St. Joachim School Reopening Plan

Effective Opening Date, November 2, 2020

The health and safety of our students, staff, and families are our highest priorities. We have developed St. Joachim School’s return to in-person instruction plans based on guidance from local and state public health officials. This healthy and safety plan will be updated as the situation and county health orders evolve.


CDC: Back to School Strategies and Tips


Cleaning & Disinfecting

St. Joachim School will adhere to the disinfection guidelines developed by the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for classrooms, workspaces, outdoor spaces, playgrounds, etc. Prior to returning to in-person instruction, the school will receive a deep cleaning. This entire building will be disinfected, including classrooms. Electrostatic spraying method using the “N” level of sanitizing chemical per the CDC requirements completed as part of this process. This is the highest level of cleaning, combining the cleaning and disinfecting into one product.


Daily janitorial service will occur on school days after school hours to ensure that each day will start with newly sanitized classrooms and common areas. There will be daily cleaning and disinfecting of high touch hard surfaces (e.g., tables, desks, chairs, door handles, light switches, phones, copy/fax machines, bathroom surfaces (toilets, countertops, faucets), drinking fountains, and playground equipment) and shared objects (toys, games, art supplies, books) pursuant to CDC guidance.


Bathrooms will be used by only one cohort at a time. There is clear signage with sanitation products for staff to use after each time they use one of the dedicated staff bathrooms.


The sharing of supplies between students will be limited. Each child will have a set of their own materials to use throughout the day, to mitigate risk of infection within each cohort group. For materials/items that are shared), children will sanitize their hands first, the teacher will sanitize the item(s) after they are done and sanitize the child(ren)’s hands again as well.


Cleaning and Disinfecting Video


Cohorts (Updated 01/19/2021)

St. Joachim School will open in a hybrid model, welcoming kindergartners daily, and grades 1st through 8th on a schedule as follows: Grades 1, 3, 5, and 7 on Mondays and Tuesdays and alternating Wednesdays and grades 2, 4, 6, and 8 on Thursdays and Fridays and alternating Wednesdays. All students will remain with their own classes, a stable cohort, throughout the school day. Each stable cohort represents a group of students and staff members that will stay together through the course of a day to eliminate or limit the mixing of students and staff in classes or congregate settings. The number of students per cohort is based on room size and configuration to maintain physical distancing requirements between students and between adults and students. Our cohort sizes by class (2 cohorts per grade level) are as follows:


  • TK: N/A
  • K: 13/17
  • 1st Grade: 18/18
  • 2nd Grade: 18/18
  • 3rd Grade: 18/18
  • 4th Grade: 18/18
  • 5th Grade: 18/18
  • 6th Grade: 18/18
  • 7th Grade: 18/18
  • 8th Grade: 18/18


These cohorts will not physically interact with each other to minimize exposure. Lunch and recesses will be staggered and classes (cohorts) will not share play areas or play equipment.


Physical Distancing

Physical distancing is an effective way to prevent potential infection. Employees, students, parents, and visitors will practice staying the recommended distance from others and eliminating contact with others whenever possible. Student desks will be placed four (4) to six (6) feet apart or more to promote physical distancing where practicable. Markings on classroom floors will identify traffic flow in the classrooms. Taped floor markings will identify walking directions throughout the campus in order to maintain physical distancing requirements. Nonessential, informal meetups, and ad-hoc gatherings will be avoided. We will also stagger lunchtimes and recesses and other transition times as needed.


Social Distancing Videos


Entrance, Egress, and Movement Within the School

For the safety of the children and staff, as well as our families, parent volunteers will be strictly limited and parent presence on campus will be extremely limited.


Anyone entering the school campus must comply with the applicable county COVID-19 requirements. Failure to comply is a violation of law. Unless specifically exempted by the applicable county health guideline, anyone entering the school campus must wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) covering his/her nose and mouth. The school will limit visitors to those visits essential for the school’s operations and limit the duration of time a visitor shall be on campus.


No parent, guardian, student, employee or visitors shall enter the school premises if that person has: (a) received a positive test result for COVID-19; (b) has sought medical treatment for COVID-19 symptoms; (c) is quarantined or self-quarantined because of COVID-19, whether diagnosed or not; or (d) has a temperature of 100 or greater. In all such cases, the person shall not enter the campus without obtaining written medical clearance and providing it to the school principal.


All families must follow the carpool cones for drop-off /pick-up protocols. Parents will not be permitted to enter the building during drop-off or pick-up. Staff will monitor arrival and dismissal to curtail congregating and ensure students go straight from their carpool vehicle to the school building, and vice versa. All students will remain in their cohort during the drop off and pick up period of the day.


6 feet of spacing markings will be placed throughout the campus to remind students and staff to always stay 6 feet apart in lines and at other times they may congregate (e.g., during lunch, arrival and dismissal, restrooms, locker rooms, etc.).


Outside food delivery (e.g. Parent Food Delivery, Door Dash, Uber Eats, etc.) will not be permitted.


Signage will be posted in high visibility areas (entrances, parking lot, playground, classrooms, hallways and bathrooms) to remind students and staff:

  • When and where face coverings are required
  • Appropriate use of face coverings
  • Physical distancing expectations
  • Traffic flow
  • Proper techniques for handwashing
  • Covering of coughs and sneezes and other prevention measures
  • At entrances instructing students, staff, and visitors not to enter campus if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, recent loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.


Face Coverings and other Essential Protective Gear

All guests, parents, and visitors will be required to wear face-covering whenever on-campus visiting the office. Faculty/staff will wear cloth face covering while on campus, except while eating or drinking and when physical distancing is possible. Cloth covering around the neck can be worn under the face shield as needed. Face coverings will be provided to students and staff who lose their face coverings or forget to bring them to school. Everyone will be required to wear cloth face coverings when 4 – 6 feet physical distancing is not feasible:

  • while arriving and departing from school campus;
  • in any area outside of the classroom (except when eating, drinking, or engaging in physical activity)


Masks should fit snugly on the face while covering both the nose and mouth. Please note the following:

  • Surgical masks may be used, but fabric masks are encouraged.
  • Bandannas and neck gaiters are not acceptable options as masks.
  • N95 masks are not recommended for general use on campus.
  • Masks with valves attached to them are not permitted, as the valves increase the number of respiratory droplets released into the air.


2 years old – 2nd grade Strongly encouraged

3rd grade – High School Yes, unless exempt


Mask Wearing


Health Screenings for Students and Staff

St. Joachim School will require parents, guardians, students and employees to answer basic health screening questions related to COVID-19 symptoms before coming to school. A list of COVID-19 symptoms (a cough;  Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; A fever of 100.4°F or higher or a sense of having a fever; A sore throat; Chills; New loss of taste or smell; Muscle or body aches; Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea; Congestion/running nose – not related to seasonal allergies; Unusual fatigue) and a self-checker is available on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website. Further, once present at school, if an employee, student or visitor exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, the school may conduct health screening and isolate the person, consistent with county guidelines. (No medical testing, blood or saliva draw will be performed.)


Anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days (exposure means within 4-6 feet for 15-minutes or longer), has COVID-19 symptoms, or who is not feeling well will not be permitted on our campus. Students and staff will also conduct self-checks for symptoms throughout the day. Those who develop signs and symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home.


All parents, guardians, students and employees must immediately notify the school principal if a student or employee has come into contact (through living arrangements or otherwise) with any person that has: (a) received a positive test result for COVID-19; (b) has sought medical treatment for COVID-19 symptoms; or (c) is quarantined or self- quarantined because of COVID-19, whether diagnosed or not. In any of these situations, the person will not be allowed on school property, until the minimum county isolation/quarantine requirements have been met.


Any student or staff member with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis will be required to isolate at home until 10 days have passed since symptoms appeared and at least 24 hours have passed without a fever and their symptoms have improved.


CDC: Back to School Strategies and Tips


Healthy Hygiene Practices

Students will move with their cohort at scheduled times for bathroom visits. Teachers and staff will accompany students to and from their designated locations to ensure cohorts remain secure, and disinfect restroom high touch areas after use.


Teachers will reinforce with students the importance of using tissues to wipe their nose and to cough/sneeze inside a tissue or in their elbow. Teachers, staff and students will also be reminded daily to wash their hands before and after eating; after coughing or sneezing; after being outside; and before and after using the restroom. Students and staff will be required to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap, rubbing thoroughly after application, and use paper towels (or single use cloth towels) to dry hands thoroughly. Teachers and staff will model and practice proper handwashing with students as needed. Where soap and water are not readily available, staff and students are to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Children under the age of 9 will be supervised by an adult whenever using hand sanitizer.


Hand Washing Videos from the CDC

If a student should become ill while at school and is showing COVID-19 symptoms, the student’s parent or guardian will be contacted and notified of the situation. Parents will then have to immediately pick up the student. Contact will be made by phone, with follow up text or email. The parent or guardian will be directed not enter the campus and pick up the student curbside. The employee who accompanies the potentially ill student, will wear PPE, including but not limited to mask and gloves. Our staff will advise the parent and/or guardian to contact the student’s physician and for the student to get tested, isolate in their home or another residence, and refrain from going out in public, except for medical care.  The student will remain out of school pending test results. Parents will be directed to the following Alameda County Public Health Department website containing information about local testing sites: Alameda County COVID-19 Testing.


If a student, teacher or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 and had exposed others at the school, St. Joachim School will implement the following steps:

  • In consultation with the local public health department, our staff will ensure cleaning and quarantine of exposed persons and whether any additional intervention is warranted, including the length of time necessary, based on the risk level within the specific community as determined by the local public health officer.
  • The classroom or office where the patient was based will be closed off for use until the area is cleaned and disinfected.
  • We will wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting.
  • If 24 hours is not feasible, we will wait at least two hours and as long as possible.
  • Additional areas of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual will also be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Implement communication plans for exposure at school which includes outreach to students, parents, teachers, staff and the community.


Identification and Tracing of Contacts

St. Joachim School will follow Cal-OSHA reporting and recording instructions for all employees as well as reporting any positive Covid-19 cases to the corresponding County Health Department. St. Joachim School will cooperate with state and local health departments’ contact tracing protocols. Our designated COVID-19 Contact Tracers are staff members Teresa Galvan and Bertha Gomez. They will follow county recommendations for contact tracing.  Information on contact tracing can be found here: COVID-19 Contact Tracing


The contact tracing process will immediately commence if and when a COVID-19 positive case occurs. Our contact tracers will assist public health departments in knowing who may have had contact at a school with a confirmed case by:


  • Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members;
  • Ensuring student schedules are up to date;
  • Keeping a log of any visitors, including date, time and where in the school they visited;
  • Assisting local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual at school; and
  • Maintaining confidentiality as required by federal and state laws and regulations.


If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 or has come in close contact with someone who tested positive, s/he will inform the school’s designated COVID-19 Contact Tracers, who in turn notify Alameda County Health Officials using this form: Notification to ACPHD


St. Joachim School will also notify others who have been in “close contact” with the affected individual. Close contact” is defined by the CDC as being within six feet for a period of at least 15 minutes, although this standard is not absolute.


If anyone in a staff member’s, or student’s, family, or someone they have been within 6 ft of for more than 15 minutes, and is exhibiting distinctive symptoms of COVID-19 (fever above 100, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, cough), the staff member or student will be required to stay home for 72 hours for observation or until a negative COVID-19 test is produced. Co-workers who may have had contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, will be informed by St. Joachim School and it will be recommended they get COVID-19 testing and self-isolate.


Instructions on isolation and quarantine procedures for Alameda County can be found at:

Home Quarantine Guidance for Close Contacts to COVID-19

Home Isolation Instructions for People COVID19 and People Awaiting COVID-19 Test Results


In accordance with an individual’s right to medical privacy, St. Joachim School will never disclose an infected person’s name. An affected employee will be asked to follow his/her medical provider’s instructions and the recommended quarantine/isolation instructions per the corresponding County Health Department prior to returning to the school campus. Similar protocols will be followed for students.


CDC: Back to School Strategies and Tips


Staff Training & Family Education

All faculty/staff will be required to participate in a training session regarding the requirements and practices contained in this document, including education on the prevention and spread of COVID-19. During this training, clear expectations will be communicated to staff including: (a) monitoring and assessing students for COVID-19 symptoms; (b) monitoring students to maintain social distancing and wearing PPE, consistent with county health requirements; (c) cleaning and disinfecting of the school premises, including classrooms, bathrooms and common areas.


Protected time will be allocated at each week’s faculty/staff meeting to ensure everyone is aware of updates and changes to our COVID response procedures and safety protocols, as needed. Ongoing training will also be provided as new COVID-19 updates are made available. All school families will be provided a copy of this document, as well as CDC’s publication, How to Protect Yourself and Others – COVID-19.


Teachers will educate students on the importance of healthy hygiene practices, understanding and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 and physical distancing.


Testing of Staff

COVID-19 testing is a key strategy in reopening schools safely. A minimum of 25% of our staff will be tested every two weeks and 100% of our staff will be tested once within a 2 month period, throughout the year. A master schedule will be created to monitor staff testing.


St. Joachim School has established an MOU with Unilab Corporation dba Quest Diagnostics to perform all COVID-19 testing. Business location is 3714 Northgate Blvd. Sacramento, California 95834. Quest Diagnostics can be reached by phone at 916-927-9900 or email at [email protected].  Additional information as follows:


CLIA #: 05D0644209

License to process Covid tests: – No COVID-19 testing licensure is required in California

CDPH License Expiration Date: 03/26/2021

Days to turn-around testing results: 3 day turn-around


We have arranged with Quest Diagnostics to provide testing services to all faculty and staff in accordance with county requirements. Formal MOU to follow.

Any student or staff member with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis will be required to isolate at home until 10 days have passed since symptoms appeared and at least 24 hours have passed without a fever and their symptoms have improved.


Employees/students with a positive test result and symptoms who are directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue home isolation when at least 24 hours have passed since recovery. Recovery is defined as no fever without the aid of fever reducing medication as well as improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath), and at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared. Alameda County’s instructions on isolation and quarantine procedures can be found at:


Communication Plan

Open communication is key to our success and is important for keeping St. Joachim School healthy. The weekly school newsletter will include a health/safety section that will house ongoing reminders for personal protection equipment, removing personal belongings and the importance of washing hands and good hygiene.


Employees who had “close contact” with a person confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19 will be notified. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within six feet for a period of at least 15 minutes from two days before the testing until meeting the criteria for discontinuation of home isolation.  However, this standard of “close contact” is not absolute and can vary depending on the circumstances. The staff notification letter will be based on the template provided by Alameda County: Alameda County Template Letter to Staff


The parents or guardians of students who had “close contact” with a person confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19 will be notified. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within six feet for a period of at least 15 minutes from two days before the testing until meeting the criteria for discontinuation of home isolation. However, this standard of “close contact” is not absolute and can vary depending on the circumstances.  The staff notification letter will be based on the template provided by Alameda County: Alameda County Template Letter to Parents/Guardians


St. Joachim School will adhere to CDC, CHD, ACPHD, FERPA and HIPAA guidelines when communicating with staff and families about confirmed positive cases and high-risk exposures at the school (consistent with privacy requirements). These communications will be made via email and mass texting using School Messenger and SchoolSpeak. Schoolwide meetings will also be called for schoolwide exposure and cohort meetings for isolated cohort exposure.


Triggers for Switching to Distance Learning

St. Joachim School will follow the metrics established by the California Department of Public Health for closing again and returning to distance learning due to COVID-19. These metrics are as follows:

  • 5% of students and teachers in a classroom test positive for the virus, the classroom

would be closed, followed by 14 days of quarantine.

  • 5% positive testing rate of total students and teachers, the entire school would have to close, with everyone subject to 14 days of quarantine.


The state, county and/or the Local Health Officer may also determine school closure is warranted for other reasons, including results from public health investigation or other local epidemiological data.


Key Constituent Consultation

While we do not have a labor organization like the public schools’ teacher union, we have consulted with faculty and staff in the decision-making process for the waiver. Based on this consultation, faculty and staff are supportive of applying for a waiver option for St. Joachim School. This process has included several staff meetings to discuss the implications of the waiver process and multiple opportunities provided for staff input.


St. Joachim School has the approval our pastor, and governing authority, Fr. Joseph Sebastian as well as the school board to proceed with the waiver application process and reopening plan. An entire school board meeting held on September 16, 2020 was devoted to the topic of reopening and the waiver application process. At the end of this consultative process there was 100% support to complete the waiver application process. In addition, several communications with school families regarding this waiver process and the information contained therein has been distributed.

For more information on this documentation, please reference the Google Docs version of this document.

St. Joachim Catholic School