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Coronavirus & Reopening Information

Reopening Community Guidebook

As we plan for the upcoming school year we are in the process of drafting a community guidebook which documents our reopening protocols as we navigate distance learning, hybrid learning, and all students back on campus. This guidebook is a "living document" and will continue to adapt based on stakeholder feedback and changes in public health guidelines.

This guidebook also forms the basis of our Learning Continuity and Attendance Plans which is posted at

On-Campus COVID-19 Information

In accordance with AB 685 (2020) and the Sacramento County Public Health guidelines, Natomas Charter School maintains a public dashboard to communicate the current impact of COVID-19 on our school community. We also send out formal, confidential notifications to families and staff members who may have been exposed or are asked to quarantine. A "confirmed case" is when the school has been notified that a student or employee has tested positive for COVID-19. As part of the community wide COVID-19 response, individuals who have been in "close contact" (currently defined as within 6 feet for 15 minutes) will be required to quarantine at home for up to 14 days.

The data on this chart primarily reflects students and staff members who are regularly coming to campus. We may not be informed when a student attending school via extended distance learning is positive for COVID-19. Students who test positive and are primarily at home are noted in the "Students Off Campus" column. Those coming to school for distance learning hubs or hybrid learning are noted in the "Students On Campus" column.

If you have any additional questions about the COVID-19 data please contact a school administrator.

Current NCS COVID-19 Cases

2020-21 COVID-19 communications

Reopening Meetings & Presentations

Hybrid Transition Community Meetings

Mid-July Community Meetings

Mid-June Community Meetings

Mid-May Community Meetings

NCS Board Reopening Presentations

Note: All future and past Board meeting information is posted on this page.

FAQs about coronavirus & Reopening

Last Updated: 12/18/20 at 4:30 PM to include hybrid transition information.

1. How is Natomas Charter School planning for the 2020-21 school year?

Similar to all schools and districts in California, we are making flexible plans for the upcoming school year based on the latest public health recommendations. We hosted virtual community meetings throughout the summer and early fall discussing our developing plans. Each academy coordinator has continued to host community meetings throughout the school year. We encourage families to review those on the Natomas Charter School YouTube page. You will also find links to each of the meetings and the slides we used linked above.

2. When will students be able to return to campus in a hybrid format?

The Natomas Charter School Board of Directors approved a hybrid transition plan on October 19th that has students returning back to campus through a “phase-in” approach. The school is bringing back to campus first students who have most struggled with distance learning through a “distance learning hub” model that started October 14th. Distance learning hubs will continue to operate and expand as long as the public health conditions allow. In these hubs students receive additional support to complete distance learning from NCS staff. All students will have the option of returning to campus on a modified hybrid schedule on a two week "rolling timeline" based on when Sacramento County returns to the red/substantial tier on the California COVID-19 dashboard. While we do not have a definitive date for this transition we are currently estimating mid-February. All students will begin the second semester on distance learning in January.

3. How will the "two-week rolling timeline" process work?

When Sacramento County returns to the red/substantial COVID-19 tier school administration will establish a transition to hybrid instruction timeline and send this to all families. Generally, students will return to campus on the hybrid schedule approximately two weeks after the county first enters the red/substantial COVID-19 tier. This timeline will be dependent on the existing school calendar and the county maintaining this status for the two consecutive weeks as required by the COVID-19 reopening protocols. 

4. What does “hybrid instruction” mean and when will my child come to school?

The Natomas Charter School hybrid model has students attending school two days per week - either Monday/Tuesday (Cohort A) or Thursday/Friday (Cohort B). Students attend school in this model to ensure we have 6-foot physical distancing in all of our classrooms as required by Sacramento County Public Health. Wednesdays all students learn from home and our custodial staff performs deep cleaning between cohorts of students. On Wednesdays teachers attend IEP, 504, and other legally mandated meetings that would normally occur after school when they are providing office hours for distance learning students. 

5. What supports will my child have on their “at-home” days?

All students will have access to their classroom teacher through office hours. Teachers will also be posting materials students can use to complete their work independently, such as videos. At Star Academy the Extended Distance Learning teacher will provide instructions to all students at home with the support of a Distance Learning Facilitator. At Leading Edge and PFAA all classes will begin together with some students on Zoom and others in the classroom. As students are dismissed to work on assignments independent, distance learning facilitators will host virtual support sessions by academic discipline to assist students. 

6. What are “distance learning hubs” and can my family access one if my child needs additional support?

Distance learning hubs are instructional spaces staffed by Natomas Charter School employees where the staff members are trained to support students with their distance learning. The hubs are opening first for students with disabilities, English learners, and students who have been struggling with distance learning. Distance learning hubs do not replace instruction provided by teachers. Natomas Charter School is in the process of hiring additional distance learning facilitators who will work with students in distance learning hubs during the months of November and December. If your child is struggling with distance learning at home please contact your academy coordinator so that we can see if we have space in our distance learning hubs for child.

7. Will families have the option to remain on distance learning for the rest of the school year?

Yes. All families may choose extended distance learning for their child for the remainder of the school year. Star Academy, Leading Edge, and PFAA coordinators hosted community meetings in late October / early November to discuss hybrid and extended distance learning options. Families were then asked to make their selection for the spring semester. 

8. What will be the process for signing up for extended distance learning or signing up for Cohort A or Cohort B?

In early November academy coordinators will be sending out a sign up survey for all families to complete with their choices for the Spring Semester. The school will use this information to schedule students and send out confirmations to all families in early December.

9. Will families be able to switch between hybrid and distance learning during the school year?

While we will always try to accommodate student needs, families will not be able to switch back and forth. As some families select extended distance learning the “open” spots created will be made available to students who need additional in-person support.

10. Will we be in a “hybrid” format the rest of the school year or do you think students will return to campus in a pre-COVID “normal” at some point this year?

Based on what we know today, Sacramento County Public Health will require all schools in the county to fully comply with the public health protocols until there is a vaccine or readily available treatment. One of these protocols requires 6-foot physical distancing in all classrooms. For this reason, we are planning on hybrid instruction for the remainder of the school year. Should this change we will let all families know. However, as you make your decisions for the Spring Semester keep in mind this may be the format for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

11. How will screening protocols work when students come to campus?

All schools in Sacramento county are part of the “screen at home” campaign. Each morning please check your child for common COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, congestion/runny nose, nausea/vomiting, sore throat, headache, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, or loss of taste/smell. When these occur the child needs to stay home and attend school via distance learning until the symptoms have resolved for 72 hours without medication. Any students who are demonstrating these symptoms when on campus will be immediately sent home.

12. Are students, staff members, and visitors required to wear face coverings when on campus?

Yes. For the health and safety of our entire community, all students, staff members, and visitors are required to wear face coverings when on campus. Natomas Charter School has purchased cloth face coverings for all students and has disposable ones for when a student forgets their face covering at home. While cloth-based face coverings are preferred, TK-2nd grade students may wear a face shield with a skirt. Natomas Charter School has purchased these for all TK-2nd grade students. Students in 3rd-12th grade who refuse to wear a face covering will be sent home. All face coverings must meet the latest guidelines from the California Department of Public Health. If your child has a medical accommodation regarding cloth face coverings please submit the appropriate medical documentation to your academy coordinator and set up a time for a virtual accommodations meeting to discuss alternative health and safety strategies, such as using a face shield or attending school via extended distance learning. 

13. What happens when there is a COVID-19 case on campus?

When a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 Natomas Charter School will contact Sacramento County Public Health to discuss the situation and next steps. More than likely the cohort of students connected to that student or staff member will be sent home to quarantine for 14 days. During this time period all students required to quarantine would attend school via distance learning until the quarantine period has elapsed. 

14. Will parents be notified if there is a COVID-19 case on campus?

Families will be notified anytime a student or staff member in your child’s cohort has tested positive for COVID-19 or if a member of the cohort has been exposed to COVID-19. The communication will be confidential in nature with no identifying information provided.

15. What is a cohort of students?

A cohort is the students and staff members your child regularly interacts with when at school. For an elementary student this is likely their teacher and the approximately 15 students attending school with them each day. At the middle and high school level a cohort is all of the students and teachers in their courses on a given day. Natomas Charter School uses a block schedule to limit the mixing of cohorts to the greatest extend possible while still being able to offer a diversity of courses in the arts.

16. What happens if my child is possibly exposed to COVID-19 outside of school? What should families do?

If your child has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 outside of school they need to quarantine for up to 14 days from the last known contact with the individual and attend school via distance learning. If you have a suspected exposure situation please contact the front office or academy coordinator to discuss next steps.

17. What can families do to get their children ready for a successful return to school in January?

First, please make sure your child is comfortable with common COVID-19 protocols, such as wearing a cloth face covering, physically distancing, and regularly washing their hands. Whenever your child is sick please keep them at home and consider an influenza vaccine for all members of your household. Finally, please make sure your family is following the COVID-19 protocols outside of the home. School districts that have already reopened report that COVID-19 transmissions on campus are extremely rare. However, some of them are having to send numerous students home each week to quarantine due to other students in the cohort contracting COVID-19 from mixed household gatherings, birthday parties, or sporting events. 

18. What guidance is Natomas Charter School following for its reopening plans?

As a school located in Sacramento County, Natomas Charter School must follow the current public health order and latest guidance for K-12 schools issued by Sacramento County Public Health (SCPH). We are also using the California Department of Public Health document for schools.

19. Are Board meetings still occurring during the campus closure?

Yes. All Board meetings will occur according to the approved  2019-20 and 2020-21 meeting dates and times. In accordance with Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-25-20, all Board Meetings will only occur via teleconference to protect the health and safety of our community. There will be no physical location for meetings, but members of the public are invited to attend via phone or videoconference. Meeting agendas are posted here and available to the public 72 hours prior to each meeting. Each meeting agenda provides teleconferencing and virtual attendance/commenting information at the top of the document. If you need any assistance accessing these meeting please contact Zeba Hone at

20. Who should I contact if I have more questions?

We will continue to keep our students, staff and families informed as we receive guidance from public health officials. If you have any questions, please continue to visit this FAQ page or email your academy coordinator. 


Historical closure (2019-20) Communications