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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?

SLCUSD School Board voted to return to in-person learning for K-2 on March 4th, 3-6 on March 8th, and secondary schools on March 15th in a hybrid model. Distance Learning is offered through June for those selecting to not return to in-person learning.

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

Beginning in March 2021-June 2021 students will maintain 6 feet of physical distancing in classrooms to limit the risk of transmission in a hybrid model referred 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 providing virtual instruction and doing preparation to ensure successful asynchronous learning at times when students are not with their teacher. Secondary schools generally have periods 1-3 on Monday and Thursdays and periods 4-6 on Tuesday and Wednesdays with in-person instruction in the morning and Distance Learning instruction in the afternoon. The 2021-2022 school year will have all in-person classes on a traditional instructional schedule in accordance with CDPH Guidelines for K-12 Schools in a model referred to as Plan A.

Will there be 6-feet physical distancing at school?

In Plan B during the 2020-2021 school year reopening, all classroom desks will be 6 feet apart and 6 feet from the teaching area. When students are lined up, they will be 6 feet apart in line. During athletic activities, 6-feet physical distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible and when doing structured activities. The 2021-2022 physical distancing will be in accordance with CDPH Guidelines for K-12 Schools.

Will temperatures and screening be taken at school each day?

In most cases, no. Current CDPH guidelines require pre-school students receive temperature screening and staff may select to preform temperature checks as a layer of precaution or if as student exhibits signs of illness. Families complete a daily Health Screening via ParentSquare for signs or symptoms of COVID before a student leaves for school. This is a decision making tool to support families in knowing when students should stay home for illness.

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 open windows and doors 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. At least two windows will be open on buses.

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

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 and 6 feet from the teaching area. 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 in accordance to the CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings. The Guidance states that masks must be worn indoors, on buses, and in densely crowded outdoor situations. During competitive athletics, mask will be worn even under heavy exertion to the extent tolerable.  When there are exceptions, while eating and drinking or playing wind instruments, additional mitigations may be implemented. 

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. CDPH states that these conditions are rare and should be brought to the attention of the school's principal to follow District procedures for assessment for accommodation.

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

No, a multi-ply surgical style mask will be provided to the student.

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 in accordance with the CDPH K-12 Guidance indoors, on buses and in densely crowded outdoor situations. A school 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. Face coverings should be multilayer, without a vent, that are worn fitted over the nose and mouth.

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” indoors. Students will be reminded to stay apart and keep their masks on covering both their nose and mouth when indoors, on buses and in densely crowded outdoor situations. Physical environments will be structured to support 6 feet of distancing. Schools that began 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 unless participating in certain sports at the secondary level. All individuals who show symptoms of illness should 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 a minimum of 10 days in unvaccinated or if vaccinated and showing symptoms of illness. 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. On June 15, 2021, the tiered system is expiring, but the CDPH Guidelines for youth activities, camps and school will still remain.

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 students will be observed 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 CDPH Travel Website and the CDC Website regarding Travel information and advisories. Communicate with your school regarding absences.

Non-Classroom (Recess, Lunch, PE)

Will there be competitive sports?

SLCUSD will follow the CDPH Guidance for Outdoor and Indoor Youth and Recreational Adult Sports. Under this guidance, youth sports are allowed to compete with modifications and testing requirements that are aligned to the County metrics for case rates and Tier status. There are additional efforts that must be taken for high contact outdoors sports and all indoor sports. 

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. At times, they will 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 and hygienic practices before and after use of shared equipment. Guidance is to serve food outdoors when feasible instead of cafeterias. We anticipate the design of eating spaces to allow for separation between students. The key to recess safety is that students will wash their hands before and after recess/lunch. They will be discouraged from touching their faces while engaged in sharing playground equipment. They will be reminded to maintain 6-feet physical distancing during structured activities. 

What will lunch be like?

Eating protocols and schedules will be established by each school site while maintaining stable groups, physical distancing when eating indoors, and hygienic practices. We anticipate eating spaces to allow for students to be separated. Sites may use signage, assigned seating, and floor markings to designate spaces. Guidance is to serve food outdoors instead of cafeterias when feasible. 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 are approved to use 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 are healthy. Siblings will be asked to sit next to each other.  At least two windows will be opened and spacing will be in accordance to CDPH guidance.

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:

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.