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Coronavirus & Reopening Information

COVID-19 Safety Plan

As we plan to welcome students back to campus we have prepared a COVID-19 Safety Plan which consists of the following components. 

These resources reflect the latest California Department of Public Health and Sacramento County Public Health guidance resources and NCS Board Policy 0470 - Health and Safety for COVID-19. Our COVID-19 Safety Plan has been submitted to Sacramento County Public Health, the Sacramento County Office of Education, and the State Safe School for All Team for review. The COVID-19 Safety Plan also reflects feedback provided by families, students, staff, and the entire NCS community since May 2020. Thank you for the time you took to complete surveys, attend community meetings, and provide your insight into our process for safely reopening campuses.

The information in the COVID-19 Safety Plan also forms the basis of our Learning Continuity and Attendance Plan which is posted at www.natomascharter.org/accountability

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 or more 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

FAQs about coronavirus & Reopening

Last Updated: 4/1/21 at 6:30 AM to include information regarding in-person instruction and end-of-year celebrations.

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

Similar to all schools and districts in California, we have been utilizing flexible plans for the 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 to keep all families and students informed. 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 for in-person instruction?

The Natomas Charter School Board of Directors approved a flexible learning plan on October 19, 2020 that has students returning back to campus through a “phased-in” approach. The school started with Distance Learning Hubs for our students most struggling with distance learning, transitioned to hybrid instruction, has students returning to campus 5 days per week under the latest CDC physical distancing guidelines on April 12, 2021.

3. How will the return to campus process work?

When Sacramento County meets the school reopening criteria for that grade span (25/100k adjusted case rate for Star Academy and 10/100k adjusted case rate for LE and PFAA) school administration will establish a transition timelines and send this information to all families. 

4. 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. 

5. Will families be able to switch between in-person instruction 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. If you have an extenuating circumstance please contact your academy coordinator so we can discuss options.

6. 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 24-72 hours without medication. Any students who are demonstrating these symptoms when on campus will be immediately sent home.

7. 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.  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 before your child is set to return to campus 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. 

8. 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 10 days. During this time period all students required to quarantine would attend school via distance learning until the quarantine period has elapsed. 

9. 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 and if your child has been exposed to COVID-19. The communication will be confidential in nature with no identifying information provided.

10. 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  10 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.

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

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 or closing the entire campus due to other students in the cohort contracting COVID-19 from mixed household gatherings, birthday parties, or sporting events. 

12. Are vaccinations or COVID-19 testing required for students or staff?

Both COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are currently voluntary by law. As of February 25th ALL Natomas Charter School employees have been provided the opportunity to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination and the vast majority of our staff took advantage of this opportunity. Currently, vaccines are not available for students in any age group. As vaccines become more readily available  Natomas Charter School is working with Natomas Unified School District and SCPH to ensure vaccines are available for the community through our regional vaccination clinic. 

In regards to COVID-19 testing, Natomas Charter School encourages all members of our community to participate in on-going COVID-19 testing. Our staff has been participating in asymptomatic "surveillance" testing since October 2020. As a school within Natomas USD, there is free weekly PCR-based testing available for ALL students, staff, and families at the Natomas USD Ed Center on Tuesdays. NCS is working closely with Natomas USD to bring this testing to the Star Academy and Blackrock campuses in April. 

13. 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 county public health order and latest guidance for schools issued by Sacramento County Public Health and the California Department of Public Health. The latest guidance can be found on this page

14. What will next school year (2021-22) be like?

Based on what we currently know we are expecting next school year to primarily be in-person instruction five days per week and something close to a pre-pandemic "normal." As a vaccine is not likely available for children by August, we imagine students will likely still be required to wear face coverings and additional COVID-19 protocols, such as 3-feet physical distancing and quarantine procedures will still be in effect. SB 98 which allows for remote learning (aka distance or virtual learning) currently expires on June 30, 2021. We will be following closely any changes the Legislature makes to this and will continue to keep our community informed.

15. Have any decisions been made regarding graduations, promotions, and other end-of-year celebrations?

This year Natomas Charter School is exited to hold middle school promotion and high school graduation at Sutter Health Park on June 7, 2021. The school is working with Sutter Health Park to hold safe celebrations for students and family members using the CDPH Guidance for Graduations released on March 26th. In April and May joint graduation/promotion committees representing Leading Edge, PFAA, PACT, and VLA will be working together to develop our joint ceremonies. During the final week of school (June 7th through June 11th) each academy will also host academy-specific end-of-year activities for students. Please contact your academy coordinator with any questions you might have.

16. 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 zhone@natomascharter.org

17. 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. 

Resources

Reopening Meetings & Presentations

NCS Board Reopening Presentations & COVID Updates

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

Hybrid Transition Community Meetings

Mid-July Community Meetings

Mid-June Community Meetings

Mid-May Community Meetings

Historical closure (2019-20) Communications