September 3, 2021
Dear Elk Grove Unified Students, Parents and Families,
This update will cover important information based on feedback and questions we received from our schools and parents. Our focus continues to be on keeping schools safely open for in-person learning and to gradually shift to a level of normalcy. We will continue to do our best in working together with this focus. Gathered below are those parent and staff questions with our responses and further down, we have information, resources and more stories to share.
Have the CDPH TK-12 Guidelines been recently updated?
- Yes. The updates deal with masking, sports and extracurricular activities. CDPH has also updated their FAQ: Here are the updated CDPH TK-12 Guidelines and their updated FAQ.
Are sports and extracurricular activities affected by the updated guidelines?
- Yes. The current education guidance requiring all individuals (adults and students) to wear a mask indoors at a TK-12 school, regardless of vaccination status, does apply to extracurricular activities, including sports and sporting events sponsored by K-12 schools. View the California Interscholastic Federation Press Release to learn more.
- The requirements and recommendations in the updated guidance for extracurricular activities and all activities that occur on a school site, whether or not they occur during school hours, including, but not limited to band, chorus, and clubs states that for the playing of musical instruments that cannot be done with a face covering (e.g., wind instruments); or when wearing a mask during play poses a choking hazard, at least one of the following options is required:
- Conduct these activities outdoors;
- Use modified face coverings and bell coverings when playing wind and brass instruments, and maintain 6 feet of physical distancing;
- Perform at least weekly screening testing with either PCR testing (1:1 or pooled PCR) or antigen testing of all individuals, including those who are fully vaccinated.
Why do students/staff who are symptomatic have to get a negative PCR test to return to school instead of a negative rapid antigen test? Why does the SCPH Decision Forest say that both tests are acceptable and schools only accept a negative PCR test to return?
- In consultation with the Sacramento County Health Officer, if students or staff are symptomatic and test negative with a rapid antigen test, it could be a false negative, therefore, SCPH states that they must follow up with a PCR test to confirm the negative rapid test results. Students and staff must then remain at home until they receive a negative PCR test result.
Do symptomatic students/staff have an alternative different from testing for COVID-19?
- Yes. They may receive an alternative diagnosis from a health care provider and may return to school if at least 24 hours have passed since fever and symptoms have improved significantly.
Is there a HOTLINE parents can call to ask COVID-19 related questions?
- Yes. A statewide COVID-19 hotline is available at (833) 422-4255 for parents to call with questions about COVID-19. The call center is open 7 days a week (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. PST / Saturday – Sunday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST)
If parents have questions about the EGUSD COVID-19 Dashboard or other frequently asked COVID-19 questions, is there an EGUSD FAQ?
- Yes. Parents can email our Communications Department and we are helping to field questions. Here are some commonly asked questions and our responses. View the translation of interpretation services.
How can parents and staff be proactive about stopping the spread of COVID-19 in our schools?
- For those eligible, get vaccinated and follow the guidance. If a student or staff member has any one of the COVID-19 symptoms, they should not come to school and instead follow Tree #1 in the SCPH Decision Forest for symptomatic individuals.
Are there community testing sites parents and students can go to instead of the school?
- Absolutely. Here is a comprehensive list of Sacramento County Symptom Screening Mobile Testing Sites.
Should parents go to the Emergency Room to get tested quickly?
- Emergency rooms do not typically administer COVID-19 symptom screening testing unless the person is admitted into the ER. It is recommended that parents call their child’s pediatrician first to discuss their child’s symptoms. More information can be found here from CDPH on COVID-19 Symptoms.
Will there be preemptive testing for athletics?
- Yes. Non-vaccinated individuals competing in high risk sports should receive pre-emptive testing. EGUSD students in sports and extracurricular activities will need to test if they do not show proof of vaccinated status. This testing will be conducted at school sites, similar to the testing all EGUSD athletes performed in the Spring of 2021.
Where can parents and the community find vaccination clinics?
- Sacramento County COVID-19 Vaccine Information
- Kaiser Permanente Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the Bruceville Center Vaccination Station from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m 7 days a week.
- COVID vaccine locations throughout California are also at myturn.ca.gov.
What other public health concerns should parents know about?
- The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District wants to remind you to protect yourselves from mosquitoes, especially as you enjoy outdoor activities during the long holiday weekend. Invasive mosquitoes are a public health threat because they are capable of transmitting debilitating diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya. To report a mosquito breeding source or for current information about any treatments planned within Sacramento or Yolo Counties please call 1-800-429-1022 or visit www.FIGHTtheBITE.net. View the Sacramento-Yolo & Vector Control District’s press release for more information.
Can parents help with filling open job positions?
- Yes! We need your help. We have multiple opportunities for parents and community members to be engaged in our school community. Join us today by becoming a part of the EGUSD family. See our current job openings on EDJOIN.org
Are there other ways I can help?
- EGUSD Relief Funds – Community Input Requested: A Board approved plan for the use of $191 million relief funds through the American Recovery Act to address students’ needs and any opportunity gaps that existed before, and were worsened by, the COVID-19 pandemic must be submitted to the state in order to access the funds. Similar to other plans that require stakeholder feedback, our next step is to hear from you: EGUSD ESSER III Expenditure Plan and Survey Links for Feedback
- School communities like at McGarvey and Sunrise are gathering gift card type donations that will be collected at their front offices: McGarvey/Sunrise Fire Relief Video
- The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Fire Relief – Flyer
- Afghan Families: Please view our resource list for staff who are working to support our Afghan families who may be in need of resettlement information, basic needs support, or mental health services. You may also reach out to the Family and Community Engagement (FACE) department for assistance.
When can parents attend or listen in on the next Board Meeting?
- The next Board Meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 7th in-person at the Robert L. Trigg Education Center. Masks will be required indoors.
- Visit our Leadership webpage to Get to know your Board Member.
- View our Student Board Member web page to learn about how students can get involved.
How can parents and educators help during Suicide Prevention Awareness Month?
- EGUSD started it’s Suicide Prevention Awareness campaign for the month of September called, “It’s okay to talk about suicide.” This campaign aims to remove the fear and stigma people have when it comes to speaking about suicide. As part of the awareness campaign, EGUNEWS interviewed two of the District’s Mental Health Therapists about strategies parents, educators and students can use to help prevent suicide in our youth. View our EGUNEWS Healthy Learning interview featuring Nona Henson and Kim Rawson on YouTube at “Let’s talk about suicide.”
Good News and Stories to Share
Maeola Beitzel Elementary School Students Welcome “Punny” Guest
Beitzel Elementary teacher, Carly Davenport, connected on social media with Lisa Ayotte, a fellow educator, author and creator of Punny Peeps. Lisa joined Ms. Davenport’s class and all third graders at Beitzel via Zoom to read some of her work and inspire students to write their own jokes, puns and stories.
Board Member, Mayor and Superintendent Greet Students Riding Free on SacRT
Last week, the City of Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen, EGUSD Superintendent Christopher R. Hoffman and EGUSD School Board Member Nancy Chaires Espinoza rode Elk Grove transit to promote the fare-free for youth program called RydeFreeRT. They rode bus route E111 to get first-hand experience of how well the transit program works, and greet the students that were riding with goodie bags.
Thank you and stay safe and stay healthy,