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Welcome Back to School after Winter Break Message from Superintendent
Posted 1/3/22

Dear Mt. Diablo Unified School District Families and Staff,

I hope you are enjoying winter break and have been able to spend time with your loved ones during this time away from school.

MDUSD plans to return from winter break to in-person learning as scheduled on Wednesday, January 5. We are, however, carefully monitoring the situation, preparing for every scenario and will provide you with updates as they become available.
 
In preparation to return to school on Wednesday, I know that many of you have questions about student and staff safety. As we have throughout the pandemic, MDUSD will continue to follow guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) in order to make decisions that support the health and safety of our students, families and staff.  You can review our layered safety mitigation plans and protocols on our COVID-19 Information website.

At this point, it is not yet clear that the December 27, 2021, Center for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) and the “CDC-adopted” December 30, 2021, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) 5-day quarantine timeline in California for the “general public” applies to students or K-12 schools. We hope to have additional information from the CDHP on this soon.
 
In addition to the free at-home antigen tests we already distributed to students and staff before the winter break, we have received more (students only) at-home tests that we will distribute free to students on Tuesday, January 4, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on a drive-through basis via the driveway between Monte Gardens Elementary and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District office located at 1936 Carlotta Dr., Concord. Please look for signs and staff directing traffic and do not park in the District Office or Monte Gardens parking lots. After Tuesday, students may pick up a test at their school site when they return on Wednesday, January 5.

While we are grateful that the state has increased the availability of at-home testing kits recently for schools, these kits are not as reliable as “lab-based” antigen or PCR tests.  However, if you have an at-home testing kit that was previously provided from the state program, we encourage you to use that kit today, Monday, January 3rd, and again on Tuesday, January 4th. Please refer to this fact sheet in English and Spanish for more information about how to use the at-home tests. You can also watch this video:

A Spanish video is here.
 
If you or anyone shows symptoms of COVID, I would encourage you to also make an appointment (due to current demand) at one of the local state and county sites, or go to one of our district PCR testing sites that are reopening this week to confirm the accuracy of any at-home test kit results. See a list of MDUSD testing site locations and times on our COVID-19 Testing website. Please note that PCR tests are administered on-site and are NOT take-home rapid antigen tests. A list of community-wide testing sites can also be found on the Contra Costa County Health Services website at  https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-tested.
 
Additionally, vaccinations are now available for individuals ages five years and older. Individuals ages 12 and older are eligible for boosters. See a list of vaccine clinic locations and times on the county’s https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/get-vaccinated website. Please keep in mind that if your child returns to school and is “exposed” to COVID-19 on campus, they may continue to attend school on a “modified” quarantine as long as they were wearing a mask correctly at school, they do not show symptoms, they do not have any household members with COVID, and they are tested immediately after exposure and on the 5th day after exposure (and that you provide these results to the school site).

Please, as always, monitor your child for symptoms. If COVID-19 symptoms appear in any scenario, your child must be isolated immediately. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If your child starts to feel sick, please contact your healthcare provider and let them know if your child has had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Please contact the school immediately if you/your child shows symptoms, becomes ill, or later tests positive. If your child will be out of school due to COVID-19 for more than three days, please request that their teacher/s create an independent study packet (for 3 to 14 days). It will take all of us working together to ensure a safe and healthy return from winter break. Here are a few ways we can all help support the health and safety of students and staff in our schools:  

  • If you are experiencing COVID 19 symptoms, please stay home and get tested. Contact your child’s school; 
  • Get vaccinated, including a booster shot; 
  • Avoid large gatherings;
  • Continue to wash your hands regularly;
  • Wear masks properly;
  • Maintain a social distance from others.

We will continue to keep our schools open for all students. If we receive guidance from CDPH or CCHS to do something different, we will communicate that to you immediately. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Adam Clark, Ed.D.
Superintendent