Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

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REOPENING FRAMEWORK FAQ CHILD CARE DISTANCE LEARNING MEAL SERVICE RESOURCES

Ventura County School Reopening Plans Impacted as COVID-19 Cases Rise Statewide

November 16, 2020 - In response to a statewide spike in new coronavirus infections, Ventura County and 27 other counties were suddenly moved back to the most restrictive purple tier of California’s color-coded tracking system on Monday, November 16. Facing an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, Governor Gavin Newsom said he was “pulling an emergency brake.”

Now that the County is back in the purple tier, schools and districts that had already reopened are permitted to continue with in-person instruction according to state and local regulations. However, individual schools that have not yet reopened will need to wait until the County moves back to the less restrictive red tier and stays there for 14 days.

Some schools were already in the midst of phased reopenings, starting with lower grades first. Individual schools that opened some of their grades while Ventura County was in the red tier will be allowed to open additional grades even while the County is in the purple tier. However, schools that did not resume in-person instruction while the County was in the red tier cannot reopen while the County is in the purple tier. These schools will continue to serve their students with distance learning.

There are some limited options for schools that haven’t already reopened and wish to do so while the County is in the purple tier. For example, schools may request waivers from Ventura County Public Health to allow them to reopen grades TK through six. In addition, all schools are permitted to hold in-person classes for small groups of students who need extra assistance, including students with disabilities and English language learners. All schools that are providing in-person instruction of any kind will carefully follow COVID-19 safety protocols to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.

A list of reopening dates that had previously been announced by Ventura County school districts and charter schools is available below. Schools that had been planning to reopen after November 16 may not be able to do so now that the County has fallen back to the purple tier.

It will be up to each individual school district to decide how to proceed based on the changing circumstances. School administrators will continue to work closely with their school boards, employees and parents to develop plans that best meet the needs of their communities while keeping the safety of students and staff as a top priority.

 

Proposed Reopening Dates for the 2020-2021 School Year

The charts below provide the dates that Ventura County School districts and charter schools have announced for the resumption of in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. As explained above, schools that had not already reopened before November 16, 2020 (when Ventura County fell back to the purple tier) will likely have to delay reopening. Please check with your district for the most current information about their plans. For districts that are reporting their COVID-19 cases, we have included buttons that link to their public reporting dashboards.

Updated: November 24, 2020

  • TBD = To Be Determined
  • N/A = Not Applicable because the district does not serve these grade levels
SCHOOL
DISTRICT
ELEMENTARY
SCHOOL
MIDDLE
SCHOOL
HIGH
SCHOOL
COVID
CASES
Briggs TBD TBD N/A  
Conejo Valley Unified 11/09/20 (grades TK-2)
11/12/20 (grades 3-5)
11/16/2020 • 11/09/20 (combination pilot classes of students attending on-campus instruction for select courses at NPHS, TOHS, WHS)
• 11/16/20 (CVHS, Century)
• 01/19/21 (full reopening for all courses at NPHS, TOHS, WHS)
View
Fillmore Unified Distance learning through Dec. 18. Reopening TBD. Distance learning through Dec. 18. Reopening TBD. Distance learning through Dec. 18. Reopening TBD.  
Hueneme Elementary TBD TBD N/A  
Las Virgenes Unified * 11/09/20 (grades TK-2) TBD TBD  
Mesa Union 11/30/20 (grades TK-2)
01/04/21 (grades 3-5)
01/11/21 N/A  
Moorpark Unified 10/19/20 10/21/20 10/21/20 View
Mupu Elementary 11/02/20 (grades TK-2)
11/09/20 (grades 3-5)
11/16/20 N/A  
Oak Park Unified 01/05/21 01/11/21 01/11/21 View
Ocean View TBD after January 1 TBD after January 1 N/A  
Ojai Unified 11/02/20 01/25/21 01/25/21  
Oxnard (K-8) TBD TBD N/A  
Oxnard Union High School District N/A N/A Distance learning through the end of quarter 2  
Pleasant Valley 10/26/20 (grades TK-K)
11/03/20 (grades 1-3)
11/09/20 (grades 4-5)
11/30/20 N/A  
Rio TBD after 01/01/21 TBD after 01/01/21 N/A  
Santa Clara TBD TBD TBD  
Santa Paula Unified TBD 01/05/21 01/05/21  
Simi Valley Unified 11/02/20 (grades K-3)
01/05/21 (grades 4-5)
TBD TBD View
Somis Union TBD TBD N/A  
VCOE TBD TBD TBD  
Ventura Unified Grades TK-5 will open 12/07/20 under a waiver that has been granted to allow in-person instruction while Ventura County is in the purple tier. 01/26/21 01/26/21  

* Las Virgenes Unified School District is located primarily in Los Angeles County, but its boundaries include a small portion of Ventura County.

 

CHARTER SCHOOL REOPENING DATES
ACE May begin offering voluntary CTE and SPED related services on campus as early as the beginning of November.
Bridges Bridges applied for a waiver through Ventura County Public Health for in-person (K-5) instruction and was approved to begin in-person instruction on November 30, 2020.  It is anticipated that grades 6-8 may return for in-person instruction on January 19, 2021 if allowable based on Ventura County tier monitoring. Some students will remain in distance learning for the remainder of the school year. (Updated 12-1-20)
CAPE CAPE is currently providing in-person (K-6) instruction. Grades 7-8 remain in distance learning and will return for in-person instruction when Ventura County has transitioned to the red tier for 14 consecutive days. Some students will remain in distance learning for the remainder of the school year. (Updated 11-18-20)
Golden Valley GVC is non-classroom based program with no student facility so its schedule will remain the same.
Ivy Tech Ivy Tech is a non-classroom based program but started having small cohorts of at risk students back on campus on October 20 to receive support with distance learning.
MATES MATES will be returning on October 26, 2020; Another group of students will return on January 4, 2021 and the remaining students will continue with distance learning for the remainder of the year.
Peak Prep Peak is a virtual school with no student facilities so its schedule will remain the same.            
River Oaks Academy ROA is starting with park day/enrichment classes on October 26, 2020; ROA plans to remain virtual for all academic support classes and SPED through the remainder of 2020 with re-entry in January.
University Prep UPCS plans to open in-person (K-8) on October 29, 2020 in a hybrid model and continue a distance learning program for some students.
Valley Oak VOC is a non-classroom based program and may offer in-person academic support in November or may wait until the beginning of January and remain virtual until then. Their board will be making a decision next week.
Ventura Charter School VCS will open with a hybrid program on January 25, 2021 and will continue one full virtual cohort.
Vista Real In-center high school instruction begins January 25, 2021. Currently allowing high needs students to come on campus for tech support and pick up/drop off of resources by appointment only.

 

 

Schools Will Consider Reopening Dates as Ventura County Coronavirus Status Improves

coronavirusOctober 6, 2020 - On Tuesday, October 6, Ventura County moved off the most restrictive tier of the state’s COVID-19 watch list, which means schools could soon have the option of reopening for in-person instruction at all grade levels. If Ventura County maintains its status for two additional weeks, schools may choose to reopen as early as Wednesday, October 21. However, it will be up to each individual school district to determine exactly when they can safely begin welcoming students back to class. Some schools may choose to reopen their campuses later than October 21 for a variety of reasons.

When they do reopen, schools will need to maintain strict social distancing, keeping students and staff at least six feet away from each other. This means classrooms can only be filled to a fraction of their normal capacity. Schools are also required to keep the same groups of students together to the greatest extent possible to limit the number of people each student is exposed to throughout the day.

In elementary grades, many schools will comply with these rules by bringing only a portion of students to class each day. On the days they are not in class, students will continue receiving instruction through distance learning. This hybrid approach will allow all students to have some in-class instruction a few days per week.

The situation becomes much more complicated in middle school and high school where students switch classrooms and mix with different groups multiple times a day according to each student’s unique schedule. Because of this and the fact that classrooms cannot be filled to capacity, it will be extremely difficult to create a workable in-person schedule at the middle and high school levels. As a result, some schools may determine that the best option is to continue with full-time distance learning.

In addition to scheduling and safety considerations, school districts need to ensure there are enough teachers available to resume in-person instruction. Many teachers are in high risk groups, which could prevent them from returning to class. Others may have reservations about being in a crowded school environment while the pandemic is ongoing.

Another issue that complicates reopening is transportation. Because of social distancing requirements, school buses will not be able to carry the usual number of students. It’s very likely there will not be a sufficient supply of buses and drivers to provide transportation to all students who may need it.

“We recognize that people have passionate feelings on both sides of the school reopening issue, and we want nothing more than to get students safely back to class,” said Stan Mantooth, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools. “I urge everyone to understand that school district leaders are working to reopen in the most responsible way, which may mean spending additional time on distance learning at some schools.”

All Ventura County schools have prepared detailed reopening procedures that will help ensure the safety of students and staff when they return to campus. They include:

  • Face coverings will be required for all staff, students in third grade and above, and encouraged for younger students.
  • Classrooms will be arranged to keep everyone at least six feet apart.
  • Students will be kept in consistent groups (cohorts) as much as possible.
  • Parents will be instructed to keep students home whenever they have a temperature or show symptoms.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms at school will be sent home.
  • Facilities and equipment will be disinfected on a regular basis.
  • School officials will work with Ventura County Public Health on contact tracing if positive cases arise.
  • Athletic training and conditioning are allowed with social distancing, but actual competitions are on hold pending further guidance from public health officials.
  • Staff will receive COVID-19 testing as required by state and local regulations.
  • Staff and students will receive health screenings on a regular basis.

Each school district is communicating independently with parents and students about their reopening timelines. For additional information about reopening protocols, see the Framework for Reopening Ventura County Schools at www.vcoe.org/framework.

 

Update on Ventura County Schools from Superintendent Stan Mantooth

September 23, 2020 - Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth provided an update on the status of Ventura County public schools and preparations for reopening school campuses at the County’s weekly coronavirus news conference. Superintendent Mantooth says local school districts have prepared detailed plans on how they will safely reopen schools once it is permitted. Before schools will be allowed to reopen, Ventura County must move off the most restrictive level – the purple tier – on the state’s coronavirus watch list and stay off of it for two weeks. You can see the County’s current status on the watch list at this link

The Ventura County Office of Education has developed a Framework for Reopening Ventura County Schools that will guide local districts' reopening procedures. When schools do reopen, most students will initially return to class part-time and continue distance learning the rest of the time to accommodate social distancing requirements. Masks will be required for all staff and for students in third grade and above. You can view a video of Superintendent Mantooth’s complete remarks below.

 

Additional Resources

Ventura County Public Health Department Accepting Elementary School Waiver Applications

Updated Framework for Reopening Schools is Released

August 20, 2020 - On August 19, Ventura County Public Health (VCPH) announced that public and private elementary schools in Ventura County can submit school waiver applications to allow in-person instruction at their campuses. VCPH says all waivers, public or private, are directed to meet, at a minimum, the criteria laid out in the document Framework for Reopening Ventura County Schools which has been prepared by the Ventura County Office of Education in consultation with VCPH.  

 

All Ventura County Schools to Begin New Year with Only Distance Learning

July 17, 2020 - Following the release of new state guidelines announced on July 17 by Governor Gavin Newsom, all Ventura County school districts and charter schools will begin the new school year using distance learning without bringing students back to their campuses. The new guidance comes a day after most Ventura County schools had already committed to beginning the year with distance learning in support of the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the new state guidance, schools cannot reopen their campuses until the county in which they are located has been off the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list for 14 consecutive days. Ventura County is one of 32 California counties currently on the list. The guidance applies to both public and private schools.

“We appreciate this confirmation from the Governor that bringing students back to campus in our current environment is too great of a risk to take,” said Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth. “We know that distance learning can never fully substitute for the exchange of knowledge and social support that takes place in schools, but it is the most prudent way for us to provide education while the coronavirus continues to surge in Ventura County.”

Local schools are now focused on optimizing their plans to deliver high-quality distance learning. Since school campuses abruptly closed in March, local educators have been refining their distance learning offerings based on extensive feedback from students, parents and teachers. They’ve also been working to ensure that all students who need it have access to computers and connections to the internet. The Ventura County Office of Education is collaborating with school districts on curriculum development and technology support to maximize the effectiveness of distance learning for local students. Most Ventura County school districts intend to continue providing school meals while campuses are closed.

Ventura County school districts and charter schools will be providing additional details about their plans for the new school year to their communities. A list of school district websites is available here and a list of local charter school websites is available here.

For the latest updates on the impact of the coronavirus on Ventura County public schools, including distance learning resources and information about meal service and child care, please visit the Ventura County Office of Education website at www.vcoe.org.

All Ventura County school districts and charter schools will begin the 2020-2021 school year with only distance learning.

VENTURA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS

  • Briggs School District
  • Conejo Valley Unified School District
  • Fillmore Unified School District
  • Hueneme Elementary School District
  • Las Virgenes Unified School District *
  • Mesa Union School District
  • Moorpark Unified School District
  • Mupu Elementary School District
  • Oak Park Unified School District
  • Ocean View School District
  • Ojai Unified School District
  • Oxnard School District (K-8)
  • Oxnard Union High School District
  • Pleasant Valley School District
  • Rio School District
  • Santa Clara Elementary School District
  • Santa Paula Unified School District
  • Simi Valley Unified School District
  • Somis Union School District
  • Ventura County Office of Education
  • Ventura Unified School District

VENTURA COUNTY CHARTER SCHOOLS

  • Architecture, Construction & Engineering Charter High School
  • Bridges Charter School
  • Camarillo Academy of Progressive Education
  • Golden Valley Charter School
  • Ivy Tech Charter School
  • Meadows Arts and Technology Elementary School
  • River Oaks Academy
  • University Preparation Charter School
  • Valley Oak Charter School
  • Ventura Charter School
  • Vista Real Charter High School

* Las Virgenes Unified School District is based in Los Angeles County, but serves a portion of Ventura County.

 

Framework for Reopening Ventura County Schools is Released

July 10, 2020 – The Ventura County Office of Education has released a document intended to help local public schools prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The Framework for Reopening Ventura County Schools was prepared by the Ventura County Office of Education in consultation with Ventura County Public Health and the county’s school districts and charter schools.

The document includes requirements and guidelines based on the latest information from state and local public health officials. It aims to provide schools with maximum flexibility on how they will function during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic while keeping the health and safety of students and employees a top priority.  

“The coming school year is going to be unlike any other we have experienced before,” said Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth. “Our school leaders and teachers have done a tremendous job adapting to continually changing circumstances. I am confident they will make the decisions that are best for their communities with the Framework serving as a guide.” 

The Framework was created by a task force led by Dr. Antonio Castro, VCOE’s Associate Superintendent for Educational Services. The task force included representatives from the Ventura County Office of Education, Ventura County Public Health and local school districts. It provides extensive information about safety protocols on school campuses and how to respond to the potential for confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students and staff. 

Each school district and charter school in Ventura County is deciding independently what combination of in-class and distance learning they plan to offer for the new school year. They are each developing their own reopening plans that will be submitted to the Ventura County Office of Education for review.

The Framework is a living document that will be updated as conditions change. The latest version is available to download at this link.

 

New Car Graduation Protocol Issued by Ventura County Public Health

May 27, 2020 – Ventura County Public Health (VCPH) today released a revised protocol regarding vehicle celebrations for graduations and other special observances. The protocol has been modified to allow graduates to briefly exit their vehicles on a timed schedule to receive their diplomas. Diplomas may be distributed using a no-contact pick-up method, maintaining physical distancing of six feet or greater. The protocol allows school personnel to take photos of graduates outside of their vehicles. Family members will be permitted to take photos from inside their vehicles.  

The car line must be organized by a designated host who is responsible for ensuring full compliance with the protocol and adherence to the State Health Officer’s Stay at Home Order, which precludes mass gatherings. 

The new VCPH protocol may be downloaded at https://bit.ly/car-grad-2020.

 

COVID-19 Updates 

 

All Ventura County School Districts to Close Campuses Through Remainder of School Year 

April 1, 2020 - All Ventura County School Districts have jointly agreed to keep their campuses closed and continue distance learning through the end of the 2019-20 school year in support of the coronavirus mitigation effort. The decision was made on Wednesday, April 1 in consultation with Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin. It comes after recommendations from California Governor Gavin Newsom and California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond for schools to continue providing distance learning in lieu of in-class instruction for the remainder of the current semester.

“While we would like nothing more than to welcome students back to campus before the end of the year, the health and safety of our communities has to be the first priority,” said Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Stan Mantooth. “We realize the situation is fluid and schools are prepared to alter their plans as conditions warrant.”

Superintendent Mantooth emphasized that the closure of school facilities does not mean the current school year is over. Ventura County school districts are already providing distance learning opportunities for students and will continue making them more robust. Many have transitioned to online learning platforms and provided laptops and wi-fi hot spots to students who need them. Others are using paper-based materials when technological solutions are not practical. 

“We understand that these closures place a tremendous burden on families and we will do everything we can to expand distance learning and continue providing meal service to students in need,” Mantooth said. Grab-n-go school meals continue to be widely available throughout Ventura County. A list of pick-up locations is available at www.vcoe.org/meals.

One of the most difficult aspects of the closure is the disruption to traditional end-of-year activities including graduation ceremonies. Schools are already exploring alternative ways to celebrate the end of the year and recognize our students for their accomplishments. 

The Ventura County school districts that jointly agreed to extend their campus closures are listed below. Most Ventura County charter schools are expected to follow suit.

  • Briggs School District
  • Conejo Valley Unified School District
  • Fillmore Unified School District
  • Hueneme Elementary School District
  • Las Virgenes Unified School District*
  • Mesa Union School District
  • Moorpark Unified School District
  • Mupu Elementary School District
  • Oak Park Unified School District
  • Ocean View School District
  • Ojai Unified School District
  • Oxnard School District (K-8)
  • Oxnard Union High School District
  • Pleasant Valley School District
  • Rio School District
  • Santa Clara Elementary School District
  • Santa Paula Unified School District
  • Simi Valley Unified School District
  • Somis Union School District
  • Ventura County Office of Education
  • Ventura Unified School District

For the latest updates on the impact of the coronavirus on Ventura County public schools including closures, meal service and distance learning, please visit the Ventura County Office of Education website at www.vcoe.org.

* Las Virgenes Unified School District is based in Los Angeles County, but serves a portion of Ventura County.

 

Meal Service

Meal Service During School Closures

School meal service will still be widely available in Ventura County while schools are closed due to the coronavirus.

CLICK HERE FOR MEAL SERVICE LOCATIONS

 

 

Distance LearningDistance Learning

Access VCOE distance learning resources and links to at-home enrichment information from school districts throughout Ventura County.

CLICK HERE FOR DISTANCE LEARNING RESOURCES

 

Answers to Common Questions 

Get answers to questions about testing, graduation, childcare and more.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FAQ

 

 

Talking to Kids about Coronavirus

Giving kids accurate, age-appropriate information in a calm and reassuring way can help them cope with uncertainty created by the coronavirus. Click the links below for valuable advice about how to best talk to kids about coronavirus.

 

Preventing the Spread of the Coronavirus

Actively working to prevent the spread of disease remains the most important thing we can do at this point. Standard precautions to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as cold and flu apply to coronavirus. These include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid hugging and shaking hands.
  • Try to stay at least six feet away from anyone who appears to be sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is available, cough into the crook of your arm.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional. 
  • Get vaccinated for flu every year.

 

Social Distancing

Social distancing involves measures that reduces opportunities for person-to-person virus transmission that can help delay the spread and slow the exponential growth of a pandemic during severe, very severe, or extreme pandemics while minimizing the secondary consequences of the measures. Social distancing measures can be implemented in a range of community settings, including educational facilities, workplaces, and public places where people gather (e.g., parks, religious institutions, theaters, and sports arenas). The choice of social distancing measure depends on the severity of the pandemic. Social distancing measures include the following:

  • Closure of schools or work environments.
  • Lessening the contact between individuals through cancelation of non-academic events. 
  • If schools remain open during a pandemic, divide school classes into smaller groups of students and rearrange desks so students are spaced at least 3 feet from each other in a classroom. This applies to apparently healthy persons without symptoms. In the event of a very severe or extreme pandemic, this recommended minimal distance between people might be increased.
  • Persons in community settings who show symptoms consistent with cold or flu and who might be infected with pandemic illness should be separated from well persons as soon as practical, be sent home, and practice voluntary home isolation. 
  • Modify, postpone, or cancel mass gatherings.
  • A video about social distancing with Dr. Robert Levin from VCPH can be viewed at this link.

Additional information about social distancing is available on page 5 of this document: VCOE School Action Steps for Pandemic Outbreak.