours and at the Serna Center District Office.  For more information about current testing availability, please visit

Download COVID-19 Testing Registration Flyer

Screening testing will be offered on a weekly basis, but is subject to change based on the case rate in our area.  Anyone experiencing symptoms through the school day or had a known exposure to COVID-19 will be offered onsite testing before going home. 

Two types of COVID-19 tests are available:  

 Self-administered PCR test 

  • Swab sample collected from the nostrils – self administered
  • Molecular test processed in a laboratory
  • Results in 24-48 hours 
  • PCR is the most sensitive COVID test and is  considered diagnostic for COVID-19

 Self-administered BinaxNOW rapid antigen test 

  • Swab sample collected from the nostril – self administered
  • Not processed in a laboratory
  • Results are provided after 15 minutes
  • Detects high viral load, not as sensitive as the PCR test
  • May be used for routine screening, anyone experiencing symptoms, or exposed to COVID-19

4. Screen for Symptoms and Stay Home When Sick

Staff and students must self-screen for symptoms at home daily. If a person is sick or exhibits any symptoms of COVID-19, they may not come to school and will follow Illness and Symptoms Guidelines for Staff and Students (Appendix B).  

Symptoms of illness include fever (100.4 or higher) or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea per CDC guidelines

Stay home until the following CDPH criteria to return to school are met:

 10 days have passed and at least 24 hours fever free and other symptoms improved


Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test and at least 24 hours fever free


Present a note from a healthcare provider that confirms that current symptoms are from a chronic condition or other disease process.

Chronic Conditions

Individuals with non-infectious chronic conditions should not be excluded from attending school or work. If a student or staff member has documented chronic allergic or asthmatic symptoms (e.g., cough or runny nose), a doctor may diagnose an illness other than COVID-19 and provide a note for return to school earlier than 10 days. If there are significant and obvious respiratory symptoms the person must stay home until symptoms improve.  If there are questions about individual cases, contact your school nurse or Health Services.


Allergy symptoms are the same as early COVID-19 symptoms.  Many people who test positive for Covid remark, “I just thought it was my allergies.”  If a person has allergy symptoms they should test to rule out COVID-19.  If the test is negative and symptoms improve they can come to work or school. If allergies are chronic and documented by a physician the person should test twice weekly while symptomatic. See Appendix B.

Identifying Sick or Exposed Persons on Site

Any student or staff with symptoms of COVID-19 or who are required to quarantine per CDC guidelines may not enter the school site and will be advised to return home. 

Any student or staff who has close contact with someone outside of school with confirmed COVID-19 may not enter the school site and will be advised to return home.  An exception may be made if persons are coming to site only to receive COVID-19 testing and promptly leave.

SCUSD will be implementing a daily reminder system for home screening through an online screening application for families, students and staff.  For those who do not have access to the application, a list of screening questions will be provided for daily review at home and upon entry to the school or work site.

Students and staff must enter through entry and exit locations at each site.  

  • Provide clear signage visible at all entries with the symptom checklist and reminders for face masking.  Temperature screeners may be available. 
  • Students and staff approaching the entry should be wearing a face mask when in crowds. Face masks will be available for those who do not have their own
  • Any individual experiencing symptoms of illness must be directed to the care room, offered COVID-19 testing with consent, and sent home.
  • Any individual exhibiting one or more symptoms throughout the day will be offered COVID-19 testing and required to wait in the identified care area until they can be taken home or to a healthcare facility, as soon as possible.

5. Hand Hygiene

All students and staff must wash hands frequently. Soap products marketed as “antimicrobial” are not necessary or recommended. If soap and water are not available, use district-approved greater than 60% ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Training on effective hand washing and use of sanitizer must be provided to all students and staff. Children under age 9 should only use hand sanitizer under adult supervision. Call Poison Control if consumed: 1-800-222-1222.

The following guidelines are recommended for school settings. At minimum, students and staff must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

  • Upon arrival to the school site 
  • Before lunch
  • Before leaving the site
  • Upon entry to any new classroom
  • When using the restroom
  • When visibly dirty
  • After using a tissue, coughing into hands
  • Upon arriving home

6. Respiratory Hygiene

Use respiratory hygiene at all times on site. Once a tissue is used, throw it away in a waste container and then wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. Do not touch the face.  Reinforce  respiratory hygiene or cough/sneeze etiquette, including use of tissues and elbows by using signage, training, and lessons.  See Appendix H for signage.

7. Contact Tracing & Reporting COVID-19 Cases

Expecting and planning for the occurrence of one or more cases of COVID-19 helps the district respond immediately to mitigate the impact, minimize spread of COVID within the school/work site, and allow the school/work site to remain open.  

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community,  Sac City Unified Health Services will be conducting COVID-19 contact tracing within the district. Appendix I: Procedures for Managing and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the SCUSD Community provides directions for when a person within the district becomes ill with COVID-19 or is exposed to COVID-19 and was developed based on CDPH and SCPH guidelines.

  • Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 must immediately notify their school-site administrator or supervisor.  
  • Administrators/supervisors must immediately email the District COVID Response Team

Click here for detailed guidelines about cases and exposures in Appendix I: Procedures for Managing and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the SCUSD Community.

8. Adequate Ventilation

SCUSD is ensuring there is sufficient ventilation in all school classrooms and shared workspaces per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air- Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

  • HVAC filters will be replaced three times per year rather than once per year as is currently the practice.  MERV-13 filters have been installed wherever possible.
  • Each HVAC system within the District has been cleaned, tested, and tuned up as needed to ensure the highest operating efficiency possible. 
  • HVAC units are programmed to turn-on and run continuously for a minimum of 2 hours before and for a minimum of 2 hours after classrooms are occupied.
  • HVAC systems are reprogrammed to run continuously when windows and doors are open.
  • In order to maximize outside airflow, windows and doors will be opened so long as it is deemed safe to do so.
  • Portable HEPA filtration units have been provided in classrooms where MERV-13 filtration is not available.
  • Specific practices to avoid:
    • Classrooms or buses with no ventilation or additional airflow
    • Classrooms or buses with increased airflow across occupants (e.g., oscillating or box fans blowing into the classroom

9. Poor Air Quality

Schools must balance the COVID-19 prevention benefits of ventilation and outdoor activity with the outdoor air quality.  On projected poor air quality days schools will monitor Air Now and Spare the Air websites for air quality readings. When the Air Quality Index (AQI) is poor schools are advised to close windows and doors.

When you can visibly see or smell smoke or AQI is 151 or over:

  • Close all windows and doors
  • Adjust HVAC systems to prevent outdoor air from being pulled into the building when possible
  • Eat in the multiple purpose room, other available spaces, or the classroom
  • Move outdoor activities indoors
  • Follow all guidance issued by CDPH or SCPH about air quality and COVID mitigation

10. Cold Weather

Schools must balance the COVID-19 prevention benefits of ventilation with cold weather.  Individuals are advised to dress warmly as cold weather approaches.  On cold days doors and windows should remain cracked if possible to ensure increased ventilation. Portable HEPA filtration units provided to spaces where MERV-13 filtration is not available MUST be plugged-in and utilized correctly.

11. Disinfecting Procedures

Disinfecting Materials

Due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19, and the awareness surrounding it, the Sacramento City Unified School District understands the desire to protect students and staff  from possible infection.

Disinfecting Procedure

Regularly disinfect high-touch areas daily.  Frequently touched surfaces in the school include, but are not limited to:

  • Door handles
  • Light switches
  • Sink handles
  • Bathroom surfaces
  • Tables
  • Student Desks
  • Chairs 

If an individual who is positive for COVID has been physically present, the spaces where the individual spent a large proportion of their time (e.g., classroom office) should be disinfected. Frequent disinfection can pose a health risk to children and students due to the strong chemicals often used and so is not recommended in the school setting unless a positive case of COVID has been identified. 

Consistent with recommendations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the district strives to select disinfectant products with ingredients that reduce the impact on those with asthma.

Inventory Controls

  • Order supplies for start and plan for inventory management
    • Face masks for students and staff, individuals may use their own face covering that meets all current requirements
    • Disposable face masks for care room
    • Face shields or goggles for sick room and for teachers
    • Hand sanitizer – in every room, used by every individual entering
    • Spray bottles and disinfectant and paper towels- every room to clean surfaces 
    • Gloves – for use in case of vomiting or helping sick or injured student
    • Thermometers – thermometer needed at each site for sick room
    • Handwashing stations if insufficient sink access at sites
  • Backstock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Proper ordering procedures from central location/system
  • Use of district-approved products only

Some items an individual may normally use at home are not allowed for use in schools due to State and Federal policies in place for student health and safety, unless properly trained by the California Department of Pesticide Regulations.  Aerosol spray containers are not allowed on school property for safety reasons.  While the district is making every effort to ensure that supplies are replenished at our school sites, the following is a list of items the District can recommend for individual procurement and use:

Hand Sanitizer – It is recommended that hand sanitizer be at least 60% ethyl alcohol based in order to kill the virus and any other bacteria. 

Disinfecting  Wipes – Disinfecting wipes are effective and allowable, but it is important to read and follow all instructions. 

It is critical that individuals read and follow the directions for any cleaning product every time before use.

12. Physical Distancing 

Physical distance has been shown to reduce transmission and although distance criteria per CDPH are no longer required in schools, all individuals should maintain as much physical distance as practicably possible.  Physical distancing should be practiced as much as possible when individuals are exempted from face masks or in situations where masks are removed, such as mealtimes. Where cafeterias or group dining spaces must be used, physical distancing will be maximized.  Maintaining seating charts at lunch periods in elementary schools is critical for contact tracing in positive cases of COVID.

Mitigation Standards and Guidelines at SCUSD Sites


To break the chain of potential transmission and to limit the risk of exposure to all our community members, we must follow the guidance below. When staff and students return to campus, they will return to a physical space that enables all individuals to follow recommended health precautions. To protect students, staff and visitors to school sites, SCUSD staff will evaluate all spaces and make modifications in order to maximize ventilation and spacing needs. This includes signage in every space with public health reminders. Below is a list of standards to be followed at each SCUSD site. 

Entrances & Exits (Pick-Up & Drop-Off)

  • SCUSD will take measures to minimize crowding at drop-off and pick-up times
  • Student pick-up and drop-off should occur outside the school gates/entrance. Encourage parents to stay in cars when picking students up
  • Add visual cues or barriers to direct traffic flow
  • If possible, divide student entry points rather than funneling all students through the same entry space. These approaches can limit the amount of close contact between students in high-traffic situations and time
  • Provide access to hand washing or hand sanitizer and face masks at all entrances

Essential Visitors

  • Schools should limit nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations with people who are not fully vaccinated, particularly in areas where there is moderate-to-high COVID-19 community transmission
  • Essential visitors include but are not limited to government agency staff conducting health and safety assessments, a parent/guardian attending an essential meeting, such as an Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting, or participating in an essential service for their student related to their educational plan. Essential visitors may also include contracted services staff performing their work at a district facility.  Staff will not bring other individuals with them to the work site who are not employees, do not have valid business at the worksite, or do not have prior permission to be present. 


  • Volunteers may be permitted on a limited basis to support our schools.  Subject to CDPH and SCPH guidance, parent volunteers willing to provide verification of vaccination status and comply with all required health and safety measures may be allowed on campus.  Volunteers may also access onsite COVID-19  testing.  Please note all volunteers must follow all district clearance requirements.


  • In order to limit the spread of COVID-19 among individuals and cohorts, staff are encouraged to conduct staff meetings, professional development training and education, and other activities in the virtual space when practicable 
  • If all other public health measures are employed, a meeting may take place physically if participants are not able to access the virtual space.  

Common Areas/Break Times

  • Minimize the use and prevent the congregation of adults in staff rooms, break rooms, and other settings – ensure room limits and masking requirements are visibly posted and enforced
  • Provide various spaces for individuals to take their breaks away from others, such as protected outdoor spaces or alternate rooms  
  • Provide alternate break times so that staff do not congregate in spaces together
  • Individuals must eat and drink in designated spaces and maintain physical distance as much as practicably possible from other persons.  The space must be well-ventilated – eating outdoors is best if weather permits.  Individuals may not eat or drink while walking around or working within 6 feet of others.
  • Provide hand sanitizer and/or soap and disinfectant easily accessible at all times and near any shared objects such as equipment used by many people and doors. 


  • Ensure all bathrooms have soap and paper towels, refuse containers  
  • Paper towels will be provided and are recommended for use over air dryers
  • Post clear signage for occupancy, hygiene, and face masking
  • Avoid taking large groups to the bathrooms at once (e.g., avoid having all classes use the bathroom right after lunch or recess) 


  • Evaluate traffic flow and post arrows, signs and floor decals to guide flow in one direction.  Provide delineator cones, stanchions or guide-ropes that create lanes in larger hallways
  • Post signage that encourages safe greetings and the use of face masks

Designated “Care Room”

  • Sites must designate an area for sick individuals where they can be isolated while waiting to be assessed and go home. See Appendix E. This room must be separate from the first aid room which is used for routine health procedures, first aid and medications.  Students, staff and community partners may request COVID-19 testing at the school site Care Room.
  • Ensure good ventilation
  • Ensure the following supplies are available: hand sanitizer, disposable face masks, face shields, gloves, disinfectant, thermometer, trash can with liner
  • Room must be disinfected after each use. Room must be supervised.
  • If more than one individual is sick, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between persons in the room and and as much ventilation as possible. 


Risk level for COVID-19 spread increases when face masks must be removed for eating.  During mealtime, schools must take every measure to maximize physical distancing to limit close contact while face masks are removed.  Any close contact exposure (within 6 feet for 15+ minutes) to COVID-19 during unmasked activities, such as eating, do not qualify for modified quarantine.  These types of close contacts are required to quarantine.

Mealtime Guidance

Cold Weather/Rainy Days

Indoor eating spaces will need to be utilized during rainy days or inclement weather.  Schools are encouraged to keep eating time to the shortest time possible to minimize unmasked time.  Schools must follow the indoor seating guidance below.  During inclement weather doors and windows should remain cracked if possible to ensure increased ventilation. Portable HEPA filtration units provided to spaces where MERV-13 filtration is not available MUST be plugged-in and utilized correctly.

Indoor Cafeteria Seating
  • Physical distancing will be maximized between students to the extent practicable.
  • Seats should be staggered so students don’t sit directly in front of each other
  • When possible (i.e. in elementary), seating charts should be used during scheduled meals, such as lunchtime.
  • When eating breakfast, where student attendance is not scheduled, maximize physical distance to 6 feet if possible to limit close contact between students.
  • Use additional spaces outside of the cafeteria for mealtime, such as the gymnasium or outdoors to facilitate distancing. 
  • If indoor meal times are paired with recess or outdoor time, consider having half the group eat while the other half has recess to assist with physical distancing. 
  • Eating should be completed quickly and then face masks placed back on
  • Masks should be worn after students have finished eating or when talking with classmates.
  • Hand hygiene must be practiced before and after eating.
Outdoor Eating Spaces
  • When possible, meals should be eaten outdoors while practicing distancing. 
  • Maximize physical distance to 6 feet or more if possible to limit close contact between students.
  • Allow students to eat under shady areas, grassy spaces or other non traditional spaces to allow for maximum physical distancing.
  • Ensure garbage cans are placed accordingly to accommodate new eating spaces
  • Use carpet squares or mats to extend outdoor seating options.
  • Add additional outdoor tables when possible.
Shared Items/Disinfecting
  • Given very low risk of transmission from surfaces and shared objects, there is no need to limit food service approaches to single use items and packaged meals.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Surfaces that come in contact with food should be washed, rinsed, and sanitized before and after meals.
  • Additional funding has been allocated to increase mealtime supervision.
  • Ensure supervision staff spreads out over the span of all meal spaces (indoor and outdoor) to reinforce health and safety protocols.


  • Face masks will be utilized properly at all times when inside the classroom.  Additional face masks should be available, in case a covering becomes soiled or needs replacing
  • Hand sanitizer will be mounted to the wall at the doorway in every classroom
  • Classrooms should open windows and doors if possible to maximize ventilation 
  • Develop activities that model and reinforce good hygiene and face masking 
  • As much spacing will be provided within the class and between desks as reasonably practicable, while allowing all students to attend at full capacity
  • Classroom teachers maintain a seating chart in the event these charts are needed to conduct contact tracing
  • Activities that involve singing should take place outdoors with face masks
  • Consider holding class outdoors. Resources about setting up outdoors classrooms can be found at  School staff may take their class outside to complete an assignment in the fresh air; classes can rotate classes through an existing school garden space to use hands-on learning resources; or spread out across their playing field. Trees or other existing structures may be used to provide shade on warm days.  


Activities where there is increased likelihood for aerosols, such as band practice, choir practice and performances, are permitted outdoors. 

In order to move these activities indoors during inclement weather, CDPH requires these activities meet  the following requirements:

  • Properly use modified face coverings and bell coverings when playing wind and brass instruments
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing

If physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained then weekly COVID-19 screening testing with either PCR or rapid antigen testing must be performed, including those who are fully vaccinated.

PE Classes/Athletics

Revised guidance is pending for  intramural/interscholastic athletics. Ensure personal hygiene precautions in locker rooms, including physical distancing when practically possible and use of face masks.

  • Participants will wash their hands/ or use hand sanitizer prior to and immediately following activities where equipment and/or balls are handled by multiple individuals.
  • Activities that require heavy exertion should be conducted outside in a physically distanced manner 
    • Face masks must be worn during indoor and outdoor physical conditioning and training or physical education classes (except when showering).
    • Players should take a break from exercise if any difficulty in breathing is noted and should change their mask if it becomes wet and sticks to the player’s face and obstructs breathing. Masks that restrict airflow under heavy exertion (such as N-95 masks) are not advised for exercise
  • There should be no shared athletic supplies, such as towels, clothing, shoes, or sports specific supplies, between students.
  • Youth sports programs and schools will provide information to parents or guardians regarding these guidelines, along with the safety measures that will be in place in these settings with which parents or guardians must comply
  • Athletic teams must comply with any COVID-19 Testing requirements implemented by SCPH or CDPD.  COVID-19 testing will be made readily available to all student athletes and coaching staff.

Large Gatherings – i.e., meetings, field trips & assemblies

Non-essential events, assemblies, dances, rallies, parades, field trips, and other activities that require close contact or that would promote congregating are not permitted at this time.


For student groups who have never been to campus, i.e. incoming TK or Kinder, 7th grade and 9th grade, these types of activities may be deemed essential so that we can safely bring our students back to school. Families may also opt out if they are not comfortable.  Sites should conduct as much of the orientation as possible virtually (either pre-recorded or through an email) so that the site visit is targeted and intentional.   If age/developmentally appropriate, students should attend on their own to limit the number of people gathering and limit potential exposure.  Orientations should be largely outside and grouped into physically distanced groups.  All health mitigation measures will be followed.   Parents/guardians will need to attend for a TK, Kinder, as well as a student with medical needs or disabilities that require care and may attend in these situations.  For TK or Kinder, sites should consider a rotating schedule that allows for site visits throughout a set time period (limiting to just a few visitors at a time).

Recess/Yards and Playspaces

All playgrounds and play equipment may be utilized following the simple guidelines below:

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after recess
  • Shared equipment may be utilized during recess, provided students wash their hands before and after use 
  • Outdoor playgrounds/natural play areas only need routine maintenance. Students must wash or sanitize their hands before and after using these spaces
  • Allow flexibility in recess policies and the use of teacher time to allow for supervision of classroom recess

School Bus/Transportation

All personal hygiene guidance must be followed on the school bus. 

  • Educate parents and students on the steps they must take to keep others safe during loading and unloading
  • If a student appears visibly sick, parents will be asked to take the student home and follow Illness and Symptom Requirements (Appendix B)
  • All riders must wear a face mask while riding the bus, unless exempted
  • Each rider must use hand sanitizer before entering the bus
  • Ensure good ventilation with open/partially open windows
  • Prevent students from walking past each other by taking the following measures
    • Seat students from the rear of the bus forward
    • Board students for the after school route based on the order in which students will be dropped off. Students who get off first should board last and sit in the front
  • Buses should be thoroughly disinfected daily and after transporting any individual who is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19
  • Bus drivers should be provided disinfectant and disposable gloves to support disinfection of frequently touched surfaces during the day
  • Students living in the same household may sit together on the bus

Home Visits

Staff will follow these recommendations to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for themselves and families in the community when conducting home visits. For additional questions or concerns consult SCUSD Health Services Department:

  • Staff will follow all public health mitigation measures outlined in this plan
  • If possible, arrange a date and time for the visit (for example, when conducting a Parent Teacher Home Visit).
  • In the interest of safety, notify your supervisor of your plan. Home visits should be conducted with another trained staff member.  
  • Staff should drive to the location in separate cars, unless they are members of the same household.
  • When arriving at the home, put on your face mask
  • Do not enter the home. Stay outside for the safety of all involved in the visit, wear a face mask, and maintain reasonable physical distancing
  • Upon returning to the car, remove the face mask by the ear loops and use hand sanitizer on your hands.

COVID-19 Response Teams


The district and school site COVID-19 response teams ensure implementation of public health measures. 

School Site Response Teams

The school site safety plan will incorporate plans for ensuring all public health measures are implemented and for responding to COVID-19 concerns. School sites will designate staff to serve on the COVID-19 Response Team and these members will regularly communicate the importance of following these safety measures.  

In the event of a COVID-19 concern,  staff should know who to contact. School staff will follow all the steps outlined in Appendix I: Procedures for Managing Illness and Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in the SCUSD Community.  Accurate phone numbers and emails will be updated for all employees, agency contractors and students to enable contact tracing in case of exposure.

District Response Team

The district shall routinely revise and update plans and procedures for ensuring all public health measures are implemented and for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Designated department leads are identified for ensuring public health mitigation measures are implemented and followed. Procedures are outlined for responding to any concerns about a COVID-19 concern see Appendix I: Procedures for Managing Illness and Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in the SCUSD Community.

All reports of COVID-19 illness, positive tests, and/or exposures must be immediately reported to SCUSD Health Services staff via an email. Emails should be sent to Victoria Flores, Lisa Musser and Paula Kuhlman

References and Appendices



CDC (2021).  Operational Strategy for Reopening Schools.  Retrieved from:

CDPH (2021).  COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework & Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year.  Retrieved from:

CDPH (2021). COVID-19 Case Reporting By Schools.  Retrieved from:

CDPH K-12 school-based COVID-19 testing strategies for school year 2021-22 Retrieved from:

CDPH (2020) CDPH Valencia Branch Laboratory PLAYBOOK to Stand Up Community-Based Collection Sites.  Retrieved from:

Resolve to Save Lives (2021) Opening K-12 schools for in-person learning amidst vaccines and variants: what have we learned and how can this guide us?  Retrieved from:

CAL/OSHA (2021). COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards.  California Occupational Health Administration.  Retrieved from:

Covid 19 Guidance for Schools, Academy of Pediatrics, July 18.2021 retrieved from:

Letter to School Superintendents, Sacramento County Public Health, Dr. Kasirye, July 20, 2021 retrieved from, Ae/d/1E2dd0Q_nHjLAl9FaaOFdcTFXCRRyRbQO/view?usp=sharing 

SCPH Public Health Order issued July 29, 2021.  Retrieved from:

CDPH (2021) K-12 Schools Guidance 2021-2022 Questions & Answers 7/29/2021.  Retrieved from:

COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People May 12, 2021.  Retrieved from:

CDPH (2021) Updated Testing Guidance June 16, 2021.  Retrieved from:

CDPH (2021) Self-Quarantine Instructions for Individuals Exposed to COVID-19 June 30, 2021.  Retrieved from:

CDC (2020).  Steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick.  Retrieved from:

CDC (2020). Quarantine and Isolation.  Retrieved from:

CDC (2020). Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Retrieved from:

CDC (2020). Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility. Retrieved from:

CDC (2020). Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings, Especially in Areas of Significant Community-Based Transmission. Retrieved from:

CDC (2020). Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19. Retrieved from:

New Jersey Department of Health:  Guidance on the Contact of a Close or Casual Contact.  Retrieved from:

REALM (2020)

NorthEast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) Retrieved from:


Appendix A: COVID-19 Precautions for 21-22 School Year

Appendix B: Illness and Symptoms Guidelines for Staff and Students

Also available in: Spanish, Hmong, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Appendix D : What to Do When a Student is Ill

Appendix E: First Aid, Nursing Procedures, Medications and Expanded Needs to Isolate Sick Students, the Care Room

Appendix F: SCPH Decision Forest

Appendix G: Ideas for Hand Washing Routines for Teachers

Appendix H: Respiratory Hygiene/Cough and Sneeze Etiquette

Appendix I: Procedures for Managing and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the SCUSD Community

Appendix J: COVID-19 Student Face Masks Exemption Request and Medical Certification