Health and safety guidance for the 2021-2022 school year


Yi (Steven) Yang

The Amador campus awaits students for the 2021-2022 school year.

Yi (Steven) Yang, Editor-in-Chief

Last Friday, Pleasanton Unified School District sent an email detailing its plan for the student body to return to in-person instruction during the next school year and its safety precautions as well. 

According to the email, on Wednesday, August 11, students will return to in-person school. There will be an option to enroll in Pleasanton Virtual Academy as an alternative schooling possibility. 

There has been a recent increase in the number of COVID cases, most likely due to the contagious Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. 

Teachers are optimistic about reopening schools but many are carefully planning their approach. 

“I do think there is always the possibility of returning to a shelter-in-place, but I think this becomes increasingly difficult as people grow weary of being confined, even if that does become the safest course. I feel like we are never going to get everything under control until at least 80% of eligible people get vaccinated or become resistant through previous infection,” explained English teacher and Comp Civics Coach Stacey Sklar

However, some students have their doubts about reopening. Gavin Wang, an Amador junior, thinks that “safety is not guaranteed.”

“We should always stay on alert about any rise in cases in Alameda county. We should stop in-person school if the cases rise to a certain level to ensure student and teacher safety,”  said Wang

Although there is always the possibility of returning to remote learning, as of right now, there has been no new information regarding that. 

“We have not received any information to lead us to believe that we will not be returning to in-person instruction. Students and teachers would be notified of any changes if and when we received updated guidance from the State and/or County that would necessitate a deviation from in-person instruction,” said PUSD Coordinator Patrick Gannon

PUSD has also implemented a mask mandate. In accordance with guidelines issued by Alameda County Public Health Department, students and adults – regardless of vaccination status – must wear masks indoors, while it is encouraged while outdoors. However, fully vaccinated adults without students present can choose whether or not to wear a mask.

Guidelines for masks are detailed by PUSD with a general rule of masks being mandatory indoors. (Yi (Steven) Yang)

“Mask mandates are necessary to be really cautious. As for the mask mandates for being outside, we should respect the fact that it is optional, so it is not really an issue if a student or teacher does not wear masks outdoors,” explained Wang

However, the “six feet” rule is not enforced while masks are mandated. 

“With the universal use of masks indoors, physical distancing is not necessary in the classroom. When outside, we will follow similar practices to last year based on health guidance we receive from the County and State,” explained Gannon

Some teachers also are taking extra precautions, such as keeping classroom doors open to let air circulate.

“I am doing everything I can to feel as safe as possible. I plan to wear a mask at school so long as the virus is spreading, even if restrictions relax, and plan to flood my classroom with as much fresh air as possible,” said Sklar

For more information about COVID protocol, consult the California Department of Public Health’s guidelines on masks and vaccinations.