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Update November 6, 2020

Board Briefs and Updates: November 6

FCUSD Board Briefs and Updates:

At the Board meeting last night, Staff presented updated plans for Secondary schools to reopen in a Hybrid model. Two motions were made and Board approved

  1. The Board approved the recommended revised secondary A/B schedules that allow Concurrent Learning for in-person and distance learning students provided the staff optimizes the amount of in-person instruction time of the instructional day.
  2. The Board approved the date for all secondary schools continue to prepare to begin hybrid in-person/concurrent learning model on January 4.

What does this mean for the Middle School timeline?

Middle School Hybrid reopening date has been changed from November 30 to January 4, to match High School Hybrid reopening dates. The challenge to maintain student / teacher consistency for multiple subjects / teachers at the middle school level is being addressed with the purchase and installation of AV equipment in the classrooms. Enhanced AV projection and sound technology will allow multiple combinations of virtual and in-person direct instruction, called Concurrent Learning.

Concurrent Learning allows a teacher to teach in-person or virtually, with the same flexible access for students. The additional AV equipment in classrooms will also allow more features and flexibility should we receive orders from the state to pivot back to 100% Distance Learning.  

However, the installation of equipment and time for teachers to train on the new technology will take additional time. Commencing Middle School Hybrid reopening on January 4 will allow staff the opportunity to be best prepared for a successful experience for all of our Middle and High Schools.

Please note: Monday, January 4 will be the start for Middle and High School Hybrid Scheduling. Tuesday, January 5 will be the first day for students to return to campus for in-person instruction.

Attached is the staff presentation to the Board with working schedules for High School. These are not final schedules and continue to be refined by staff, with the collaboration of families, students and leadership.

Safety is the priority:

Just as we have prepared our Elementary campuses and classrooms for the safe return to campus in a Hybrid Model, we will prepare our Middle and High Schools to welcome back our secondary students in-person or in our Virtual Academy

ELEMENTARY HYBRID REOPENING

We are excited to see our elementary students returning to campus on November 12!  Want to see what your on-campus experience will look like? Please watch the video by clicking on the link below, demonstrating the safety measures in place at your school

Elementary: Welcome Back to Campus Safety Measures video

Families: Prior to you and your student arriving on campus, please make sure you’ve reviewed these documents to screen for COVID-19 symptoms:

LINK to Screening Tool

LINK to Decision Tree

IMPORTANT: We are stronger together so let’s continue to work to keep each other safe. Please remember to follow guidelines set forth by public health. Wash your hands, wear a face covering, and practice social distancing to avoid close contact.  

**Per CDC Guidance, “close contact” is defined as within 6 feet of an infected person (symptomatic or asymptomatic) for fifteen minutes.  

REMINDER: Elementary reopening timeline and information

November 9:  New Trimester / Hybrid Schedule Begins 

  • Monday, November 9:  Morning Meeting, Asynchronous Work  
  • Tuesday, November 10: Morning Meeting, Asynchronous Work  
  • Wednesday, November 11:  Holiday in honor of Veteran’s Day
  • Thursday, November 12: First day of class on campus for students returning to in-person instruction.

Special Education:

All special education elementary students will attend, according to the same AM/PM Hybrid schedule as students without IEPs. This is an important change to the previously proposed Hybrid schedule. Students using district transportation need to be scheduled in the PM Session.  

Other Information 

  • Transportation offered for Elementary PM session 
  • Lunches will be “Grab-n-Go” (Breakfast also where applicable)
  • Students will NOT each lunch on campus
    • Both AM and PM cohorts will pick up their pre-packaged meal after their on-campus day has concluded. 

Site visits of Elementary campuses from Sacramento County Public Health officials. SCPH medical professionals conducted a  walk-through of six elementary campuses to evaluate safety measures in place including entry and exit points, directional signage, handwashing and sanitization stations, and classroom set-ups with desk spacing and Plexiglass. To see what this looked like, please visit our Facebook gallery post here 

Elementary Waiver update: 

According to Sacramento County Public Health, Elementary Waivers are not applicable at this time, as schools can currently reopen under the county's Red Tier status, as long as safety guidelines are followed.

FAQ UPDATES:

Will all classrooms be fitted with Merv13 filters by the time students arrive?

Yes. Elementary classrooms will be completed by November 9.  Middle and High school classrooms will be completed by January 4.

What is the turnaround time for online requests from staff for PPE?

Orders received online will be processed for delivery in approximately one to two school days.

How will students clean and sanitize their hands?

All elementary school classrooms have sinks that are stocked with soap. Additionally, hand sanitization stations will be readily available throughout all campuses. All classroom and offices will also be supplied with hand sanitizer

Will elementary schools and classrooms be ready with safety measures, PPE, sanitization measures for November 12 when students arrive?

Yes. All HVAC retrofits, PPE, safety equipment, and signage on site will be in place and ready for in-person learning on November 12.

When will middle and high school classrooms be ready with the same safety measures?

All Middle and High school classrooms will meet the same safety standards as put forth by public health, including the additional retrofit, cleaning and installation of Merv13 filters in the HVAC systems by the date students arrive on campus. 

What does Concurrent Learning look like for A/B Secondary Hybrid?

Student population would be divided into two Tracks, A and B: 

  • Students on Track A will attend classes Tuesday & Wednesday. While they are physically in class, students on Track B and students who are 100% distance learning are attending class virtually.
  • Students on Track B will attend classes Thursday & Friday. While they are physically in the class, students on Track A, and students who are 100% distance learning are attending class virtually.

What more can you tell me about the safety and effectiveness of your NEW solution?

NEW stands for Neutral Electrolyzed Water and is a HOCI (hypochlorous acid). FCUSD started piloting the use of on-site generated HOCl (hypochlorous acid) in 2018 because of its effectiveness as a disinfectant and it’s low toxicity. The use of toxic chemicals is a key concern in schools, especially for medically fragile and pre-school thru 2nd grade age children. This is what drove the enactment of California’s Healthy Schools Act in 2000. The low toxicity of HOCl allows for much more efficient and effective disinfection methods like misting/fogging. FCUSD deployed HOCl generation and misting equipment in 2018 as part of a “Rapid Response Protocol” for quickly disinfecting schools during flu outbreaks or exposure to serious pathogens like Cdiff, norovirus, hand foot & mouth disease and others. When SARS-CoV-2 started showing up in the U.S. there were NO disinfectant products with kill claims against the new virus because there were no studies to provide data to support kill claims. In order to provide disinfectant guidance, the EPA developed the List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 using the criteria below.

EPA expects the products on List N to kill SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 because they:

  • Demonstrate efficacy against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19);
  • Demonstrate efficacy against a pathogen that is harder to kill than SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); or
  • Demonstrate efficacy against a different human coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

The EPA’s List N has numerous products on it with HOCl as their active ingredient. The EPA expects these HOCl based products to kill SARS-CoV-2 because they met 2 of the 3 criteria set by the EPA. On March 31, 2020, the EPA issued a news release that relaxed regulations on the use of several active ingredients to give manufacturers greater flexibility to meet the growing demand for products to combat the SARS-CoV-2 virus. HOCl was one of the active ingredients on that list.       

The CDC guidance for disinfecting specifically mentions the use of a bleach solution for killing SARS-CoV-2. Both bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and HOCl are chlorine-based disinfectants with similar kill mechanisms. HOCl has long been known to be the most powerful form of chlorine-based disinfectant, 80-100 times more effective than bleach.

The downside of HOCl disinfectant traditionally has been its limited shelf life. The explosion of companies developing on-site generation technology to create HOCl solution in recent years has enabled much more widespread use of HOCl disinfectants. This has fueled the adoption of HOCl solutions, which check off most of the major qualities of a perfect disinfectant: effective kill, quick dwell times, non-toxic, non-flammable, cost-effective. Many studies have also shown HOCL to be effective at reducing and preventing biofilm formation, which is a key factor impacting kill rates, dwell time of disinfectants, and overall cleanliness of surfaces down to the microscopic level.

ChlorKing is still in the EPA registration process, as are numerous other companies making HOCl based products. The EPA has granted ChlorKing an “establishment number” (82229-GA-001) allowing the production and use of electrolyzed water that is produced on-site. The HYPOGEN Technical Information document found on the ChlorKing website contains further detail in the Regulatory section 7.0.