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Reopening School Update as of 7/18/20
Posted 7/22/20

Governor Gavin Newsom held a press conference yesterday where he unveiled new guidance for schools that was characterized by the Governor as a “mandate” and is far more prescriptive than previous guidance.  The new guidance states that any district that resides in a county that has been placed on the COVID-19 monitoring list would have to conduct distance learning instruction until that county sustains a 14-day decline in cases, which is required before a county can officially come off of the state’s watch list. Once a county comes off of the monitoring list, districts have the discretion to implement their reopening plans. If a county is placed on the monitoring list after a district physically reopens its doors, they would not be forced to close their schools but there would be an expectation for staff to be tested.  Contra Costa County is currently on the monitoring list.  Therefore, in accordance with this mandate and recommendations from the MSD Task Force, school will reopen via distance learning.


When schools do physically reopen their doors, the guidance lays out specific criteria for when a classroom cohort, school site, or entire district would be forced to shut down due to confirmed COVID-19 cases.  

  • A classroom cohort would need to go home if there is at least one confirmed case, which would be followed by a 14-day quarantine for everyone in that cohort.
  • An entire school site would need to close its doors if multiple classroom cohorts have at least one confirmed case, or if the school has more than a 5% virus positivity rate, which would be followed by a 14-day quarantine for all students and staff.
  • An entire district would be forced to shut down if 25% of their schools experienced a 5% positivity rate for students and staff.

The guidance recommends that surveillance testing be implemented based on local disease trends and that staff be tested at least once every two months and at least half of the staff be tested every month.

  • Governor Newsom indicated that the new statewide testing strategy that has been recently implemented sets an expectation that health care plans and employers cover the costs of these tests.
  • The guidance does not provide a recommendation for how often students should be tested.

The guidance also sets a mask requirement and reemphasizes physical distancing and other health guidelines.

  • All students and staff in grades three and above are required to wear a mask, whereas all students in second grade and below are encouraged, but not required, to wear masks or face shields. (The MSD Task Force recommends stronger mask requirements)
  • Schools are also required to ensure that staff (and students to the greatest extent possible) maintain at least six feet of physical distancing from their students and peers, implement daily symptom monitoring procedures, make handwashing stations available, have daily sanitation and disinfection procedures, and implement quarantine protocols if necessary.

I anticipate you have questions.  Please understand the information I provided above was received yesterday and I expect details and questions we both have will unravel this coming week.  As soon as we have additional information, it will be forwarded to you.


I have two sets of staff that I'd like to thank.  First, I'd like to thank the Task Force to Reopen Schools, a group of parents, administrators, staff and board members who have been working on reopening plans everyday since mid June.  (see list of Task Force members below). I estimate the Task Force worked a combined 1,500 hours planning and developing schedules.  I'd also like to thank our school principals who have not had a day off all summer.  They, too, have been working on the Task Force, but also supported my work on several different levels throughout the summer.  


Following Task Force work, we now transition to developing distance learning plans for the start of the new school year, a process that includes new laws per Senate Bill 98  (see the MSD Task Force Plan to Open School, Appendix A for a summary).  More information about this planning will be sent to teachers in a subsequent email.


I hope you are well and enjoying the summer.  I miss you and I miss our students.







Janelle Chng, Parent and Vice President of the MSD Governing Board 

Jon Nickens, Parent and Member of the MSD Governing Board 

Dr. Paul Espinas, Parent 

Stefanie Galizia, Parent 

Tina Weber, Parent 

Gita Kesiraju, Parent 

Casey Sproul, Parent 

Joel Morgan, Parent 

Lisa Brown, MEF President and Parent 

Dr. Rebecca Eirich, Parent Laura Fegraus, Parent 

Kimberly Prast, Parent 

Kim Lockett, JM Teacher 

Leann Nixdorff, JM Teacher 

Karlene Steelman, MTA President and JM Teacher 

Angie Guidi, DR Teacher 

Shaun Paul, TK Teacher 

Emily Robinson, TK Teacher 

Suzanne Tom, LP Teacher 

Sekai Greer, DR Teacher 

Olivia Flint, JM School Psychologist 

Bess Inzeo, Elementary School Counselor 

Annette Herbert, CSEA President and Counselor Support 

Shannon Ross, DR Computer Lab Coordinator 

Lynne Wilson, Childcare Director 

Sean Anderson, Director of Maintenance and Grounds

 Jennifer Baier, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent 

Bruce K. Burns, Superintendent 

Stephanie Richards, LP Principal
Joan Danilson, JM Principal 

David Lanuza, JM Assistant Principal 

Chris Reddam, CP Principal 

Brian Sullivan, DR Principal   







Bruce K. Burns
Moraga School District

1540 School Street 
Moraga, CA 94556 
(925) 377-4101


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