Superintendent’s Message – COVID Guidance for 2022-23 School Year

Friday, August 5th, 2022 - Posted in All District News COVID District Communications Latest Announcements

Dear PUSD Community,

On behalf of everyone at the Piedmont Unified School District, welcome to the 2022-23 school year! We are excited to see our students back on campus and in the classroom for the first day of school on Wednesday, August 10. 

As the new school year approaches, we know you may have questions regarding PUSD’s COVID protocols. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently issued updated COVID guidance for schools and districts for the 2022-23 school year effective July 1. Based on CDPH’s recommendations and ongoing consultation with Alameda County, PUSD will operate under the guidance listed below:

  • Masking: While there are no current indoor masking requirements for schools in California or Alameda County, the wearing of masks in indoor school settings remains Strongly Recommended. All PUSD students and staff are encouraged to wear masks indoors and in any situation where social distancing is limited. Anyone experiencing symptoms associated with COVID is recommended to wear a mask even after testing negative. Other situations where masking is strongly recommended are addressed below.
  • Primary Health: For the 2022-23 school year, PUSD will again partner with Primary.Health for its COVID testing verification program. Instructions for creating a Primary account were included in your online registration information. All positive COVID tests should be reported on Primary. Negative clearance tests to facilitate a return to campus after a student either has COVID, or develops symptoms suggestive of COVID, should be entered into Primary as well.
  • Daily Screening: PUSD will NOT be using a daily screener for the 2022-23 school year. Each morning, families and students are asked to self-assess before leaving for school. If symptoms commonly associated with COVID are present (Fever 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, diarrhea), the student should stay home and be tested for COVID. Students developing COVID symptoms while in school will be treated like any sick student, including a call to parents for pick-up. The school can also provide a COVID test for use at home as supplies permit.
  • Positive COVID Cases: Please report absence to your school and then complete the  District’s COVID online reporting form (http://Tinyurl.com/pusdgotcovid). Students testing positive should isolate at home for 5-10 days. PUSD health coordinators will contact families of the positive individual with instructions about isolation and protocols for returning to school. Students testing negative after Day 5 of isolation may return to school on Day 6 provided: they upload the negative test results to Primary for review; their symptoms are resolving, and they wear a mask through Day 10.
  • Symptomatic with a Negative Test: Students should stay home if experiencing fever, diarrhea or are simply not well enough for school.  Symptomatic students who are otherwise well enough for school should confirm a negative at-home COVID test before coming to school. All symptomatic students attending school are strongly recommended to wear a mask while experiencing symptoms and continue testing at home if symptoms persist.  Please continue to test for the duration of symptoms and update your student’s school daily. Please upload all negative test results into Primary.
  • Testing: The use of rapid, at-home tests (instead of PCR tests), is recommended by CDPH. PUSD recommends testing of all students prior to returning to school. Tests will be available for pickup at Ellen Driscoll Theater – 325 Highland Ave. – on Friday, August 5, from 8:00-11:30am, and 1:00-3:00pm and Monday, August 8, from 8:00am – 11:30am. In addition, as a convenience, PUSD will offer testing at Ellen Driscoll Theater from 7:45-8:15am and 8:45-9:15am, weekdays starting Wednesday, August 10, and continuing for at least the first few weeks of the school year.
  • Close Contacts: A close contact is anyone spending more than 15 minutes with a COVID-positive individual during a 24-hour period. Close contacts will not be required to quarantine, but are recommended to test for COVID 3-5 days following exposure and wear a mask for 10 days following exposure.
  • Indoor Air Quality: PUSD will continue its air filtration practices in schools and offices, including use of air-purifiers in all classrooms and MERV-13 filters in HVAC systems.
  • Vaccines: COVID vaccinations remain the best defense against the virus and a valuable tool in keeping our schools open. We thank our community for its partnership in helping create a safer school environment by receiving COVID vaccinations and boosters at one of the highest percentages in the country. PUSD continues to strongly recommend all who are eligible to get vaccinated. For information and resources regarding vaccination clinics in Alameda County, click here.

All entrances to PUSD schools and facilities will have signs posted including QR codes with additional directions and guidance. 

The Alameda County Office of Education has updated its COVID response page and has a variety of flyers and resources to assist families including flowcharts to follow in case of students showing symptoms associated with COVID or possible exposure. 

Throughout the school year, PUSD will work to align its COVID practices and protocols to guidance set by the federal, state, and county level. While we hope to provide as normal a school experience as possible, changing conditions may require changes in policies or procedures. We will notify the community of any changes as soon as possible. 

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation. Enjoy the remainder of your Summer Break and we look forward to another great school year in Piedmont!!

Sincerely,

Donald Evans

Interim Superintendent

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