Almondale Academy is following all the guidelines and mandates of the State of California
After extensive research and close consideration, we have decided that Almondale Academy will be reopening in the Fall. The rationale behind this decision is stated below:
Summary of the California Department of Public Health guidance on Covid-19.
(The original documents and links are posted below.)
Schools and school districts may reopen for in-person instruction at any time if they are located in a local health jurisdiction (LHJ) that has not been on the county monitoring list within the prior 14 days. The Dept. of Public Health has further stated that all stakeholders involved in the school should make the decision as to the type of educational delivery, be it distance learning, hybrid, or mixed-delivery model to ensure safety.** The agency also states that if the incidence of Covid cases are low, then according to guidelines, may reopen.
The Grounds for Almondale Academy Reopening
Orangevale is not on the county monitoring list, and it is also not one of the ‘unincorporated areas’ of Sacramento. (The link is below for the Sacramento County Dashboards.)
All of Almondale’s stakeholders voted to open the school full time based on the following facts.
- We are a small private school that will have a maximum of only 8-9 students per classroom with a maximum of 34-42 students on five acres of land. The public schools match this number for just one classroom. This forces the schools to have hybrid or mixed models to ensure social distancing.
- The rate of Covid cases is low. (see below for figures)
- We will follow the guidelines to ensure safety of the students
Note: The stakeholders of the public school districts voted for distance learning:
** “As teachers’ unions polled their staff, teachers overwhelmingly voted to continue distance learning through the fall as a safety precaution.” (Sacramento Bee, July 15, 2020)
We are following all the guidelines given by the CA Dept. of Public Health for reopening including all stipulations listed in the categories below: https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-schools.pdf
- Following the recommendations in the general measures of keeping abreast of latest Covid statistics, prevention plans, and training.
- Promoting healthy hygiene practices.
- Protocol of face masks including mandatory wearing of masks inside the classroom unless the parent objects to it.
- Ensure teacher and staff safety
- Intensifying cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation
- Implement distancing inside and outside classroom (outdoor classes when possible)
- Limit sharing
- Train all staff and educate families
- Check for signs and symptoms including daily temperature readings before drop-off.
- Plan for when a staff member, child, or visitor becomes sick.
- Maintain health operations
The figures in the table below support keeping Almondale Academy open:
Statistics from the Sacramento County Dashboads: (figures are updated weekly) https://www.saccounty.net/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx
|Area||Population||Number of Covid Cases||Percentage of Covid Cases to Population||Number of Deaths due to Covid||Percentage of Deaths to Covid Cases||Percentage of Deaths to Population|
|Sacramento Area||2.66 million||9,514||0.37%||126||1.3%||0.0048%|
**Percentages were calculated and rounded according to mathematical rules for rounding.
The above numbers come from the following sources:
- Local: Sacramento County Public Health Covid-19 Dashboards
- California: https://covid19.ca.gov/
- United States: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html
- Worldwide Statistics from World Health Organization on Covid-19: https://covid19.who.int/
References for Guidelines and Mandates for Schools
The COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Schools and School Based Programs
Released July 17, 2020
California public schools (traditional and charter), private schools (including nonpublic nonsectarian schools), school districts, and county offices of education, herein referred to as schools, will determine the most appropriate instructional model, taking into account the needs of their students and staff, and their available infrastructure. This guidance is not intended to prevent a school from adopting a distance learning, hybrid, or mixed-delivery instructional model to ensure safety. Schools are not required to seek out or receive approval from a state or local public health officer prior to adopting a distance-learning model. Implementation of this guidance will depend on local public health conditions, including those listed here. Communities meeting those criteria, such as lower incidence of COVID-19 and adequate preparedness, may implement the guidance described below as part of a phased reopening. All decisions about following this guidance should be made in collaboration with local health officials and other authorities. Implementation of this guidance should be tailored for each setting, including adequate consideration of instructional programs operating at each school site and the needs of students and families. School leaders should engage relevant stakeholders—including families, staff and labor partners in the school community—to formulate and implement plans that consider the following:
- Student, Family and Staff Population: Who are the student, family and staff populations who will be impacted by or can serve as partners in implementing any of the following measures?
- Ability to Implement or Adhere to Measures: Do staff, students and families have the tools, information, resources and ability to successfully adhere to or implement the new measures?
- Negative or Unintended Consequences: Are there any negative or unintended consequences to staff, students or families of implementing the measures and how can those consequences be mitigated?
This guidance is not intended to revoke or repeal any worker rights, either statutory, regulatory or collectively bargained, and is not exhaustive, as it does not include county health orders, nor is it a substitute for any existing safety and health-related regulatory requirements such as those of Cal/OSHA. Stay current on changes to public health guidance and state/local orders, as the COVID-19 situation continues.
State of California—Health and Human Services Agency California Dept. of Public Health
COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California
2020-2021 School Year July 17, 2020
California schools have been closed for in-person instruction since mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. School closures to in-person instruction were part of a broader set of recommendations intended to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. CDPH developed the following framework to support school communities as they decide when and how to implement in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. New evidence and data about COVID-19 transmission, including variations by age, and the effectiveness of disease control and mitigation strategies continues to emerge regularly. Recommendations regarding in-person school reopening and closure should be based on the available evidence as well state and local disease trends.
The CA School Sector Specific Guidelines, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC have published additional guidance on school re-entry.
In-Person Re-Opening Criteria
Schools and school districts may reopen for in-person instruction at any time if they are located in a local health jurisdiction (LHJ) that has not been on the county1 monitoring list within the prior 14 days.
If the LHJ has been on the monitoring list within the last 14 days, the school must conduct distance learning only, until their LHJ has been off the monitoring list for at least 14 days.
- School districts in LHJs that are cities are considered to be included as part of the county if the county is on the monitoring list.
- A waiver of this criteria may be granted by the local health officer for elementary schools to open for in-person instruction. A waiver may only be granted if one is requested by the superintendent (or equivalent for charter or private schools), in consultation with labor, parent and community organizations. Local health officers must review local community epidemiological data, consider other public health interventions, and consult with CDPH when considering a waiver request.