March 9, 2020
Dear AUSD Community,
As questions regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to increase, I am providing you with an update of our preparation for keeping schools, students, and employees safe. Currently, the situation for Albany Unified remains unchanged and we have not been asked to alter any of our operations at this time.
We are continuing to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and follow guidance from the Alameda County Public Health Department and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), along with Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE), and the California Department of Education.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Education (CDE) School Guidance on COVID-19 has outlined four (4) scenarios that should be considered by schools and districts in order to protect students, families, and staff. AUSD will follow this guidance closely, along with specific instructions we receive from public health authorities in these possible circumstances:
Scenario I: Measures already underway to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting our school environments, paying special attention to high traffic surfaces, including door knobs, water fountains, counters, chromebooks, etc;
- Continue to encourage frequent hand-washing and best-practice hygiene/protection throughout the school day;
and especially before and after recess, before and after lunch, and before and after snacks;
- Continue to encourage sick students and staff to stay home;
- Out of an abundance of caution, all field trips will be cancelled through Spring Break (April 10).
Scenario II: If there are community transmission cases of COVID-19, but no individuals within the school test positive.
AUSD will implement additional “social distancing” strategies when advised by public health officials.
We would work with schools and school-related organizations to cancel concerts, assemblies, athletic events, and other large group activities. Please note that at this time, the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) is not recommending any event cancellations.
Scenario III: If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19.
We may be guided by ACPHD to close a single school for a period of time. This decision would be made in close collaboration with public health officials, who would also guide the process to reopen the school safely and ensure the health and wellbeing of all staff, students, and community members. This decision, and more details, would be communicated to families and staff through established AUSD communications protocols.
Scenario IV: If multiple schools have a student or staff member test positive for COVID-19.
In this circumstance, we may be instructed to close multiple schools. We are actively developing alternative means of educating our students, should a long term solution be needed.
On behalf of our District and site leaders, and all of our AUSD staff, we thank you for taking proactive steps to keep sick students and staff home. We understand that this situation can cause disruptions to normal routines, but we are grateful for your understanding and partnership.
To the extent we receive new information that leads us to urgent action, we will notify you via the usual channels.
Frank Wells, Ed.D.
Albany Unified School District