Preparing for Return to In-Person

Principal's Letter

Since March, we’ve been looking forward to welcoming students back to our campus and classrooms for in-person instruction. As recently communicated by the District, in-person instruction will begin September 24-25, for those who selected in-person academic models, assuming the county’s COVID-19 rates continue to trend in a positive direction.  

Students in our Hybrid Academic Models will receive direct correspondence from their teachers regarding their cohort and schedule at the end of the week. 

September 21-22 are District wide Non-Student Days

To support the transition from online to in-person instruction, the District has moved two staff development days from October 12 and February 12 to take place on September 21 and 22, which will now be non-student days for all IUSD students.        

The transition schedule for in-person instruction is as follows:

  • Monday, September 21: Staff Development Day/Non-Student Day

  • Tuesday, September 22: Staff Development Day/Non-Student Day

  • Wednesday, September 23: Distance Learning Day

  • Thursday, September 24: First day of in-person instruction per regular schedule

  • Friday, September 25: Second day of in-person instruction per regular schedule

** Please note that October 12 and February 12 will be restored as instructional days.

What’s Next

As we continue to formalize our plans and monitor directives from the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency, we thought this would be a good time to run through what you can expect when in-person classes return, as well as some steps you and your family can take to help keep our community healthy.

Our Commitment to Families

IUSD is committed to following and sharing guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health and our local partners, including the Orange County Health Care Agency and the Orange County Department of Education. This means we will promote physical distancing  measures, healthy hygiene practices, stringent cleaning standards, smaller cohorting to the extent possible, and face coverings. Visit IUSD’s Opening and Safety Planning webpage for more information. 

All school HVAC systems have been recalibrated to pull in fresh air from outside, rather than recycled air from inside the building, and have been equipped with HEPA filters.  Additionally,  each classroom has been provided a HEPA air purification system that cleans the air every 30 minutes.  As reported by expert health agencies, proper ventilation with outside air can help reduce the risk of airborne contaminants, such as COVID-19.      

If There’s a Confirmed Case

If the District is informed that a student or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, the District has been directed to immediately contact the Orange County Health Care Agency, which will assist school personnel in conducting a case investigation and assessing the exposure risk. Confidentiality of identified cases will be maintained. If a case is confirmed, the Orange County Health Care Agency will provide a letter to students or staff, who were in close contact (less than six feet for more than 15 minutes) with the confirmed case. Self-isolation instructions will be detailed in the letter. Lower risk exposure notifications that do not require self-isolation may be provided in some circumstances. Please note that a letter will not be sent home to communicate unconfirmed cases.  Only confirmed cases will be communicated.

Click here for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for confirmed, exposure related or suspected COVID-19 cases. 

When to Close Due to an Outbreak

With guidance from the Orange County Health Care Agency, a return to distance learning may be necessary under the following conditions:

  • A classroom or school may switch to distance learning based on the number of cases, number of classroom cohorts affected, and percentage of teachers, students or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.  

  • According to the California Department of Public Health, a district should switch to distance learning if 25 percent of its schools are closed within a 14-day period.

The Orange County Health Officer may consider the size and physical layout of the school when making decisions, including results from public health investigation or other local epidemiological data.  Click here for more information.  

What We’re Asking of You

We are encouraging each of you to discuss with your child what their return to school will look like, along with some of the ways we’re working together to keep one another safe. Also, reinforce the importance of hand-washing, physical distancing and face coverings. If your child has any underlying health issues, please schedule an appointment with your pediatrician to talk about risk factors for vulnerable children. If a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19, please keep your child at home and contact your school for guidance. Finally, if your child has any symptoms associated with the coronavirus, make sure they stay home and get tested if necessary.  Keep children home when they are sick.

Stay Informed

For ongoing updates and information, visit the District’s COVID-19 resource page, which includes an FAQ that may also provide answers for many of your questions.  For detailed information about the District’s safety planning, visit our Opening and Safety Planning webpage.

We’re in this Together 

We hope that our county continues to see declines in its COVID-19 rates and that our schools can reopen for in-person instruction safely without any setbacks. But it’s going to take a concerted effort from all of us to keep students, employees and families safe when in-person instruction resumes.

On Monday we will launch our "Opening Stone Creek Safely" webpage that will include our safety procedures and training videos to support a safe experience on our campus. Additionally, we will send out our revised Bell Schedule and 2020-2021 School Calendar with updates BTSN and Parent Conference Week Dates.

We’re all in this together and we appreciate your partnership and support. We are so excited to start seeing students back on campus!


Christina Pierson

Principal, Stone Creek Elementary