Superintendent News Logo

November 15, 2020 

Inclusion Counts Parent Listening Session - Tuesday, Nov 17

The San Carlos Elementary School District is partnering with Inclusion Counts to assess our current state of diversity, equity and racial-justice. In order to ensure our priorities, goals and actions related to anti-racism in our community are reflective of our diverse community voices, we’re taking time to hear from members of our community - staff, students and families.

On Tuesday, November 17 we invite parents/guardians to participate in a Community Listening Session/ Group Interview with our consultants at Inclusion Counts. During this session, you will be asked to share about your experience at San Carlos Elementary School District - and, if applicable, how you/ your family has been affected by racism, bias or intolerance.

More information and session times can be found here.

SCSD Return To School Timeline

Phase 1

Staff Transition to Classroom

  • Teachers move back classrooms to teach virtually, learn safety procedures, foot traffic flow, distribute materials and supplies to students, assess students for the first-trimester report cards. 
  • Begin weekly staff onsite COVID-19 testing and begin using symptom screening app “Fever Free.” 

By Nov 13

Phase 2

Support Urgent Learners on Campus

  • Principals and teachers identify and provide extra support for a small group of students.
  • A/B cohort groups formed.

By Nov 30

Phase 3

Some In-Person Learning on Campus

  • Continue distance learning in the AM.
  • Provide optional time in the afternoon for A/B cohorts of students to come on campus for social/emotional learning, hands-on activities, instruction, assessment, etc. 
  • December 7-17:  Students will be invited to campus to learn safety routines and protocols: enter/exit campus, classroom and restroom procedures, meet peers and teachers in person, and prepare for instruction after the break. This in-person session is optional.
  • Connections students will not participate in in-person learning. 

By Dec 18

Phase 4 

Full Hybrid Learning 

  • Staff are reevaluating the original hybrid model adopted in June. We will learn from Phase 3 to inform our plans for providing more time on campus while trying to optimize learning time.
  • Connections students will not participate in in-person learning. 


Parent Survey: Phase 3 Input and Distance Learning Check-In


Your principal sent you a survey to get input on beginning Phase 3 and to check in again about how distance learning is going as compared to September when we surveyed you last. Please help us best meet the needs of our students by responding to it. We will be in distance learning during Phase 3 and want feedback to continue improving our program.


Return To School Virtual Parent Training December 1 and 2

Our teachers, principals and staff have been working hard to prepare for our return to in-person instruction.  We all want your children to be able to come back to school safely as soon as possible. For more details, you can read the SCSD Return to School Procedure Plan. An important step to bringing our students back to school will take place the evenings of December 1 and 2, with virtual family training sessions.


Each school principal will host a session for their parents/guardians and older students to share what has been done to prepare our campuses, and what families need to do so that your children can return to in-person instruction. Principals will email Zoom links to families soon. Among the topics that we will discuss are:

  • What you can do at home to keep everyone safe and healthy
  • How students will arrive and leave school each day
  • Daily health screenings for all students 
  • Hand washing 
  • Mask wearing
  • What happens when someone has symptoms
  • What we need from you when your child has symptoms
  • Emotional support for your child and for you

There will also be opportunities for questions and answers with the principal. 


San Mateo County Health Conditions

San Mateo County is currently maintaining its Tier 3-Orange: Moderate Spread level according to the state monitoring system. We continue to be in communication with the County to monitor local health conditions. County Health has asked us to remind our communities about continued vigilance with masking, washing hands, avoiding gatherings with people outside of your household, and practicing social distancing as keys to maintaining low local infection rates. We all have a part to play in keeping the spread of COVID low so that we can keep our staff and students safe and return students to campus. 

Free COVID-19 Testing For Staff, Students and Families


As we move to coming back to in-person learning on campus, regular COVID testing for staff will be a key part of our health and safety plan to minimize the spread of the virus. Teacher and staff testing with Curative began this week. Our Return to School Plan includes weekly on-site testing for all staff. 


The County of San Mateo has also announced that no-cost testing for COVID-19 is available for children ages 5 and older. Families must make an appointment, have children ages 5 and older, and live within San Mateo County in order to participate in the testing. Information about free adult testing by Project Baseline can be found on their website. We strongly encourage all families to be COVID tested prior to coming onto campuses so that we can reduce risk as much as possible for our staff and students. 


Regional Travel Guidance and Staying Safe Over the Holidays


As you may have heard, the Bay Area County Health Officers recently released new travel guidance.  We are asking that you do what you can to keep our community safe. Here are some ways that you can help during the holiday season with a successful return to in-person learning:


  • Wear masks when outside of your house and wash hands frequently
  • Avoid traveling during the holiday season
  • Stay home and celebrate with members of your household; avoid gathering with people outside of your household. See this graphic to understand high-risk activities.
  • If you must travel and spend time with people not living in your household, we ask that you consider quarantining for 14 days before sending your child to school and please consider having your family participate in a free COVID-19 test upon your return. Evidence suggests that 5 days after possible exposure is the most accurate time to get a COVID test. 


Sequoia Healthcare District Newsletter


The Sequoia Healthcare District continues to be a crucial partner in supporting our school counseling, nursing, and wellness initiatives through a generous grant. Check out the latest newsletter here, and feel free to thank Sequoia Healthcare District for the Healthy Schools Initiative.


Thank you for your partnership, support and patience as we continue to move forward.


Michelle Harmeier, Ed.D.


Fall Important Dates - District Calendar

  • November 13 End of First Trimester
  • November 17 Inclusion Counts! Parent/Guardian Listening Session 

5:00 - 8:00 PM

  • November 18 SCEF Day! Wear Green!
  • November 19 Regular Board Meeting. See Agenda Here
  • November 23-27 Fall Break - No School
  • December 1 and 2 Virtual Parent Return To School Trainings
  • December 18-January 3 Winter Break - No School
  • January 4 No School - Professional Development for Staff
  • January 5 School Resumes



November 16, 2020

Dear SCSD Families, 

Please see below for the latest news from the San Mateo County Office of Education on how the change today in San Mateo County's tier to Red affects plans for returning to in-person learning in our schools.

SMCOE Press Release Image


November 16, 2020







Impact on Schools of County’s Move to the Red Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy

Redwood City, CA—San Mateo County’s transition back to the Red Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, announced by the State earlier today, does not impact the operation of schools or the process for returning students to in-person instruction. Additionally, education is considered an “essential” activity by the State – not a gathering – and, therefore, is not impacted by the State’s recently updated guidance on gatherings.

Schools in the county that are currently operating in-person instruction have all developed plans and are implementing the guidance provided in the Pandemic Recovery Framework. These plans, which have been reviewed by San Mateo County Health and the County Office of Education, provide layers of protective measures, including face coverings, physical distancing, testing, contact tracing, health screenings, and regular cleaning and disinfection. As a result of these safety measures, schools in the county are not experiencing outbreaks of COVID-19 and will continue to serve students on campus.

“By following the guidance provided in the Pandemic Recovery Framework, schools are showing they can do this even if conditions in the county change. Nonetheless, we remain alert to State and County guidance, and the County Office of Education continues to build the capacity of schools to pivot to distance learning if public health officials advise,” explained San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee.

After many months of distance learning, students and staff who have returned to campus are reaping the benefits that in-person interaction provides. Schools are consistently reporting that, after some initial trepidation, students and teachers are happy to be back on campus, feel safe, and are thriving. Even those schools bringing back students on a very limited basis are finding that the on-campus interactions offer students mental health, social, and academic benefits.

“As school communities continue to create in-person experiences for students, we are seeing the enormous benefit to students of being back on campus, even for short periods of time,” explained San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee.

This view was shared by Superintendents from San Mateo County school districts that have returned students to campus for learning and support.

“Children exit excitedly from their cars each morning, so excited to be with their teacher and classmates after months of online learning,” shared Amy Wooliever, Superintendent of the La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District.

Erik Burmeister, Superintendent of the Menlo Park City School District, added, “Despite the understandable anxieties, the return model that Menlo Park City School District and others have implemented has managed risks and allowed our students and staff to experience the benefits of in-person learning for their academic, social, and emotional well being. As a society, if we sacrifice to keep anything open during a pandemic, it should be our schools. Districts throughout San Mateo County are showing how that can be done."