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UPDATED: MASKING REQUIREMENTS

Effective March 14, 2022, masks will be strongly recommended, but not required, for all staff and students in K-12 schools while indoors, in accordance with CDPH updated guidance.

GUSD will follow CDPH guidance for indoor masking.  Therefore, indoor masking will be strongly recommended, but not required, for students and staff.  Our continued expectation is that everyone (staff, students, and parents) will be respectful of an individual’s decision to wear a mask or not to wear a mask.
 
GUSD continues to focus on mitigation strategies that have been successful: self-monitoring for symptoms, regular testing, high-quality ventilation systems, and encouraging vaccines, while respecting the personal choice for all members of our school communities and taking personal responsibility to help keep our staff and students healthy and well.




Safety Measures on Campus

The Reopening Planning Committee and district staff are taking many steps to prepare for the eventual reopening of schools and for submission of GUSD’s COVID-19 Safety Plan. These efforts are aligned with the most recent guidance from California’s Public Health Department. 

These are the important steps being taken to implement the “layers of safety” included in the State guidance:

LATEST NEWS

March 11, 2022 update from Dr. Flores: mask mandate ends, volunteers, GUSD Board Meetings, and end-of-year activities
GUSD Communications

Dear GUSD staff and families,

Congratulations to the Christopher High School girls’ soccer team for their win at the state championship game last Saturday evening.  It was a nail-bitter with the winning goal happening late in the game.  This championship is the first in the school’s history.  We are so proud of the team and coaching staff for all of their accomplishments!

I am so excited to announce that this year’s Run for Fitness will return to the Gilroy High School track on April 23, 2022.  Online sign-ups will be available in the next week.  We would love to see a big turnout at this year’s event.  T-shirts will be distributed to all of our students who participate.

There are a number of important details outlined below related to updates and changes in COVID-19 protocols.

Mask Mandate Ends

At midnight tonight, the indoor mask mandate for schools in California will end.   Starting on Monday, March 14, masks will no longer be required in public schools indoors.  However, the public health department is still strongly recommending that masks be worn indoors in schools.  This means that individual staff members will need to make the decision about whether to wear a mask indoors.  Parents/guardians will need to decide if you want your child to wear a mask or not indoors.  Everyone will be expected to respect each other’s decisions to either wear a mask or not wear a mask.  Masks will still be available to staff and students who want them at every school site.

 Volunteers

At last night’s March 10, 2022 Board of Education meeting, the Board of Education approved staff’s recommendation to begin processing applications from parent volunteers and other volunteers to provide support and assistance in district schools.  In order to be a volunteer on one of our campuses, volunteers must;

  1. Have a TB clearance
  2. Be fingerprinted
  3. Provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination status.  (Two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or the one-dose J& J.  There is no booster requirement.)
  4. Complete an online Child Abuse Reporting class
  5. Obtain DMV clearance (only for people wishing to transport students)

It will take some time to establish the online onboarding process and hire a part-time staff member to take responsibility for the submission of the documents.  We will notify you of the date that volunteers can start submitting the necessary documents as soon as it is determined.

Test Kits

Spring Break is April 4-8, 2022.  The District’s recent practice of distributing test kits before breaks, in December and February, will take place before Spring Break.  The next round of test kit distribution will occur the week before Spring Break.  Test kits will be sent home through the students.  Further communication about test kit distribution will be sent to you by your child(ren)’s principal.  Please test your child before they return from the Spring Break, on Monday, April 11, and if they test positive, please keep them home and contact your school. 

Vaccination Clinics

The District continues to collaborate with public health agencies by hosting vaccination clinics at our schools.  Upcoming clinics are scheduled as follows;

  • Tuesday, March 15,  El Roble Elementary, 3:00-7:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 17,  Eliot Elementary, 3:00-7:30 pm
  • Tuesday, April 5,  Glen View Elementary, 12:30-7:30 pm

Other Health and Safety Considerations

In light of the decrease in COVID-19 cases and the new guidance from the California Department of Public Health, the District’s interim safety measures that were enacted in January and February have been lifted.  

Operationally, the district is essentially back to normal with the provision that the CDPH is still strongly recommending wearing masks in indoor settings.   Fortunately, the upgrades to our ventilation systems last year will continue to recycle the air in our classrooms and buildings at a high level.  Staff and families should remain vigilant about monitoring possible symptoms of COVID, staying home if sick and getting tested regularly.

GUSD Board Meetings

In an ongoing effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, in January and February, our Board of Education held regular Board meetings virtually.  Last night, the Board voted to resume in-person meetings in the GUSD Boardroom that are open to attendance by members of the public on March 24.  The Board meeting schedule and all past and upcoming agendas can be accessed online.   Should you wish to attend an in-person Board meeting, please be aware that attendance may be capped.  Beginning March 24, people who wish to submit public comment to the Board of Education must do so in-person in the Boardroom.   Our staff will continue to livestream Board meetings via the GUSD YouTube channel.  We appreciate your engagement in our meetings, and invite your continued attendance, in-person, or virtually.

Celebrations, Events, Dances, and Graduations

Principals and their staffs have started planning for end-of-the-year celebrations, senior events, dances and graduations.  They will communicate the specific details about events at their sites in the coming weeks.

District Office Hours of Operation

In the event you need to do business at the District Office, our hours of operation (before the pandemic and since July 1, 2021) are 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Staff is also available by phone and email, and that information can be found online.  

 

This week, I participated in a workshop with superintendents from the county.  One of the topics we discussed was resilience.   As I think about the last two years, our staff, students and families have displayed amazing resilience in the face of so many difficult challenges.  I would like to end with a quote about resilience from author Steve Maraboli, “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.”  I am looking forward with great anticipation to March 14, and our further steps back to normalcy for our staff and students.  

 

Thank you for continuing to demonstrate great resilience as we move forward.


Take care of each other,

Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Gilroy Unified School District