Ventura County Public Health has developed aCOVID-19 and Schools Frequently Asked Questions document that answers questions such as "Is it mandated that a COVID case or contact stays home for a certain amount of time"?
If you are looking to see where we are with regard to our numbers in the County, we recommend using this Blueprint Metrics of Ventura County (3-13)
Plan for Handling Sick Persons
View our COVID-19 Scenario Chart for protocols when we have a person with COVID-19 symptoms or when a person has had close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.
- At each school, a CARE Area (COVID Appraisal, Response, & Evaluation) will be equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). All sick persons with potential COVID-19 symptoms will be evaluated in this area.
- The teacher will send students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to the CARE Area.
- Students and staff that present to the school health staff with a fever of 99.5 Fahrenheit (using a non-contact thermometer) or 100.3 Fahrenheit using (a regular thermometer) and a cough and/or shortness of breath and/or gastrointestinal illness will be considered a suspect COVID-19 case and referred for testing.
- For those students that do not have a usual source of health care, the school health staff will coordinate with the Ventura County Public Health (VCPH) to arrange for same-day testing.
- Only a small percentage of students and staff who have COVID-19 infection will fit the above description. School nurses and health technicians will identify any additional suspect cases to refer for testing.
- Students on home quarantine will be provided with distance learning options to continue their education.
- VCPH, SPUSD staff, and our families will be notified of a positive case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality as required by State and Federal laws.
- In consultation with VCPH, areas used by a person suspected of being infected with the virus will be evacuated, cleaned, and sanitized in accordance with standard disinfection procedures.
- A District liaison will contact VCPH to determine if class/school closure (partial or full) is required. Furthermore, it will be determined if the office or area where the person was based will be closed until disinfection can be completed and the occupants of those areas quarantined for 14 days.
- School district liaisons will work with VCPH on contact tracing for confirmed COVID-19 in a student, teacher, or staff member in SPUSD.
- Staff who have direct contact with students will be tested every two months, unless this guidance changes.
- Families will be notified by the school, through ParentSquare, if a student or the teacher in the classroom has tested positive for COVID-19. That communication will include further details on the next steps.
COVID-19 Testing and Reporting
The Santa Paula Unified School District will work with Ventura County Public Health when there is a suspected case of COVID-19. Students/staff will be referred out for testing at one of the many free testing facilities available in the County. For more information see our Testing and Reporting Chart.
Consideration for Partial or Total Closure
- School district liaisons will work with VCPH to coordinate the testing of large groups of staff and students, as needed.
- Any decision to close a portion of, or the entire school, would not be made without prior consultation with VCPH Depending on the facility's size and physical layout, current guidance dictates that when there are multiple cases in multiple areas at a school or when at least 5% of the total number of teachers/students/staff are COVID-19 positive, we close that site.
- VCPH may dictate that school closures are warranted for other reasons.
- The entire District may also be closed if 25% or more of the schools/facilities have closed due to positive COVID-19 cases within a 14 day period.
- In the event of a temporary closure of a classroom, portion of, or the entire school or District, parents/guardians would be immediately notified through ParentSquare and provided with options and instructions for distance learning.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Back to School Planning: Checklists to Guide Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers
For many families, school will look different this year than it has in previous years. Your school may offer virtual learning or have new policies and practices in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during in-person learning. Whatever the situation, these checklists are intended to help parents, guardians, and caregivers, plan and prepare for the upcoming school year.
Some of the changes in schools’ classroom attendance or structure may include:
- Cohorts: Dividing students and teachers into distinct groups that stay together throughout an entire school day during in-person classroom instruction. Schools may allow minimal or no interaction between cohorts (also sometimes referred to as pods).
- Hybrid: A mix of virtual learning and in-class learning. Hybrid options can apply a cohort approach to the in-class education provided.
- Virtual/at-home only: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.
Deciding between in-person and virtual learning?
See our decision tool to help you think through school re-entry and the choices that your child’s school is offering: Decision-Making Tool for Parents and Guardians
Planning for in-person classes
This school year will require schools and families to work together even more than before. Schools will be making changes to their policies and operations with several goals: supporting learning; providing important services, such as school meals, extended daycare, extracurricular activities, and social services; and limiting the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Teachers and staff can teach and encourage preventive behaviors at school. Likewise, it will be important for families to emphasize and model healthy behaviors at home and to talk to your children about changes to expect this school year. Even if your child resumes in-person learning at school, it is important to prepare for the possibility of virtual learning if school closes or if your child becomes exposed to COVID-19 and needs to stay home.
CDC has created a checklist to help with ongoing planning for the school year (SY) 2020-2021. If your school uses a hybrid model, you may want to review both the in-person and virtual/at-home learning checklists.
In-Person Learning Checklist (PDF version)
Planning for virtual or at-home learning
Virtual learning may be a choice or part of a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan for some children and families, and it may be necessary if your child has certain underlying health conditions or is immunocompromised. In a hybrid model, learning may occur virtually during part of the week and occur in-person for the rest. Virtual or at-home learning may pose additional challenges with staying connected to peers, since students may have less frequent or no in-person interactions to each other. You may want to talk to school staff to learn more about what they are doing to support connection among students, interactive learning with feedback, building resilience, and social-emotional wellbeing for students who will not be onsite. In addition, if your child receives speech, occupational, or physical therapy or other related services from the school, ask your school how these services will continue during virtual at-home learning. Likewise, if your child receives mental health or behavioral services (e.g., social skills training, counseling), ask your school how these services will continue during virtual at-home learning.
Virtual or At-Home Learning Checklist (PDF version)
Resources to navigate stress and uncertainty
Below are governmental and non-governmental resources that can help parents, guardians, and caregivers navigate stress and uncertainty and to build resilience for you and your children heading into the school year.
- CDC Stress and Coping During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- CDC Parent Portal
- CDC Children’s Mental Health
- Bullying Prevention Resourcesexternal icon
- Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs in Emergencies
Exit notification/disclaimer policy
- Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) SEL Resources and Guidelines for Educators, Parents, and Caregivers)external icon
- Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools Resources for Schools and Families Impacted by COVID-19external icon
- Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network)external icon
- Resources for Helping Kids and Parents Cope Amidst COVID-19 (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)external icon