MHMS has made the decision to fully reopen for in-person learning on August 16, 2021.
In order to fully reopen, MHMS will follow the Covid-19 safety guidelines and requirements of:
1. The Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD)
2. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
3. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
The California Department of Public Health published its guidance for schools on July 12, 2021, for the 2021-22 academic year. School districts across the state must use this guidance and we are revising our plans accordingly. With that said, please keep in mind that as situations continue to come up and evolve, necessary adjustments will be made.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1.What are the learning options for the 2021-22 school year?
School will resume fully for in-person learning for all grades, Jr.K-8.
2. Will MHMS offer hybrid or remote learning options?
Not at this time. California Education Code requires students to be physically present in schools for the full academic year. The 2020-21 academic year was an exception to this rule; Senate Bill 98 (SB 98) was passed allowing schools to waive these requirements and create distance learning or hybrid schedules that did not meet the Education Code requirements. On June 30, 2021, the SB 98 expired and was not renewed.
3. What will be the maximum class sizes at MHMS for the 2021-22 academic year?
At MHMS, we pride ourselves in keeping class sizes much smaller than public and other private schools despite the additional expenses of hiring more staff and using more classrooms.
The maximum class sizes (student to adult ratio) will be as follows:
Jr.K = 12:1 / K: 13:1 / 1 = 22:1 / 2-5 = 24:1 / 6-8 = 24:1
4. Will there be physical distancing requirements in classrooms?
No. The CDC and CDPH guidance does not require any physical distancing requirements in classrooms or other spaces where students and staff are wearing masks.
Mission Hills Middle School has required masks to be worn since the return to school last year and will continue to require masks to be worn indoors, as required by the CDPH.
5. Will there be physical distancing of students during lunch? During recess?
Yes, during lunch. Lunch schedules will be staggered to minimize overlap of different grade levels and to maximize distance between students while eating, and to utilize outdoor spaces for lunch services as much as possible. Students will only be allowed to remove masks while eating snack or lunch.
NO, during recess; there will not be physical distancing required during recess as students will be outdoors and will be required to wear their masks.
6. Will middle school students be allowed to use lockers and get changed for PE?
Yes, students will be assigned lockers since lockers are outdoor and mask requirements will still continue between classes. Middle School students will get changed for PE inside locker rooms with their masks on.
7. How will classrooms/bathrooms/common areas be cleaned?
About 2-3 times daily (by MHMS staff during school and the custodial staff after school) which exceeds The CDPH requirements. The CDPH states that, “In general, cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove potential viruses that may be on surfaces. Disinfecting removes any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection.”
Also, all classrooms will be provided with disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer for staff and students to minimize the potential for the spread of pathogens. Hand washing time will be included in all grade level schedules.
8. Will classroom materials and equipment be shared?
Sharing of materials will be minimized as much as possible. MHMS Staff will be supplied with ample materials to minimize sharing (for Puma Trail, art, science experiments, etc.). School supply lists will require all students to bring their own personal daily school supplies (pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, etc.). Teachers will continue to have students wash and/or sanitize their hands regularly in the event materials may be shared.
9. Will registered students and school staff be required to be get their Covid-19 vaccinations?
No. There is no requirement that students and staff be vaccinated to come to school.
10. Will parents know which teachers and students are vaccinated?
No. There is no requirement for students or staff members to share their vaccination status. This information may be requested, but not required.
11. What will be the mask requirements?
Indoor: Masks will be required in all indoor spaces (unless eating is involved). The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires all students and staff to wear masks in classrooms and other indoor areas.
Outdoor: During recess, because students will not be physically distant, they will be required to wear masks (until further notice). During outdoor PE, since the activities may be more controlled, masks will not be required at all times.
12. How will mask-wearing be reinforced?
It will be just like any other school rule with similar consequences for not following the rule.
13. Will students and staff be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before/when they enter campus?
Not by school staff. All staff and students will be asked to self-screen for symptoms prior to coming to school..
14. What happens if a staff member or student gets sick during the school day?
Any student or staff member that gets sick during the school day will be sent home. The timeline for the student’s or staff member’s return to school will be based on the conditions that will be stated in our Covid-19 policies.
15. What happens if the MHMS Administration learns that somebody has tested positive for COVID-19?
Since schools first resumed for in-person learning last year after the mandated school closures, the MHMS Administration has diligently followed the Alameda County Public Health Department protocols and recommendations when there is a positive case reported. There are specific notification and quarantining protocols that are carefully followed.
16. What has MHMS done to prevent the spread of airborne pathogens in the classrooms?
MHMS leases its facility from the NHUSD. At this time, all of the classrooms have HVAC systems that provide outdoor air intake and filtration at recommended levels. All of these HVAC units will be set to run before and after school and completely replace the air in rooms 4 to 5 times an hour through MERV13 filters.
An HVAC audit was completed both by district staff and by an independent outside agency to ensure that our units can function at the optimal airflow exchange rates and that they can do so with the proper filters in place (MERV13). The HVAC units were inspected individually by the district staff to ensure that they are functioning properly and that they have properly installed MERV13 filters that can filter particles the size of the COVID-19 virus. These HVAC units will be operated in a manner recommended by the CDC that maximizes the intake of outside air into our classrooms.
Please note that mask wearing and outdoor air circulation (keeping doors & windows open) will also continue to be implemented to provide added safety.
17. Will gatherings such as assemblies, Back to School, open house, and other school events be allowed?
Although these events are not prohibited, MHMS will choose to hold some of these events remotely (via Zoom) when possible.
18. Will visitors and volunteers be allowed at school?
The CDPH states that, “Schools should limit nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations with people who are not fully vaccinated, particularly in areas where there is moderate-to-high COVID-19 community transmission.”
The MHMS Administration will not allow visitors and volunteers to spend time inside the classrooms, especially in a situation where they may not be physically distant from the students.