COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
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District School Closure
When will schools be closed?
The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE), with the full support of Sacramento County Public Health (SCPH), announced that the closure period for schools will be extended through the end of our academic year on June 11, 2020 as part of the effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
What is the focus of your distance learning plan?
Our distance learning plan focuses on essential standards. These essential standards serve as the building blocks that our students need to reach grade level proficiency.
The following principles are the foundation of our distance learning plan for all grades:
- Clear guidelines, not qualifiers — Standardized expectations for teachers and students ensure an equitable and high-quality education for all of our students.
- A focus on essential standards — Our focus is on the crucial standards that students must master to be successful and would have been taught from March 13 to the end of the semester. These standards will build on skills students have already mastered and will prepare them to be successful with future content.
- Consistent schedules for students — Structure is comforting, especially when our environment is uncertain. Parents and students will know when instruction on core content, reminders, interaction with teachers, and even recess, will be available. We will provide activities for family art, physical movement ideas, and social and emotional activities for self-care.
- Communication with families and availability to students — Students will be provided schedules with times to communicate with and interact with their teachers. Teachers will check their email regularly and communicate consistently with their students.
- Scheduled teacher collaboration — Teachers will collaborate to share best practices and support one another in distance learning.
- Accessibility for all students — Our district will use an accessible and adaptable curriculum, we will continue IEP coordination and meetings, continue specialized services, and ensure that every effort meets the needs of all students.
- Support for students’ social and emotional needs — These are uncertain times for our students, and they need us now more than ever. We want to provide students with the support they need to persevere through this challenge. Our counselors, social workers, nurses, psychologists, and others are available to help guide them through.
- Grading — Distance learning is a shift for our students. We do not want to create unneeded anxiety surrounding our students’ grades. Under our plan, students will not receive a lesser grade than their current grade (as of March 13, 2020) as a result of engaging in distance learning during this unprecedented crisis.
Will the district be providing computers to students in need?
April 29 was the final computer distribution day for all K-12 students who needed one. Computers were also distributed on April 3, 10, 11, 17 and 22 to our students.
If you are a Sac City Unified student who still needs a computer, please contact your principal.
We will distribute one (1) computer per student who needs one. Students should pick up the computer from their school of enrollment.
Do you have free student learning resources available during the closures?
We recognize this a difficult time for the Sac City Unified community. We thank you for your patience as we navigate through this health crisis together. We share our community’s deep concern for student learning and have collected some of the very best, free online learning options to support our students to continue their learning remotely.
This is also a great time for students to do independent reading.
Students in Sacramento will have access to educational programming that supports standards-based learning while schools are closed to mitigate spread of Coronavirus. From 6:00 am – 6:00 pm, KVIE, the region’s PBS station will offer CA standards aligned content for students in grades Pre-K through 12 on its KVIE2 channel.
Visit KVIE’s At-Home Learning Webpage for more information.
Where can I pick up free meals for my student(s)?
Beginning on Monday, April 20, we are making the following changes:
- Reducing meal service days from five (5) to four (4) days, to Monday through Thursday (two meals provided on Thursdays).
- Changing meal times to 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Students can pick up their breakfast and lunch, and now, a snack, during the morning pick-up hours. We will no longer offer an evening pick-up time.
- To ensure equity and access for all students in need of a meal, we are implementing a limit of meals to eight children per vehicle.
How will the school closures affect the Class of 2020?
As a graduating senior, we understand you have many questions about the COVID-19 crisis and how it will affect you. We will do our best to provide you with timely information. We will be updating our Resources for the Class of 2020 website on a frequent basis.
Where can I find information about Virtual Graduation ceremonies?
Visit our 2020 Virtual Graduation Ceremony page to see the list of Virtual Graduation Ceremonies, where to watch them and frequently asked questions about the events.
What will the district do during the closure to disrupt the spread of COVID-19?
The closure will allow the District to do the following:
- Conduct deep cleaning and restock cleaning supplies
- Disinfect all school campuses
- Ensure all classrooms have essential supplies
- Continue to ensure adequate hand washing supplies are available
- Establish protocols regarding school events, field trips, and other gatherings
- Conduct discussions with labor partners to keep staff safe
- Provide staff training on prevention and mitigation measures (i.e. handwashing, sick protocols)
Well-being & Community Resources
Where can I find childcare during the closures?
- YMCA’s Emergency Childcare Sites – priority is being given to medical staff and first responder’s families to keep them working
- Essential Worker Childcare program – for first responders, health care workers and essential City of Sacramento employees. The program is for children ages 5-12.
Do you need help with disaster relief (physical & mental health resources, meals, utilities, phone/internet or job benefits)?
Sacramento County Public Health Hotline
Sacramento County Public Health has a COVID-19 hotline available at (916) 875-2400 for Sacramento County residents.
Mental Health Crisis/Emergency
- SAMHSA – Disaster Distress Helpline: (800) 985-5990; 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.
- Sacramento County Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline: 24hrs/7days; (916) 368-3111
- Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741
- The Source: crisis support for youth under 21 & their caregivers. Call or text 916-SUPPORT (787-7678); 24hrs/7days
- Mental Health Urgent Care: (916) 520-2460
- Sacramento Crisis Nursery: (800) 780-2294
- Family Justice Center: (916) 875-4673
- Community for Peace: (916) 728-7210
- WEAVE: (916) 920-2952
- Affordable Counseling
Health Insurance Navigation or Coverage
- Engage Sac
- SCUSD – Free Meals
- Food Bank -
- Expensify.org/hunger - with its ability to reimburse volunteers directly in real-time, expensify.org is uniquely positioned to help families in need immediately. They are matching SNAP grocery purchases up to $50 per family.
- Chevy’s Fresh Mex - offering free meals for kids 12 & under
- Kiki’s Chicken Place – offering free meals to grades K-8
- Food Literacy Center – free online cooking classes
- Comcast has made all XFinity Wifi Hotspots across the country open and free. Many of these hotspots are in neighborhoods and might be accessible from your home.
- If you experience difficulty accessing the link above, please see other reduced cost internet access options.
Job Benefits/Leave Information
- California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Employment Page
- Benefits to Workers Impacted by COVID-19
- Unemployment Insurance for Lost Hours/Pay/Wages
- Paid Family Leave Due to Coronavirus
Do you have resources to help families cope with the school closures?
Supporting our overall well-being is important than ever during this stressful time. Here are 10 strategies for supporting you and your child’s overall physical & mental health and wellness with resources.
- Keep a positive & hopeful attitude. Practice gratitude.
- Get enough rest and sleep. Stay informed while limiting reading news/social media.
- Eat healthy food.
- Maintain structures and routines.
- Take a break. Practice relaxation techniques (i.e. mindfulness activities, yoga)
- Be active. Find ways to move your body (take a walk, turn on music and dance)
- Stay hydrated.
- Set limits appropriately including screen-time and structured time.
- Build in time for fun. Play board games, puzzles.
- Stay connected. Reach out to family & friends via social media/technology even when practice social distancing.
- Our new Virtual Calming Room is a place for students and families to find healing tools and strategies for managing emotions and feelings.
- California Surgeon General’s Playbook: Stress Relief for Caregivers and Kids during COVID-19
- How to give your kids stability when coronavirus closes schools
- Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope With the Coronavirus Disease 2019
- Ten Strategies for Educators’ Wellbeing: A Handbook for Schools During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Helping Children Cope with Stress
- 7 Science-Based Strategies for Managing Anxiety: Article with suggestions on managing anxiety.
- Practice gratitude
- Free Mindfulness Apps
- Elementary Age Mindfulness videos
- Middle/ High School Age Mindfulness videos
It is important to take care of our body during stressful times.
If you want to keep your body healthy, keep moving. It is not necessary to go for heavy or hard work out, you can just go for a walk to the park or do chores that involve physical movement.
When possible trying to eat a balance of fruits, vegetables, proteins. For ideas here are some recipes for healthy cooking.
Mental Health Resources
Contact the Mental Health Access Team to request services and an over-the-phone assessment in order to be referred to an appropriate mental health service provider. Call 24/7 for Mental Health Crisis Calls: (916) 875-1055 or toll free (888) 881-4881.
- Private Insurance Health Care Systems
How can I keep my student healthy during the school closure?
Limit Social Interactions: The key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to limit social interactions as much as possible. Parents should minimize play dates, and if held, parents should keep the groups small. Advise older children to hang out in a small group and to meet up outside rather than inside. It’s easier to keep and maintain space between others in outdoor settings, like parks.
Practice Social Distancing: If you have small meetups, consider hanging out with another family or friend who is also taking extra measures to put distance between themselves and others (i.e. social distancing).
Clean and Disinfect: Make sure children practice everyday preventive behaviors, such as cleaning and then disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
Revise Spring Break & Travel Plans: Parents should help their older children revise spring break plans that included non-essential travel to crowded areas.
Remember, if children meet outside of school in bigger groups, it can put everyone at risk. Information about COVID-19 in children is somewhat limited, but current data suggest children with COVID-19 may show only mild symptoms. However, they can still pass this virus onto others who may be at higher risk, including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions.
Keep Children Healthy
Watch your child for any signs of illness.
- If you see any sign of illness consistent with symptoms of COVID-19, particularly fever, cough, or shortness of breath, keep your child at home and away from others as much as possible. Follow CDC’s guidance on “What to do if you are sick.”
Teach and reinforce everyday preventive actions.
- Parents and caretakers play an important role in teaching children to wash their hands. Explain that hand washing can keep them healthy and stop the virus from spreading to others.
- Be a good role model—if you wash your hands often, they’re more likely to do the same.
- Make handwashing a family activity.
Help your child stay active.
- Encourage your child to play outdoors—it’s great for physical and mental health. Take a walk with your child or go on a bike ride.
- Use indoor activity breaks (e.g., stretch breaks, dance breaks) throughout the day to help your child stay healthy and focused.
Help your child stay socially connected.
- Help your child reach out to friends and family via phone or video chats.
- Help your child write cards or letters to family members they may not be able to visit.
- Some schools and non-profits, such as the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning and The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence have resources for social and emotional learning. Check to see if your school has tips and guidelines to help support social and emotional needs of your child.
Limiting time with older adults, relatives, and people with chronic medical conditions
Older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions are at highest risk of getting sick from COVID-19.
- If others in your home are at particularly high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, consider extra precautions to separate your child from those individuals.
- If you are unable to stay home with your child during school dismissals, carefully consider who might be best positioned to provide childcare. If someone at higher risk for COVID-19 will be providing care (e.g., older adult, such as a grandparent or someone with a chronic medical condition), limit your children’s contact with those people.
- Consider postponing visits or trip to see older family members and grandparents. Connect virtually or by writing letters and sending via mail.
Visit Children and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for more information.
Prevention and Protection
What can you do to protect your family?
Remember to follow general guidelines for staying healthy during the cold and flu season. Make sure to practice everyday prevention, and please make sure to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. (See CDC Handwashing Guides and Videos)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough.
- Sneeze into a tissue then throw the tissue away in the trash. Wash your hands afterward.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Get your flu shot. The flu vaccine won’t protect against COVID-19, but it is highly recommended to help keep you healthy.
Should I wear a homemade mask?
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Can hand sanitizer be used at school?
There is no statute or regulation which prohibits schools from providing hand sanitizers for use by students and staff, especially in settings where soap and water are not readily available, such as portable classrooms.****
Visit the California Department of Education website for more guidance on hand sanitizer.
What type of hand sanitizer should we use?
There is currently a shortage of this item nationally and it cannot be found almost anywhere due to high demand. If you can find hand sanitizer it is recommended that it be at least 60%-65% alcohol based in order to kill the virus and any other bacteria. However, if sanitizer cannot be found in stores, there are directions on the internet on how to make it using aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol.
How should I clean computer equipment?
The Operations Department has been working to secure bottle sprayers and hydrogen peroxide for use in disinfecting classroom surfaces, including computer keyboards and other equipment.
We will continue to look for vendors with ample supplies, but please feel free to bring product in as needed. Hydrogen Peroxide is a great disinfectant. A 3% solution is all you need (typically sold in stores this way). It is a very safe product to use. Just fill a spray bottle, spray down an area and let it sit for 5 minutes to kill any virus and bacteria then wipe down the area.
What should I do if my student is sick?
Student, employees, and family member should stay home if they are sick. Those with cold-like symptoms who can manage their symptoms at home with over-the-counter drugs should do so, regardless of whether they have a cold, the flu, or COVID-19 (see our Too Sick for School? Poster).
If a person is showing symptoms – fever, cough, shortness of breath, they are advised to stay at home from work or school until free of symptoms for 72 hours or after seven days from the start of symptoms, whichever is longer. Read SCPH Mitigation Strategy FAQs
Seek immediate medical care if symptoms become more severe, e.g., high fever or difficulty breathing.
Make sure to contact your student’s school and notify them of the illness.
Who should I alert if I learn my student or another family member has potentially been exposed to COVID-19?
- If you are concerned about your child’s or your health, please contact your physician immediately to share your concerns. Please follow whatever guidance your physician provides.
- If your concerned about exposure or have someone in your direct family diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact your school principal or Health Services at (916) 643-9412. We are here to support you and answer any questions.
We take will take all steps possible to protect the confidentiality of any individuals health information, however please note COVID-19 is a reportable communicable to the Sacramento County Public Health.
Operations and Disinfecting
Have District custodians been trained to use the disinfectants to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?
Yes, District custodial staff were recently (within the last 10 days) trained in the use and application of disinfectants. The training included:
- Information about the COVID-19 virus;
- How to keep themselves healthy;
- Specifics about Quat Stat-5, which is used to disinfect sites;
- What “high-touch” surfaces need to be disinfected on a nightly basis;
- What surfaces need to be focused on when disinfecting the entire site; and
- What the roaming disinfectant crews will be focused on.
What is the difference between disinfecting and cleaning?
It is important to note that disinfecting and cleaning are two different actions. The disinfecting process does not clean a surface, but rather disinfects surfaces from the COVID-19 virus.
What does it mean to disinfect and what is being used to disinfect?
Custodial staff are working to completely disinfect all areas within their assigned sites. Disinfecting includes staff walking entire school sites, including, but not limited to each classroom, common area, and playground with asprayers filled with Quat Stat-5, or other similar product. Quat Stat-5 is an approved disinfectant spray that requires appropriate training through the Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) to ensure the proper handling and application of such disinfectants—ALL custodial staff receive annual DPR training. It is important to note that all surfaces are being disinfected except food service areas, floors, and stacks of paperwork on desks.
The disinfectant does not contain any harmful residues and does not need to be wiped off after the initial application. However, Quat Stat-5 has a “dwell” time of five (5) minutes before the surface is adequately disinfected. That is, the product rests on a surface for a total of five (5) minutes before the surface is 99.9% germ-free.
The District has also assembled a team of custodians to travel to and disinfect various sites with limited or no custodial teams in place. Such sites include Edward Kelly, the Print Shop and other District operational sites, partially closed sites like C.P. Huntington, and other similar locations.
Can I feel confident the District is properly disinfecting sites?
Individuals should be confident their sites are regularly being disinfected because custodial staff have received proper training, ongoing messaging, and support on the importance of disinfecting all surfaces and high-touch areas, and facilities leadership will be conducting random audits to make sure staff are performing these functions as trained. High-touch areas that custodial staff have been directed to disinfect on a nightly basis include:
- Door knobs
- Light switches
- Hand rails
- The backs of chairs
- All locations that witness a lot of hand traffic throughout the day
Facilities staff will be conducting site visits over the next few days to answer any questions from site staff, review inventory levels of disinfecting and cleaning products, reinforce the training received, and begin developing daily checklist site leaders can use to ensure site operations procedures are being implemented appropriately.
About the Virus
What is the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV2 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.*
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of
- shortness of breath
CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.*
Learn more at covid19.ca.gov
How does the virus spread?
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. See CDC’s How Coronavirus Spreads.*
What is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)?
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. We do not yet know what causes MIS-C. However, we know that many children with MIS-C had the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19. MIS-C can be serious, even deadly, but most children who were diagnosed with this condition have gotten better with medical care.
For more information about COVID-19, please refer to the following sources.