Kindergarten and first grade students will return to MPSCD schools

by Parke Treadway on September 23, 2020

On September 23, 2020 the Menlo Park City School District became the first public school district in San Mateo County to have a waiver approved by the state. MPCSD will welcome its youngest learners in kindergarten and first grade back to campus on Monday, September 28, 2020 at Encinal Elementary, Laurel Elementary, and Oak Knoll Elementary Schools.

The School Board unanimously approved the submission of the waiver application at its September 10 regular meeting. MPCSD has also offered a completely virtual option to its families, the Virtual Academy, and families enrolled in that option will remain with distance learning even as the Hybrid model students return to their schools.

The District was well positioned to apply for the waiver, having developed a comprehensive Reopening Plan in August, based on health and safety protocols from California Department of Public Health and San Mateo County Health Department. The District follows the county’s Pandemic Recovery Framework’s Four Pillars for reopening: Health & Hygiene, Face Coverings, Physical Distancing, and Limiting Gatherings. The District’s strict health and safety protocols in many areas exceed the state and county requirements, most notably in requiring all students and staff to wear face coverings while at school, and a robust weekly staff COVID testing program in partnership with Stanford Health Care.

MPCSD looks forward to the next phase in its reopening as it simultaneously also plans for the effects of San Mateo County being moved yesterday into the Red Tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Should the data keep the county in the Red Tier for two weeks, schools in the county will be allowed to reopen in person for all grades without a waiver.

The School Board has scheduled a special meeting at 5:00 p.m. on October 1 to discuss how to proceed with further return of its students. The District is prepared to execute whatever decision the Board makes.

As always, MPCSD School Board meeting information, including the agenda and details for joining meetings via Zoom, is available 72 hours in advance of each meeting on the District’s website homepage.

InMenlo file photo (c) 2014

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