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2021-2022 In-Person School Year Letter from Superintendent Lynch

Greetings from the Metropolitan Education District!

This letter is to share some important information with you regarding the new school year. We are excited to announce that all District schools and programs will be open for full in-person instruction five-days a week. The first day of school for Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (SVCTE) is on August 10, 2021.

While many families are excited and ready for full-time reconnection for their students, others are anxious or unsure about potential risks. Since the threat of COVID-19 has not been eliminated entirely, we need to remain vigilant. Throughout the pandemic, our county has made decisions and recommendations by reviewing the latest science and adapting to the needs of our local community. The latest science demonstrates that in-person instruction is not only safe; it’s the right thing to do.

Numerous scientific studies have shown that we have multiple tools in our toolbox to help keep children and educators safe. This risk is even lower now that the Bay Area has some of the highest local vaccination rates in the world. Roughly 83% of people 12 and older in our county have gotten at least one dose, and more than 77% are fully vaccinated. MetroED committee to the health and wellness of our students, staff, and their families.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) have published updated guidance for safety measures and protocols for the return to school. Santa Clara County Department of Public Health has also issued recommendations. The District has reviewed the new requirements and recommendations and we want to share with your key information and expectations for the start of the new school year at our site.

In order to provide a safe and successful return to in-person learning, the District will be implementing the following:

  • All students and all adults at our school sites will be required to wear face coverings (masks) when indoors together in classrooms and other school facilities and when in buses or other vehicles, unless the person qualifies for an exemption. The mask requirement will apply to all actives during the instructional day and to all extra-curricular and other school-sponsored actives on or of the school site at which students are present.  This approach meets the guidance from the California Department of Public
  • The persons who are exempted from the mask requirement include:
    • Persons who have a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct
    • When the students are indoors eating or Students should maximize physical distance as much as possible while eating (especially indoors).
    • Person who are hearing impaired or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for

If you believe your student qualifies for an exemption, please contact Human Resources at covidliaison@metroed.net prior to the  first day of school to ensure that the school has the necessary information to fully understand your student’s needs, and so that your student is ready start school on August 10.

  • The District will provide a mask to all students and staff who do not have one.
  • Persons who are exempt from wearing a mask due to a medical condition must wear a non- restrictive alternative such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, if their condition permits it. In limited situations where a mask cannot be used when teaching students who have special needs, a face shield with a drape can be used instead of a face covering while in the classroom as long as the wearer maintains physical distance from The District will provide the necessary face shield and drape in these instances.
  • Masks are not required when students and employees are outdoors, but are optional for both adults and students if someone wants to wear one
  • Physical distancing in classrooms and other indoor spaces will no longer be
  • The District will have hand sanitizer available at all school sites and will be implementing safety measures and protocols to help ensure safety and the prevent the transmission of COVID-19, including promoting frequent hand-washing and regular cleaning and sanitizing of classrooms and other indoor spaces and school
  • The State has indicated it will be providing resources for COVID-19 testing to help monitor and contain and future The District is in the process of reviewing options for COVID-19 screening tests to be made available for students and staff. We will be sending you that information in a separate communication, as well as information on new quarantining requirements for persons who have a close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID- 19, and the District’s communication and response plan if and when an outbreak occurs at school.
  • The District will continue to limit visitors to only those necessary and prearranged
  • All persons coming onto the campus will complete the District’s Health Screening App each visit (students are to use their net email account)
  • The district has trained individuals including a COVID Liaison, who are tasked with monitoring COVID safety measures, evaluating anyone showing COVID symptoms, offering rapid testing, and managing contact

The CDPH has stated that it will continue to assess health and safety conditions in the State on an ongoing basis and will determine no later than November 1, 2021, whether to update mask requirements or recommendations. We will keep you updated on any changes or loosening in requirements that the Department of Public Health may issue.

Vaccines are still our best tool in the fight against severe illness and death from the coronavirus, but given the transmissibility of the Delta variants, recommitting to masking is going to help keep more people in our community safe. We gathered additional important information to keep you, your student and family safe.

COVID-19 Vaccine:

The first COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in the United States. All individuals age 12 or older are now eligible for vaccination. For more information, including how to schedule an appointment or find a drop-in vaccination site, visit www.sccfreevax.org

As of June 21, 2021, most local Health Orders have been life or are being phased out, see here for details: covid19.sccgov.org/public-health-orders

COVID-19 Testing:

To find a free and easy COVID-19 testing location near you, visit: www.sccfreetest.org

County Services:

For updated information about County service impacts, visit: SCCgov.org

For general questions, call 211. 2-1-1 phone and text services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 150 languages. 

Check the www.metroed.net/covid19 webpage for ongoing updates.

Thank you for your commitment towards keeping our community and our schools safe.  The entre MetroED team looks forward to an exciting new school year as our students return to school in-person.

Warmly,

Alyssa Lynch, Superintendent