Reopening Readiness Updates
Thank you for your patience while we all continue to navigate through challenges related to COVID. As you are already aware, on November 13th the dates of reopening schools in phases was approved by the Governing Board, with the first phase beginning on February 1st. Based on the County Department of Health guidelines, schools may reopen only after they have been in the red tier for a minimum of two weeks. Since Alameda County is still in the purple tier, CVUSD’s first phase of reopening is delayed until Alameda County has been in the red tier for a minimum two (2) weeks. Rest assured, you will receive frequent updates and advanced confirmation on the exact reopening date. Reopening will occur in phases, meaning that our elementary schools will begin with two primary grades first and continue with additional grades added each week.
Although the reopening date has been delayed, our planning and preparation will continue so that families have time to make the necessary arrangements and we can be fully prepared in order to ensure a smooth transition. Information related to your child’s assignment and specific details on schedules, procedures, and protocols will be communicated to you by each site principal in the next few days.
Our Districts Roadmap to Reopening & Safety Plan was submitted to the County and on December 22nd, we received confirmation that our plan was complete. Currently, the Supplemental School Site Specific Reopening Plans are in the process of being uploaded to all school sites. Please contact your school site if you have any questions regarding the site specific plans.
We look forward to seeing our students back in school. Reopening schools and getting the economy back on track will greatly depend on how we each follow the Health Department directives to reduce the number of COVID cases in the County. Please stay safe and be well.
Message from Superintendent Ahmadi - January 6, 2021
I hope you had a safe and happy winter holiday and were able to spend quality time with your loved ones under a Stay at Home Order. I wish everyone a healthier, happier, and more predictable year. If nothing else, 2020 taught us to be patient, flexible, and creative in finding new ways to do things.
I am truly grateful to all of you, our students, and our staff who have learned new tools and techniques and have taken on additional responsibilities to help and support one another. I am confident that what we have learned, explored, and have been forced to do differently during COVID continues to shed light on new possibilities and opportunities to improve our habits, systems, structures and how we look at life in general.
Since March of 2020, there has been tremendous effort to support our students' academic and social/emotional needs while in distance learning. We all recognize the immense value and need for in person learning. As parents and guardians, during this time you have had to take on additional responsibility as teachers and tutors supporting your children.
During the last few months, we have been developing a robust Reopening and Safety Plan, which includes all County Department of Health requirements. On November 12th, phases and dates of reopening were approved by the Governing Board. As a reminder, our reopening dates as approved by the Governing Board are predicated on health conditions improving and Alameda County being in the Red Tier for a period of time.
CVUSD's Roadmap to Reopening & Safety Plan was submitted to Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) on December 16th for review, and we received confirmation on December 22nd that our plan is complete! Supplemental Site Specific Reopening Plan has also been developed and will be uploaded to websites as soon as possible.
On December 30, 2020, Governor Newsom announced California’s Safe Schools for All Plan to create a pathway for California public school districts to physically reopen, while also prioritizing the health and safety of students, teachers and staff. Currently, districts are awaiting further details on the Governor’s plan. We will update you when we have more information.
We will continue preparing for reopening as outlined in our Roadmap and Safety Plan while we patiently wait for improvement in the number of cases in Alameda County. It is critical that we all remain vigilant and follow state and local safety protocols and guidelines. Thank you for your patience and partnership.
Update from Superintendent Ahmadi - December 17, 2020
Update from Superintendent Ahmadi
December 17, 2020
Looking forward to 2021 as we approach the end of a turbulent year with the many uncertainties we have faced, I continue to believe that we have the power, individually and collectively, to seriously impact outcomes related to COVID following steps outlined by health experts and scientists. In fact, each and every one of the issues highlighted in 2020, from grave concerns related to social justice and racism, to wildfires and climate change, to the COVID-19 Pandemic continue to call us to action.
When it comes to COVID, the current reality is that cases continue to be on a sharp increase. Unless we each take steps necessary to reduce and prevent transmission, the increase in the number of COVID cases will continue to rise, causing dire consequences for our neighbors, our community, our loved ones and ourselves. The manner in which we abide by the following rules can determine how quickly we will be able to change this trajectory.
Please remain vigilant and follow the Governor’s Regional Stay at Home Order and Health Department requirements such as:
- Not gathering with others outside of your household
- Staying within your immediate social bubble
- Not traveling
- Practicing social distancing
- Always wearing a mask in public
We know that reopening schools is key to supporting our students’ academic and social/emotional needs. It also allows families to get back to their routines and our communities and the economy back on track. Ensuring the safety of our students and staff and supporting the academic and social/emotional needs of our students are our highest priorities.
Planning and preparing is the right and responsible thing to do. In Castro Valley, we have spent the last eight months responding, developing, and implementing plans to move us in that direction. We have completed our Roadmap to Reopening & Safety Plan and have submitted our plan to the County. The dates and phases of reopening have been approved by the Board for February 1st to reopen elementary grades in phases, of course predicated on the County Health Order in January. Rest assured, you will receive frequent updates and advanced notices throughout the month from our office related to the health order/confirmation on the reopening date. During the month of January, administrators will be sharing resources, procedures, protocols and assignments with families in anticipation of reopening.
The Governing Board and I share our deepest gratitude with our students for stepping up to the challenge and doing their best. We are grateful to CVUSD’s staff (teachers, classified and management) for their valiant efforts to engage, inspire and support students during distance learning. And we sincerely thank you for your continued partnership. We wish everyone a safe holiday season and a healthy and prosperous year ahead.
COVID Update from Superintendent Ahmadi - December 4, 2020
COVID Update from Superintendent Ahmadi
December 4, 2020
Dear CVUSD Families and Staff,
The State announced yesterday that they will use regional availability of intensive care unit (ICU) beds to implement a Regional Stay-At-Home Order. The State’s Order would go into effect when a region’s ICU availability falls below 15 percent and would remain in effect for a minimum of three weeks. Additionally, all private gatherings of any size would be prohibited, and non-essential travel restricted.
Today, Health Officers for the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and Santa Clara as well as the City of Berkeley jointly announced during a press conference that they are implementing the State’s Regional Stay Home Order, effective Monday, December 7th and will remain in effect through January 4, 2021 for Alameda County. Read the joint press release here.
Alameda County Office of Education along with the Alameda County Public Health Department posted this news release regarding how the new orders will affect school districts. Read the full press release here.
Please note that these new orders will not affect the Learning Hubs we currently have on our school sites. Schools may continue to serve students in person in small cohorts or groups under the State’s Small Cohort Guidance.
Please take great care and stay safe.
from Superintendent Ahmadi
November 20, 2020
Dear CVUSD Families,
I hope the upcoming Thanksgiving week provides you and your family a well-deserved opportunity to refresh, rest, and spend time together. Thank you for your partnership in supporting students at home while distance learning. I know this Thanksgiving will be different than any other and not being able to visit family members outside of our "bubble" is hard, but it is absolutely necessary in order to minimize infection.
This week, Governor Newsom announced that Alameda County, along with 27 other counties, will move back into the Purple Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy plan. The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) and Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) issued statements as well.
Our success in minimizing infection depends on every one of us following guidelines based on science, which include wearing masks, washing hands, and physical distancing. Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health also released a Limited Stay at Home Order (click here to read the order) effective this Saturday, November 21st at 10 p.m. until December 21, 2020.
Please note that support hubs on our school sites will continue to be open with all safety precautions in place. While we wait for conditions to improve, we will continue to do our very best to support our students, work on our site specific plans, put in place the necessary measures, and practice so that we are prepared. As noted previously, the dates of reopening schools starting with elementary in February, as approved by the Board on November 12th, are predicated on conditions improving and health orders allowing for reopening. As we have always done, we will closely monitor the local health conditions and provide updates.
I ask that you please review the Alameda County Public Health’s recommendations for holiday gatherings that include the following guidance:
- Keep gatherings small in number, short in duration, stable (avoid mixing multiple cohorts/social bubbles), and outdoors where possible
- Avoid non-essential travel and self-quarantine for 14 date after any out of state travel
- Use appropriate precautions when sharing food
- Wear a mask whenever outside of your home or with non-household family members
We CAN and will make it through this together. Have a safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.
Since March 2020, we have all been tackling tremendous challenges. With increased COVID cases locally and nationally in recent days, we continue to be vigilant and work closely with Alameda County Public Health Department to plan for reopening schools with the safety of our students, staff and families as our highest priority. I want to thank you for sharing your feedback, concerns and ideas throughout the last few months.
With the magnitude of uncertainty we are facing each day, I know there is much angst about any decision that is made. The needs, challenges, and difficulties that each and every one of us face are varied. But I can assure you that our Roadmap to Reopening and Safety Plan strictly follows guidance from the Health Department. Please take a few minutes to review the detailed plan which will be implemented and in place at each site in advance of students returning to in person instruction. Site specific templates which will include school logistics and procedures will be available on each school site’s website in the next few weeks. We will schedule training for families and students prior to reopening to ensure everyone is equipped with the most accurate and latest information related to safety protocols, procedures and requirements.
At the Special Board Meeting held on November 12th, the Castro Valley Board of Education unanimously approved the phased reopening plan with a start date of February 1, 2021. The phased reopening is predicated on health orders allowing for in person instruction.
October 29, 2020 UPDATE
The Alameda County Public Health Department yesterday announced that middle and high schools are now permitted to open for in person instruction. Click to read the press release here.
At last night’s board meeting, I shared updates on the reopening plan, including the results of the recent survey to which we received over 3,900 responses. The Board heard comments from attendees and discussed reopening. Based on the Board's direction last night, on November 12th at 4:00 p.m., I will be bringing recommendations on phases and dates of reopening for TK-12 starting in January. To join the special board meeting, please click the link here [https://cv-k12-ca-us.zoom.us/j/88421366325].
To stay up to date on the latest information and learn more about our work to prepare for returning to in-person instruction, please click the link here to view the Reopening Readiness Dashboard and the Roadmap to Reopening & Safety Plan [https://www.cv.k12.ca.us/reopening-roadmap/]
Superintendent Update and Family Survey - October 15, 2020
At the October 14th Board Meeting, after discussion, public comments, and consideration of all elements required for reopening, the Governing Board made the decision for schools in Castro Valley Unified School District to remain in distance learning, and at the first board meeting scheduled for January 13th, discuss and make a decision about the timeline of reopening. Working closely with the Alameda County Public Health Department, we will monitor developments related to COVID and continue our discussions with our bargaining units to ensure a successful school reopening.
We have opened a Support Hub on school sites for small cohorts of students who are experiencing challenges in accessing distance learning at home. We are working diligently to add additional Hubs throughout the district in order to support more students.
We are grateful to you for your partnership and acknowledge the tremendous burden on families during distance learning. Our teachers and staff have been working hard to provide the best possible instruction during distance learning. We all recognize the need for social and emotional support and connection that students thrive on when they are in school. We continue to look for ways to find opportunities that allow our students to experience social connections and collaboration that help them grow.
As we continue to navigate through this very challenging time, we are asking for your feedback about distance learning and ideas on how we may further support students and families.
Click here to complete this survey by Wednesday, October 21st.
Update - October 1, 2020
October 1, 2020
Dear Families and Staff,
Today, the Alameda County Public Health Department outlined the limited and phased reopening of schools. As indicated in the press release from the Alameda County Office of Education, schools will be able to open only when appropriate public health measures, such as sufficient surveillance COVID testing, are in place.
It is important to note that although the Health Department is permitting schools to reopen on October 13th, the decision and timing of when to open still rests with each school district. Please note that CVUSD has not established an opening date. We will continue to plan and work with our employee groups to put in place all required measures to enable the Board to make the best possible decision about a reopening date. Districts are required to post their reopening plans on their website and submit them to the Alameda County Office of Education for review.
In the meantime, CVUSD is moving forward with opening support hubs. With these hubs, we want to provide services and support to students who are at the risk of experiencing difficulties such as those related to technology. Students in these hubs are participating in distance learning while at school.
September 22, 2020 UPDATE
Dear Families and Staff,
Today, Alameda County announced that the county has moved from the purple tier to the red tier according to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Read the Alameda County Statement on Red Tier here. To learn more about the four Tiers (purple, red, orange, and yellow), please visit the California Department of Public Health's website here.
As indicated by the California Department of Public Health, counties must remain in the new tier for two weeks before they consider loosening restrictions imposed in the previous tier. Moving into the Red Tier is a positive development; however, the reopening of schools continues to require significant planning and preparation by all districts in Alameda County as stated in Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe’s statement released today.
While schools may soon become officially eligible to provide in-person services to students, there are a number of local requirements that schools and districts must take into consideration. Each district is responsible for developing and implementing its re-opening plan, based on State and county requirements. Schools must establish and post a comprehensive re-opening plan which must be publically available to students, staff and community. Reopening plans will need to include COVID-19 testing based on State and county guidelines, contact tracing for positive cases, and districts must have adequate personal protective equipment. Districts will also need to work with their labor partners who serve in roles essential to the reopening of school in order to ensure school sites have adequate staff.
As we have reiterated from the onset of this pandemic, the health and safety of our students and staff is and will always be our priority. We recognize that despite carefully planning, we must be able to pivot and change course in order to respond to the fluid nature of the current pandemic. We will follow a phased approach and plan thoughtfully and carefully to ensure successful implementation of any change to the type of instruction and support students in CVUSD receive.
We know that this pandemic has impacted all families in many ways and has particularly exacerbated structural inequities, resulting in learning gaps that will continue to require focused interventions. We are committed to our mission of providing the best opportunities for all students and will strive to do better each and every day.
August 30, 2020 - UPDATE
August 30, 2020
As a matter of courtesy, we wanted to make sure you were aware in case you hear anything on the news or via social media. On Friday, a few schools in several school districts in Alameda County began receiving bomb threats via email. Today two of our schools (Stanton and Vannoy) also received the same email threat. Therefore, we contacted the Sheriff’s Office immediately to report and asked for assistance. They have confirmed the threat is not credible. Law enforcement agencies in Alameda County are investigating the source. We take all threats seriously and will keep you informed of any important development.
On another note, Friday afternoon Governor Newsom unveiled a Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a Statewide, Stringent and Slow Plan for Living with COVID-19 (click here for the press release). The Blueprint for a Safer Economy replaces the County Data Monitoring List for determining what business can and cannot open. Alameda County is currently in the County Risk Level: Widespread (purple). To learn more about the four Tiers (purple, red, orange, and yellow), please visit the California Department of Public Health's website here.
As we enter our fourth week, teachers, and staff continue working hard to ensure routines are set and students are engaged in distance learning. Working together with patience and flexibility, I am confident we will be able to climb the steep learning curve of learning, teaching, communicating, and supporting one another virtually. Please do not hesitate to let us know how we may be able to better support you and our students.