Mar 25 2020

March 25, 2020

The Alameda County Office of Education announced today that they are closing schools through May 1, 2020:

“Seven Bay Area county health officers, in collaboration with their county superintendents, have made a unified, regional decision to extend school closures and student dismissals from regular school attendance through May 1, 2020 to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to the maximum extent. The safety and wellness of students, school personnel, and the community are the highest priorities of all schools and districts in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.”

You can read ACOE’s press release here.

The Piedmont Unified School District will comply with this directive and extend its school facilities closure and student dismissal through May 1, 2020.

There has been a question around if we’re required to add days at the end of the year to help meet the normal 180 instructional day requirement.  According to the California Department of Education, the answer is no. We are NOT required and we will NOT add additional days to our instructional calendar for the 19-20 school year

As we progress over the next several weeks, District leadership, in consultation with the Governor’s Office, Alameda County Public Health Department, Alameda County Office of Education, and the Piedmont Unified School District Board of Education, will determine if the school facilities closure and student dismissal will be extended past May 1, 2020.

Randall Booker PUSD Superintendent

For questions, please contact Randall Booker, PUSD Superintendent at rbooker@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Mar 20 2020

March 20, 2020

The District held a special Board of Education meeting (click here to watch the recording), Thursday, March 19th – 3:00pm where they unanimously passed Resolution 20-2019-20 – Emergency Actions by the Superintendent of Schools.

With this authorization, the superintendent has extended  the Piedmont Unified School District Site Facilities Closure and Student Dismissal through April 7, 2020 (to coincide with the current shelter-in-place).

As we progress over the next several weeks, District leadership, in consultation with the Governor’s Office, Alameda County Public Health Department, Alameda County Office of Education, and the Piedmont Unified School District Board of Education, will determine if the school facilities closure and student dismissal will be extended past April 7, 2020.  If so, it may affect our scheduled Spring Break (April 13th-17th). The District will communicate if changes to Spring Break dates occur.

March 25, 2020 Regularly Scheduled Board of Education Meeting is Canceled.

The Piedmont Unified School District Board of Education, during its March 19, 2020 Special Board Meeting, unanimously decided to cancel their March 25, 2020 regularly scheduled Board of Education Meeting.

Distance-Learning Update

PUSD educators are working to develop and deliver distance learning opportunities for students.  It was just a few days ago when the Board of Education voted to close schools and dismiss students, and much has changed since then.  At first the District planned for a 2-week closure. Now we are shifting for a closure that may last for an extended period of time.

Educators will use this extended closure to collaborate (virtually) and build-out virtual lessons and learning experiences in order to grow in our ability to provide a continuance of education.  These experiences will vary greatly from elementary to middle to our high schools. PUSD is committed to supporting our educators during this unique time of curriculum development and delivery. Patience and flexibility will be required as teachers and staff balance family and work responsibilities during this time of crisis.

Teachers and administrators’ email inboxes are overwhelmed with an abundance of suggestions and products for distance-learning solutions, both from the private and public sector.  PUSD will progress in its development and delivery of distance-learning plans by researching appropriate technology tools and delivery strategies, provide the needed training and professional learning to teachers and staff, and collaborate with our educational professionals on how best to help students and families during this challenging time.  School site administrators and teachers will provide families with progress updates along the way.

Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20

March 19, 2020

“The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the  federal critical infrastructure sectors.” 

Read a summary of the Executive Order here (CA.gov website) or the full Executive Order here (pdf).

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond stated in a follow-up email last night, that “the order does NOT change or impact our role, considered essential, and our duty to carry out the following essential services …”

Additionally, “the Education Facilities Subsector covers pre-kindergarten through grade 12 schools, institutions of higher education, and business and trade schools. The sub-sector includes facilities that are owned by both government and private sector entities.”

While PUSD educators will continue to develop distance-learning opportunities for students, PUSD implores those families with middle and/or high school students to share this information with them and restrict their outings to only essential tasks/trips.

PUSD will continue to provide updates as it learns more from the Alameda County Public Health Department and the Alameda County Office of Education.

For questions, please contact Randall Booker, PUSD Superintendent at rbooker@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Mar 18 2020

The Piedmont Unified School Board will hold a Remote Meeting to discuss emergency actions.  For Agenda details, participation, and observation opportunities go to:

https://agendaonline.net/public/Meeting.aspx?AgencyID=1241&MeetingID=77619&AgencyTypeID=1&IsArchived=False

Read Emergency Measures Agenda item below :

V_A_Resolution20201920EmergencyActionsByTheSuperintendentOfSchools_0

Mar 17 2020

March 17, 2020

To help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Piedmont Unified School District has temporarily closed school facilities, including the Witter Field Complex. No access will be permitted to the field house, track, or football, baseball and softball fields until further notice. During this unprecedented health crisis, the District’s custodial staff is not available to clean and maintain these facilities for safe use. The District will continue to work with County and State health officials to determine when to reopen its facilities.

*****

Questions or comments? Please contact Superintendent Booker at rbooker@piedmont.k12.ca.us or Director of Facilities Pete Palmer at ppalmer@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Mar 13 2020

“Governor Gavin Newsom today issued an executive order ensuring California public school districts retain state funding even in the event of physical closure.”

MARCH 13, 2020: This afternoon, the Piedmont Unified School District Board of Education unanimously passed the following motion: “PUSD Board of Education moves to close school facilities for non-essential functions, suspend in-classroom instruction, and dismiss all PUSD students beginning March 16 through March 27, 2020 in order to:

  • 1. Slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state and in our community, reduce the number of people infected, and protect those who are most vulnerable to severe illness.
  • 2. Plan and prepare for continuity of educational services during a pandemic that may last for an extended period of time. With the expectation that teachers continue to provide a continuity of education through distance learning, actively engage in communications with administration, colleagues, families, and students; and that staff necessary for essential district-wide services/operations continue with their responsibilities either at a school site/district office or virtually (if applicable).

” With this decision, beginning March 16, 2020 all school site facilities are closed to students and the general public. All extra-curricular activities, including athletics, instrumental, vocal, dance, and dramatic productions are also cancelled. Additionally, all school site facilities rentals by the public are cancelled.

During this time, district leaders will coordinate with county health officials, the Alameda County Public Health Department, and California Department of Education to determine if returning on March 30th is advisable.

Continuity of Education School site educators are developing plans to deliver a continuity of education for students district-wide. Distance learning will be utilized, so we expect students and families to monitor email, Infinite Campus, and Schoology regularly for homework/learning activities, important updates, and messages from teachers and the administration.

Our goal is to begin communicating distance learning opportunities in the afternoon on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. These communications, including expectations and specific learning opportunities will arrive directly from site educators and the administration.

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE BY CLICKING BELOW:

Press Release – SCHOOL FACILITY CLOSURE 03-16- TO 3-27-20

Randall Booker, School Superintendent

Mar 12 2020

School Update on COVID-19: March 10, 2020

Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD) leadership continues to closely monitor updates regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  Additionally, the District is continuing to work with the Alameda County Public Health Department and the Alameda County Office of Education to ensure the District is providing accurate and timely information.

Over the past several weeks, District Staff have sent several communications to families and staff regarding proper health hygiene and etiquette and information on COVID-19.

January 31, 2020 – Letter to Families & Staff
February 7, 2020 – Letter to Families & Staff
February 24, 2020 – Letter to Families & Staff
February 28, 2020 – Letter to Families & Staff
March 6, 2020 – Letter to Families & Staff

The District is taking efforts to address student/staff and visitors’ hygiene and respiratory etiquette on our campuses, as well as planning for possible school closures.  This past week, I’ve been in informational and planning meetings with county, city, and district leadership, including the Director of Alameda County Public Health, the county superintendent, superintendents from across Alameda County, Piedmont school board members, and Piedmont’s mayor, vice-mayor, city administrator, and fire chief.

This afternoon, the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) released new information and guidance regarding gatherings. This guidance directly affects Piedmont Unified’s normal protocols regarding a number of events and activities.  ACPHD recommends that communities, governments, businesses, and schools postpone or cancel gatherings and large community events where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another. These recommendations are meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community and reduce the number of people infected, and especially protect those who are most vulnerable to severe illness.

Effective tomorrow, March 11, through April 10, the following conditions will be put into place in order to protect our students, staff, and community from the COVID-19 infection and reduce the possibility of community transmission:

Event Cancellations/Postponements

Following guidance from the ACPHD, all upcoming school and district related medium-sized gatherings (more than 100 people) where students, staff, parents, and outside community members come together in close proximity to one another will be cancelled and/or postponed.

Specific upcoming events between March 11 and April 10 that are now canceled/postponed include:

  • All field trips where students and staff will be assembled in groups greater than 100 people and/or when the District cannot ensure that students and staff are beyond arm’s length of one another due to the venue or planned activity;
  • All school dances;
  • Group assemblies greater than 100 people;
  • Professional learning events greater than 100 people and/or when the District cannot ensure that students and staff are beyond arm’s length of one another due to the venue or planned activity;
  • Parent education events greater than 100 people and/or when the District cannot ensure that students and staff are beyond arm’s length of one another due to the venue or planned activity;
  • All elementary, middle school, and high school performances, including vocal, instrumental, dramatic, and dance concerts.

Additional Restrictions

To the extent possible, and in an effort to limit the exposure in our community, the following restrictions are now in place:

  • Outside rentals of PUSD facilities where large numbers of people are within arm’s length of one another will be canceled
    • District staff will coordinate with individual organizations regarding communication and possible rescheduling.
  • High school athletic events will be limited to 100 people in attendance and must be held in the largest venues on campus to accommodate guidance on increased social distancing (arms-length distance in seating/spectating). Ticketing protocols will be determined by school administrators. (Venues to be used include Witter Field, Binks Gymnasium, and the Morrison Gymnasium).
    • High school sporting event restrictions may be changed if additional guidance and/or restrictions are provided by CIF/NCS or the health department.

Possible School Closures

At this time, the Alameda County Public Health Department currently is not recommending closing schools.

We will immediately implement the recommendations of the ACPHD and continue to monitor the actions of neighboring districts and counties.

If a staff member or student in a specific school is confirmed to have COVID-19, the Superintendent and local public health officials will consider, based on the specific facts and circumstances of that case, whether closure of that school is warranted.  Should the Public Health Department determine a school closure is warranted, the duration may be up to 14 days.

We will be suspending all instructional activities at the school site and extra-curricular activities in the event of a school closure.  We are continuing to develop distance learning opportunities and will have more information to share over the next several days.

Health Guidelines Remain the Same

The same simple steps that prevent the spread of ordinary flu viruses work against COVID-19 and other illnesses.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

  • Cough into a tissue or your elbow (not your hand). Then throw tissue away and wash hands.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Keep students home if temperature is above 100.0 F (37.8 C) or they report not feeling well, appear weak or ill.

  • Consult your healthcare provider if you or your child has special health conditions that put you at increased risk.

Randall Booker, Superintendent PUSD, March 10, 2020

 

Mar 10 2020

Below is a letter sent to all Piedmont Unified School District Families:

March 6, 2020

Dear PUSD Families,

Everyday we continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and I am writing to share our efforts to address student/staff and visitors’ hygiene and respiratory etiquette on our campuses, as well as planning for possible school closures.  This past week, I’ve been in informational and planning meetings with county, city, and district leadership, including the Director of Alameda County Public Health, the county superintendent, superintendents from across Alameda County, Piedmont school board members, and Piedmont’s mayor, vice-mayor, city administrator, and fire chief.

Guidance from the Center of Disease Control (CDC)
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s most recent  Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), “schools should continue to collaborate, share information, and review plans with local health officials to help protect the whole school community, including those with special health needs.”

In our case, we have been coordinating with the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACDPH) and the Alameda County Office of Education.

Additionally, the CDC recommends that “school plans should be designed to minimize disruption to teaching and learning and protect students and staff from social stigma and discrimination. Plans can build on everyday practices (e.g., encouraging hand hygiene, monitoring absenteeism, communicating routinely) that include strategies for before, during, and after a possible outbreak.”

Health Etiquette

I want to continue to provide and emphasize common-sense preventive actions for students and staff. For example, all staff and students should stay home when sick; appropriately cover coughs and sneezes; clean frequently touched surfaces; and wash your hands often.

  • CDC has workplace resources such as posters with messages for staff about staying home when sick and how to avoid spreading germs at work.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics provides information on germ prevention strategies and reducing the spread of illness in childcare settings.
  • Handwashing strategies are vital and include washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Staff and students should remain at home if they show signs of fever or respiratory illness.  The Alameda County Public Health Department has developed an extremely informative flyer that provides families with guidance on when to keep children home from school.  Some of the highlights are the following:
    • A fever of 100.4 degrees (38 Celsius) or above. Keep your child home for 24 hours after a fever is below 100.4 without the aid of medication (such as Tylenol or Advil)
      • Nausea or vomiting (if your child has vomited within 24 hours of the start of school, DO NOT send your child to school)
      • Signs or symptoms of a new cough or cold and does not feel well enough to fully participate in school activities.
  • PUSD staff members do not screen students or other staff to identify cases of COVID-19. The majority of respiratory illnesses are not COVID-19. If we have cases of COVID-19, Alameda County Public Health Department (ACDPH) officials will help identify those individuals and will follow up on next steps.

School(s) Closure Planning
The CDC and the California Department of Education (CDE) are recommending that all Districts across the state of California consider educational planning for students if a mandatory 14-day quarantine is instituted (either partially for only those students who become infected) or more drastically if CDE, CA Department of Public Health, Alameda County Office of Education, or the Superintendent decides to close schools for an extended period of time.

The CDC has indicated that local health officials may recommend temporary school closures if a student or staff member attended school prior to being confirmed as a COVID-19 case. We would coordinate with the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACDPH) and the Alameda County Office of Education for the scope (e.g., a single school, a full district) and duration of school dismissals will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the specific cases in the impacted community.

Large event cancellations or school closures may be recommended for 14 days, or possibly longer if advised by the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACDPH). The nature of these actions (e.g., geographic scope, duration) may change as the local outbreak situation evolves.

The rationale for a school(s) closure is to limit the possibility of transmission among staff, students, and families, and to provide time for cleaning and the likelihood that the virus expires over several days throughout the site.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “it is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).”

The CDC has also recommended that if schools are closed due to a student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19, schools should consider the following steps:

  • Temporarily cancel extracurricular group activities and large events.
  • Cancel or postpone events such as after-school assemblies and pep rallies, field trips, and sporting events.
  • Discourage students and staff from gathering or socializing anywhere.
  • Discourage gatherings at places like a friend’s house, a favorite restaurant, or the local shopping mall.
  • Ensure continuity of education.
    • Review continuity plans, including plans for the continuity of teaching and learning. Implement e-learning plans, including digital and distance learning options as feasible and appropriate.

I’ve recently met with the administrative team and both Gabe Kessler, APT President and Terra Salazar, CSEA President regarding the development of continuity plans.  We have outlined draft protocols and structures to provide a continuity of education in the event of a school(s) closure. Principals will share these draft protocols and structures at upcoming staff/site leadership team meetings for input and discussion.

We are currently investigating options for distance-teaching/learning with the use of Independent Study models (e.g. lessons/activities delivered electronically via email and/or Schoology).

New developments (and guidance) arrive daily.  I will continue to provide staff, families, and students with regular updates as we learn more.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Randall Booker, Superintendent

Mar 5 2020

The City of Piedmont is monitoring the Public Health risk related to the Covid-19 virus.

Alameda County has declared a public health emergency and Piedmont is sharing in their messaging, planning and monitoring.

The City is also engaged with the Piedmont Unified School District in preparing safety messaging and contingency plans as needed.

For more information on Covid-19, please see: https://www.cdc.gov/covid19

and http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx

Please take precautions as directed by Alameda County Public Health Department.

Mar 2 2020

“The City is monitoring the Coronavirus situation closely. We are working with the Alameda County Department of Public Health and the Piedmont Unified School District to ensure the safety of Piedmonters. We suggest that all community members take the precautions recommended by the CDC to stop the spread of germs. Below is a PDF from the CDC with precautions to stop the spread of germs.  When the situation warrants, we will put additional information out via all channels.”  John O. Tulloch, Assistant City Administrator/City Clerk  3/2/2020

Stop the spread of Covid-19 > CDC-stop-the-spread-of-germs

Feb 28 2020

City / School Liaison Committee Agenda
Wednesday, March 4, 2020,  5:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the Piedmont Unified School District Administration Office, 760 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, CA

The public is welcome to attend and participate.  The meeting will not be broadcast. 

Agenda:

Call to Order

Public Forum: This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Committee.

Regular Agenda
1. Update on Covid-19 Communications
2. Update on H1 Construction