District worked with public health experts and scientists to ensure schools are safe for students and staff
DAVIS, Calif. — (April 8, 2021): On Monday, April 12, Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) will welcome preschool through 12th grade students and staff back to its campuses for modified in-person learning—also known as “Phase 4” of DJUSD’s Return to Campus Plan. Students have been distance learning since March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are thrilled to reopen our school buildings to our students, educators, and staff,” said Dr. John Bowes, Superintendent of DJUSD. “Many in the school community have told us that they are eager for students to return to in-person instruction, and we are committed to ensuring that the health and safety of students and staff are top priorities as we reopen our campuses.”
The Phase 4 return to campus is being driven by the following factors:
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated K-12 school guidance for student distancing in classrooms from six to three feet.
- Consistent with California state legislation (SB 98), school districts must provide in-person learning “to the greatest extent possible.”
- A focus on a single model between April 12 and the end of the school year will provide stability on school campuses.
- COVID-19 case rates continue to decline in Yolo County
DJUSD has worked closely with Healthy Davis Together (HDT), a joint project between the City of Davis and the University of California-Davis, since January to support a safe return to school. With the partnership and input of HDT’s public health experts and scientists, DJUSD is implementing a range of health and safety protocols in schools, including the following:
- Offering free, asymptomatic COVID-19 testing for students and staff at school sites
- Conducting air filter and surface sampling as an early warning system to detect the virus
- Configuring classrooms to ensure at least three feet of physical distance between individuals, per CDC and CDPH guidelines
- Disinfecting classrooms and commonly used surfaces daily
- Equipping each classroom with a health center with masks, gloves, a handwashing station and informative health posters
- Installing air filters and purifiers in classrooms to increase air ventilation and trap virus particles
- Establishing a robust contact tracing and case investigation program to notify staff, students and families of a potential exposure
- Providing public health education in some classes at the high school level, as led by Aggie Public Health Ambassadors, a team of UC-Davis students
“Making our schools as safe as possible is a priority for the DJUSD Board of Education,” said DJUSD Board President Joe DiNunzio. “As a Trustee and a parent, I feel reassured by the measures the District has put in place to protect the well-being of students and staff.”
The District’s Phase 4 Return to Campus program offers in-person and Distance Learning instructional options for students. Of the District’s 8,200 students, 70% have elected to participate through in-person learning and 30% will participate through Distance Learning, with more students proportionally returning at the elementary level than the secondary. This model supports DJUSD’s plans to open the 2021-22 school year with a full day, in-person experience as well as a Distance Learning Academy.