On July 12, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) published updated guidelines to facilitate the return to safe in-person instruction in the 2021-22 school year. The guidelines include revised requirements in a variety of areas, including masking, quarantining, physical distancing, and cleaning.
According to CDPH, Masks are one of the most effective and simplest safety measures to prevent in-school transmission of COVID-19 infections and to support full-time in-person instruction in schools.
Indoors. All students are required to wear masks while indoors. Adults in a K-12 school setting are required to mask when sharing indoor spaces with students.
Outdoors. Masks are optional outdoors for all students.
According to CDPH, recent evidence shows that in-person instruction can occur safely without minimum physical distancing requirements when other mitigation strategies (e.g., masking) are implemented. Therefore, physical distancing is not mandated. This is consistent with CDC’s current guidelines.
Cleaning and disinfecting guidelines have been updated to recommend once a day under usual circumstances. If a person diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in a facility within the last 24 hours, the space should be cleaned and disinfected.
As part of the effort to keep students in school to the greatest extent possible, CDPH lessened some quarantine requirements for unvaccinated students. An unvaccinated student who is exposed in an indoor classroom while wearing a mask, even in a “close contact” situation with an infected person, may continue to attend school and extracurricular activities if they are asymptomatic, continue to appropriately mask when required, and undergo at least twice-weekly testing during the quarantine. An unvaccinated student who was not wearing a mask when exposed in an indoor close contact setting is required to quarantine for 14 days
as under current guidelines, but this may be shortened to 10 days if the student remains
asymptomatic, or to 7 days if a negative test is received after the fifth day following exposure.
The basis of the CDPH guidelines is that all students must have access to safe and full in-person instruction with as much instructional time as possible. The intent is to ensure schools take steps to maximize in-person learning and minimize any missed days through the school year. CDPH strongly emphasizes that the surest way to achieving these goals is through universal masking in schools as well as minimal social distancing
CDPH is expected to continue to assess conditions on an ongoing basis, and no later than November 1, 2021, will determine whether to update the mask requirements or recommendations.
Schools are also required to offer an independent study program for the 2021-22 school year to any student whose parent/guardian determines that in-person instruction would present a health risk for their student or for any student that refrains from wearing a mask in the classroom.
RKS will be offering a new, online-based, independent study program that will be available to any student that may be interested. If you would like more information regarding the new independent study program, please click here and you will be contacted.
If you have any questions or concerns and would like to discuss anything further please call the office at (559) 689-3336 and Annie Scott or Deena Hegerle would be happy to help.