COVID-19 Updates ›

1500 Lizzie Street | San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

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FAQs About SLCUSD's Response to COVID-19

Coronavirus Information  ›  FAQs About SLCUSD's Response to COVID-19

Classroom Environment

When will schools have students back in classrooms?

Some students are currently back for in-person learning, including small learning groups of students in areas such as Special Education. All Pre-Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten students are back as well. The current plan is for all students to return to school for in-person learning in January if our county is in the Red Tier or better.

Will students be in classrooms for regular session or some type of hybrid model?

To maintain 6 feet of physical distancing in classrooms which limits the risk of transmission, students will be on a hybrid model we refer to as Plan B2. Generally, this means that students will be divided into two groups per class, with each group containing approximately half of the students in the class, attending on an AM or PM schedule four days a week. All teachers will spend Fridays doing preparation to ensure successful asynchronous learning on days students are not with their teacher. 

Will there be 6-feet physical distancing at school?

Yes, in Plan B, all classroom desks will be 6 feet apart. When students are lined up, they will be 6_feet apart in line. During athletic activities 6-feet physical distancing will be maintained when doing structured activities. 

Will temperatures and screening be taken at school each day?

In most cases, no. Families will be required to complete a temperature check along with looking for other signs or symptoms of COVID on a daily basis. A Daily Home Screening Affidavit will be completed by families before a child leaves home ensuring that, before their student goes to school, they are healthy. 

I heard that good ventilation is helpful in reducing virus spread. How is the ventilation in our students’ classes?

A full audit of our HVAC systems has taken place. Systems use the highest-rated MERV filter the machine can handle. Teachers are going to be opening windows and doors to try to improve ventilation. This may mean that classrooms could be colder on winter days. It is important that students bring coats or sweaters to school. 

Are students guaranteed to have their assigned teacher from August when the District opens for in-person instruction?

No. The District values students staying with their teacher. However, since we are giving families the option to stay in distance learning, this will create movement. Limits on class sizes and availability of the staff members to participate in in-person learning may require the movement of some students. 

What will happen to class sizes if a new student enrolls?

Classroom size will be limited to the number of students an individual classroom can accommodate while maintaining 6-feet physical distance when students are at their desks. In some circumstances, newly enrolled students may have to be placed in a different classroom.


Will students have to wear masks while at school?

Yes, it is the District’s expectation that all individuals wear masks. There are exceptions for when they are engaged in athletic activities with heavy exertion and while eating and drinking. Masks are required for all while riding on school buses. 

What do I do if my student cannot wear a mask for medical reasons?

With a medical exemption, students will be permitted to wear a nonrestrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.

If my student forgets their mask will they be sent home?

No, a surgical style mask will be provided. 

Will students who are not wearing an appropriate mask, or not wearing one correctly, be permitted on campus?

SLCUSD expects all individuals to wear face covering. A site will provide a face covering should it be needed. Any individual will be counseled and may be removed from a setting for refusal to participate in health and safety protocols.

Is it realistic to expect students to maintain physical distancing and always keep their masks on?

We recognize that human behavior will make it difficult to always have students, and even staff, maintain constant vigilance with physical distancing and masks. Therefore, we have followed the State's guidance and are directing staff that 6-feet physical distancing will be maintained to the “extent possible.” Students will be reminded to stay apart and keep their masks on covering both their nose and mouth. Schools that have begun in-person learning have found that with practice and reminders, people adjust and do well.

Testing, COVID Exposure, Changes in Tier Level

Will my student be tested for COVID-19?

Students with symptoms consistent with COVID will be directed to a local testing site or their healthcare provider. The healthcare provider may identify a specific medical condition for the source of their symptoms. If there is no clear source for the symptoms, the student will be required to have a negative COVID test result before returning to school. If there is no identified source of the symptoms and no negative COVID test result, we will follow guidance for the student to remain out of school for the same time period as students who have tested positive for COVID.

Is the District requiring testing?

SLCUSD staff is proactively tested for COVID-19 every two months. Students are not required to be proactively tested. All individuals who show symptoms of illness are encouraged to stay home and seek testing. Health-related questions should be directed to healthcare professionals. To return to campus after having symptoms of illness, there must be a negative test result/doctor’s note, significantly improved symptoms, and no fever for 24 hours without medication. 

What happens if a student or staff is in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

The student or staff who has been within 6 feet and had more than 15 minutes of contact with someone who tested positive for COVID will be required to quarantine for 14 days. This is the same requirement for everyone in the public who is in close contact with someone who tests positive. Teachers will work with the family to provide continuous education while the student is in quarantine. 

What happens if the county moves to the purple tier?

CDPH has provided guidance that if a school has already opened for in-person learning, they may continue in-person learning if the county goes back into the purple tier. Additional surveillance testing will be performed on all staff. This in part is to provide continuity for students and staff. 

What should our family do if we are planning to travel?

In concert with guidance from Public Health, anyone who travels will be reminded to follow the guidelines such as wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance. Families will be actively screening at home and we will be observing students at school for signs or symptoms of COVID. Daily screening and enforcement of guidelines is essential for staff and students. SLCUSD encourages families to visit the CDC Website regarding Travel information and advisories. Communicate with your school regarding absences.

Non-Classroom (Recess, Lunch, PE)

Will there be competitive sports?

Contact sports have been canceled. Only fitness and conditioning activities with 6 feet between students is permitted at this time.

Middle and high schools have crowded hallways during passing periods, how will we keep physical distancing during these times?

In Plan B, about half of the students will be on campus at any time which will reduce the number of students transitioning between classes. Students will be required to wear masks. They will often be told to travel in one direction in a hallway or one direction on the side of a hallway. If needed, a longer transition period will be provided to allow for staggered releases of classrooms. There will also be fewer transition periods. 

What will recess be like?

Recess schedules and snack protocols will be established by each school site while maintaining stable groups, physical distancing, hygienic practices, and sanitation efforts for equipment between uses. Guidance is to serve food outdoors or in classrooms instead of cafeterias. We anticipate classes and cohorts of students to be separated. The key to recess safety is that students will wash their hands before and after recess/lunch. They will wear masks and be discouraged from touching their masks and faces while engaged in sharing playground equipment. They will be reminded to maintain 6-feet physical distancing. 

What will lunch be like?

Eating protocols and schedules will be established by each school site while maintaining stable groups, physical distancing, and hygienic practices. We anticipate classes and cohorts of students to be separated. Sites may use signage, assigned seating, and floor markings to designate spaces. Guidance is to serve food outdoors or in classrooms instead of cafeterias. A “Grab and Go” model for lunch may be implemented.


How will students be kept safe on school buses?

Limited transportation will be available. Families are encouraged to use alternative transportation such as walking, biking, or driving to school. Students who need the bus should line up at bus stops with 6-feet physical distancing and masks on. They will only be permitted on the bus if they feel healthy and have positively completed the Daily Home Screening Affidavit before leaving home. Siblings will be asked to sit next to each other. 

So, 6-feet distancing will not be provided on school buses?

Health guidelines will be followed. That is why we need students who have alternative safe ways to get to school to use them. Students on buses will wear masks and be kept as far apart as practicable. The buses will go through a strict cleaning each day. Bus windows will be kept open to have as much ventilation as possible. 


How can I find childcare?

The following agencies are working with San Luis Coastal to provide childcare:

  • CAPSLO has programming for younger students as well as resources for financial aid.
  • The City of Morro Bay is providing childcare at for the Morro Bay and Estero Bay communities at the Morro Bay Community Center.
  • The City of San Luis Obispo has created the SPARK Program to provide safe childcare for students while their parents are working. Click here for more information and to apply.
  • The YMCA's Camp C.A.R.E. provides daily childcare to support children in grades K-6. For more information, please visit their website.

Financial assistance is available for each of the programs.

Is there childcare available for preschool or TK students?

For programs that support younger children, please contact CAPSLO.