Dear GUSD families,
The opening of school is just 12 days away. We are so excited for students and staff returning to school full-time and in-person! The first day of school for most students is August 18, 2021. Our GECA students began classes on August 5. Staff will return before the students in order to prepare for the new school year.
I want to share the safety protocols that will be in place as staff and students return to our campuses. These protocols are outlined on our website. It is essential that families review these protocols before school starts, especially because of the increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant. Our staff will review the protocols with students when they return to school.
On August 2, Public Health Officers from seven Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara County, issued a mandatory indoor mask mandate for all residents. The mandate aligns with the guidelines that K-12 schools were already following: that masks must be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status. Mask-wearing outdoors will be optional for staff and students while at school. Our principals are currently developing site-based protocols for when students and staff can take their masks off as students transition from indoors to outdoors and will communicate that to families directly. These protocols will vary a bit by level – elementary, middle and high school.
In my last Friday letter sent on July 23, I shared the good news that meals will be free for all students this school year, regardless of family income. Our cafeterias will be open and serving both hot and cold meals to all students. This year, rather than completing a meal application, we are asking families to complete a one-page form in English or Spanish which will help the district qualify for federal and state funds that are needed to provide a wide range of services to students.
We are working with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to schedule mobile vaccination clinics at four GUSD schools. Dates for these mobile clinics will be announced soon. I continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to consider getting vaccinated especially in light of the surge of COVID-19 cases happening right now. The more people vaccinated, the less likely that there will be outbreaks in our schools. Our goal is to remain open all year.
I have been asked if events like back-to-school night, kindergarten orientation, and high school registration, will be held in-person or virtually. Principals will communicate with families and staff at their schools about each of these events and others. When possible, school events will be held outdoors. Notices about all events will clearly state whether the event is virtual or live and if the event will be held indoors or outdoors.
At the beginning of the year, visitors and volunteers will not be allowed on campus. Should you need to visit the front office, please email or call for an appointment. We will continue to assess COVID-19 conditions and update you regarding these procedures in early October.
As the school year begins, I want to welcome everyone back to our campuses and wish you a great start to the school year!
Dr. Deborah A. Flores, Ph.D.
Gilroy Unified School District
- Reopening GUSD