Guiding Principles for Health and Safety
Students and staff will put safety first
Students and staff will follow social distancing guidelines of 6 feet apart
Students and staff will wear a mask at all times except to eat or drink
Students and staff will plan for frequent hand washing/sanitizing
Students and staff will use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) properly
Please view our video on health and safety procedures Health and Safety Video
Guiding Principles for Instruction:
Provide daily check ins between teacher and students
Maintain strong positive connections between students and their teachers and peers
Provide a combination of in-school instruction with fewer students and distance (online) learning
Ensure access to standards-aligned, differentiated, and culturally- and linguistically-sustaining curriculum
Provide rigorous teaching and learning that develops critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills
Family Engagement Unit
Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
805-696-2700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Educational Technology Services
Open Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for any technical issues
805-696-2700 or email email@example.com.
California introduced the Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework in August for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities, such as in-person school. There are four tiers contained in the framework. The two key metrics that determines moving between the tiers are the:
number of COVID positive cases in the county
percentage of positive test results for all of those who are tested in the 7-day period of time.
Those same metrics can be found on the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s current status webpage. The tier process does not mandate “in-person” or hybrid. Those are options schools/districts may consider and are often based on how schools can meet the guidelines (e.g., ability to maintain 6-feet distance, facilities preparedness, staffing)
Elementary schools returned to in-person learning on March 1, 2021. The Board of Education authorized secondary schools to return to in-person learning in the Red Tier.
- In Hybrid, can I attend classes or participate in activities in-person for part of my schedule or for a portion of the day?
- My child participates in a sport. Can they choose full distance learning and still participate in their sport?
- How will students who are unable to participate in in-person schooling (Group C) be taught via remote instruction by a District teacher?
- What will a student participating in in-person schooling do if he or she needs to quarantine?
- What happens to students if their in-person teacher has to quarantine or is absent ?
- Did you consider an AM/PM model in order to be able to afford students an opportunity to participate in in-person learning every day as opposed to just 2 days a week?
- Will it be possible for students to have daily teacher contact either via Zoom or in-person?
- Will our high school and junior high students still be Zooming when in person at school?
- On in-person school days, will students receive face-to-face instruction from a teacher?
- Will students have less instructional time with their teacher in the hybrid model than they do currently with distance learning?
- What’s the plan for installing additional patio tents to create more outdoor learning spaces?
- Can students/families who select to remain in distance learning change to in-person hybrid later in the year?
- Can my student switch from in-person to distance learning at a later date? Can they switch back?
- Will teachers have to teach on Zoom and in-person simultaneously?
- Will we still have an option for independent study?
- Will we be in hybrid for the rest of the school year?
- What happens in the winter when it is cold and there needs to be ventilation in classrooms?
We believe students derive the most benefit academically and social-emotionally from being at school in-person.
Students who chose 100% distance learning may participate in on-campus activities or events as appropriate.
Secondary students who chose full distance learning (Group C), will have the option to participate in co-and-extracurricular programs which take place during the final period of the day and after-school (athletics, clubs, performing arts).
Elementary students who are unable to return to in-person schooling (Group C) will continue in the distance learning model with daily instruction by a District teacher who may not be their current teacher.
The secondary model differs from the elementary model due to subject-specific credentialing requirements and the large number of different courses secondary students need to complete to fulfill a 4-year College/Career Plan. Students who are unable to return to in-person instruction (Group C) will remain enrolled in their regular courses and participate in those courses remotely.
Yes. Daily check-ins will support attendance-taking, a focus on social-emotional support and learning, classroom community building, and schedule reminders from the classroom teacher to each group.
In secondary grades, teachers may opt to extend whole-class sessions using Zoom as appropriate for their lesson.
In elementary, students will receive face-to-face in-person instruction by their teacher.
In the secondary model, students will receive face-to-face instruction from their teacher(s) on in-person days. There may be limited cases in which a teach-from-home teacher instructs students who are on campus as well as students at home.
The difference between these scenarios has to do with the fact that secondary class schedules are more complex. Students take multiple courses with distinct subject-specific credentialed teachers.
Actually, elementary students will have more total instructional time with the hybrid model, including daily check-ins with teachers and classmates, 2 full days of in-person instruction with their teacher, 2 days of online instruction which may include rotations from a specialized teacher and half day of online instruction with their teacher.
In secondary, students will continue to receive the same number of instructional minutes daily in the hybrid model as in the distance learning model. In the hybrid model, students will be able to receive in-person instruction from their teachers.
Tents have already been installed throughout our campuses. Additional tents have been ordered and will be delivered to school sites and will be utilized for instruction by teacher and/or classified staff when possible.
Some have asked if we could return to full in-person learning if we add sufficient outdoor learning spaces. Our main challenge with adding additional learning spaces is not creating the physical additional learning spaces, but in finding additional properly credentialed teachers to teach in those spaces.
To put this into perspective, the most recent analysis of what it would take to return to full in person with social distancing in place revealed that we would need to add an additional 143 learning spaces and 414 additional teachers, in addition to the 800 teachers we currently employ.
It will be expected that a portion of every class period involves a “live-streaming” connection (aka Zoom video-conferencing ), where teachers are simultaneously interacting with in-person students and with students at home. Teachers will have flexibility about the extent to which they utilize this option beyond the minimum that is required. This will vary depending on the daily lesson.
- Why can’t schools open using a full in-person learning model instead of a hybrid model?
- Will visitors be allowed on campus?
- How often will the classrooms be sanitized?
- Will my student have to wear a mask at school?
- What if my student has a medical reason for not wearing a mask?
- How will compliance with the requirements to wear face coverings be monitored and enforced?
- The pandemic has created increased concerns around student and family mental wellness. What resources and supports are available to families?
- How will compliance with the health guidelines be monitored in the classroom? How will the school uphold the requirement for sick children and staff to stay home when possibly exposed to COVID and/or symptomatic?
- What happens if a student or staff member is positive for Covid-19?
- What is the process and procedure for COVID testing? Who gets tested and how often?
- Why is the school district not installing plexiglass for every student desk?
Because of social distancing requirements and space available at our schools, it is not possible to return to a full in-person model until those requirements are lifted.
To return to full in-person learning with the social distancing requirement in place, we would need an additional 143 learning spaces and 414 additional teachers.
Students who are unable to wear a mask will be required to submit a medical exemption completed by their physician indicating that there is a medical reason that they are unable to wear a mask. Students who are exempt from wearing a mask will be asked to wear alternate forms of PPE such as face-shields with neck drapes.
We will begin with educating our students with the importance of mask-wearing, and then we move into enforcement of mask wearing.
All school staff will be helping to ensure that face coverings and healthy hygiene protocols are followed.
Schools have supplies of extra masks in the case a student has lost or forgotten at home.
Just as we do with any other student behavior concerns we will ask teachers to work with the student and family. If the behavior continues it will be elevated to a school administrator for support.
Santa Barbara Unified has an entire web page filled with resources, including groups for parents who are struggling during COVID-19.
Parents and teachers who wish to refer a student for mental wellness services should contact their principal in elementary school and their Dean or School Counselor in secondary.
The same way that teachers monitor health and safety guidelines throughout the school year, teachers and school staff will monitor and reinforce health guidelines
School nurses will track, isolate, and monitor illnesses daily. Data will be reported to the district's COVID-19 Task Force and to Santa Barbara County Public Health
School nurses will serve as liaisons between school sites and county Public Health
Dr. Frann Wageneck, Assistant, Superintendent of Student Services, is responsible for addressing concerns from the public at large
Families will receive notices of exposures and closures will maintain confidentiality
Students and staff who are symptomatic for COVID will be offered a COVID-19 test at no charge.
Our district will collaborate with Santa Barbara County Public Health when investigating workplace exposures to COVID-19. Our district nurses, who are registered nurses, will consult with Susan Klein Rothschild, of county Public Health, to determine next steps including:
Notifications of exposure and potential closures
All Santa Barbara Unified staff will participate in surveillance testing for COVID-19 on a regular schedule (approximately every two weeks.) If required by the state or federal government, students and staff will be regularly tested in keeping with government mandates. Testing will take place on district property or at home
There are any number of mitigating strategies that a school can use to protect students from Covid-19. We have chosen to mandate social distancing of 6ft to the greatest extent possible, mask-wearing at all times, and frequent hand-washing. Plexiglass is a method used most frequently when physical distancing of six feet is not possible. There are challenges with cleaning and disinfecting the partitions which played into our decision-making.
- Where can I get support with technology?
- Where can I get support with any non-technical questions I may have?
- Will bus service be available for student transportation?
Yes, both MTD and STA will offer service on regularly scheduled routes as well as MTD booster service. Seating capacity will also be limited to maintain social distancing and masks are required at all times. Currently it is free to ride MTD but fees may be applied in the future. Students should request their bus passes from their school sites.