FAQs about COVID safety and protocols

March 9, 2022

Section Links:

COVID testing
Health and Safety




Meals Mental Health



COVID Testing

Will students be COVID tested? Will testing be available at all school sites? Will it be mandatory?

Please see our Quarantine and Testing webpage


Will students be required to present a negative COVID test result before starting school?

No, but we strongly encourage families who have either been traveling or are concerned about a potential exposure to get tested as a preventative measure. If you have traveled, please continue to check California Dept of Health and the CDC websites for updated testing guidance.


What will COVID test frequency be for staff? 

Please see our Quarantine and Testing webpage

Where can we get COVID testing?

Free, asymptomatic testing is available:

Click here to schedule through El Camino Health at El Camino Hospital or MV Center for Performing Arts.

Click here to schedule through Santa Clara County.

If your child has symptoms of COVID or has had a known exposure to someone who may have COVID, please contact your child's pediatrician for testing information. If you do not have a health care provider, click here to make a symptomatic testing appointment with a county provider

Health and Safety


What is the rule about masks?

Everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, is required to wear a mask while inside and outside on school grounds. MVWSD will be requiring masks for outdoor activities such as recess and physical education in alignment with CDC recommendations. Staff members are required to be masked on school grounds when working/meeting with other adults.

What kind of masks should we use?
Public health officials are now recommending upgrading from fabric masks. Upgraded masks include double masking (surgical mask + cloth mask), fitted medical masks (surgical masks) and respirator masks (N95s, KN95s or KF94s). Please see “Choosing Your Mask” here.


Will students be allowed to take “mask breaks”?

It’s possible that students can get supervised mask breaks, outside and away from others. Check with your principal about how your school handles mask breaks.  


What safeguards will be in place to protect both teachers and students?

The District has instituted many safety measures including improved ventilation, universal mask wearing, and touchless faucets and soap dispensers, in order to prevent transmission of the virus and to keep staff safe upon return. We will also be using updated recommendations from:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

California Department of Public Health


What happens if someone tests positive for COVID after being on campus? When do people need to quarantine due to COVID?

Sick individuals who test positive will be quarantined as needed and outlined by the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, and MVWSD will be closely adhering to and enforcing these guidelines. COVID quarantine parameters have been adjusted for the coming school year, based on masking and vaccinations. Please see updated guidance here. 



If your child is sick or needs to quarantine, how can learning continue during that time? 

Please contact your child’s teacher to get missed assignments. Our schools are not offering concurrent, online instruction to students at home.



Good ventilation is an important factor in limiting the spread of COVID. How is MVWSD doing in this area?

Our schools’ HVAC systems have been updated to include MERV-13 filters, which is the highest-grade filter available for our units, or air purifiers with filtration ratings at least as high as the MERV-13.   Additionally dampers on all of our units are maximized to take in as much outside air as possible.  Portable HEPA filters have also been added to every classroom and office area. These improvements will minimize COVID transmission as well as protect classroom air quality during wildfires. Our District works with mechanical engineers who advise us on settings and upgrades.

What will arrival and dismissal look like?
Everyone should maintain social distancing and wear masks. Similar to last year, parents will not be allowed to enter campus during arrival and dismissal. Pick up and drop off will happen at gates/designated areas. Community members, siblings, parents and volunteers cannot be on campus while students are still present. There is limited community access to campus after 4 p.m. 




How many school staff members are vaccinated?

We will continue to encourage and track staff vaccinations. Our staff members have an almost 100% rate of vaccination. You can view the statistics here. There are some employees who have medical exemptions for COVID vaccines.


Can you require students to be vaccinated?

MVWSD is encouraging all eligible individuals to get vaccinated (and boosted as applicable), and has held several vaccination clinics on campus in partnership with local health agencies. It is currently not a requirement.



Where can I get a vaccination?

They are free and convenient. Please see: https://covid19.sccgov.org/covid-19-vaccine-information



Learning Options Specifics

What are parents’ options if they are concerned about the health risks of their residents at in-person school?

All students are expected to attend in-person instruction. However, students and families that feel in-person instruction compromises their health may elect to participate in a Remote Independent Study program as outlined in state law for the 2021-22 school year. Remote Independent Study learning will be provided to MVWSD students by Edgenuity, a third-party provider, and will not look like the Distance Learning program MVWSD offered in the 2020-21 school year. Please see this webpage for more information.



What will PE, recess, music and lunch look like for students on campus?
Meals: During times of unmasked eating, students will be socially distanced to the greatest extent possible and outdoor seating areas will be maximized.


Recess and PE: MVWSD will be requiring masks for outdoor activities such as recess and physical education in alignment with CDC recommendations. Masking will allow students to move more freely between play areas and friend groups. During outdoor PE, teachers will use their discretion about whether students need to unmask due to the level of physical exertion. 


Vocal and aerosol-producing instrumental music: MVWSD will proceed with regular classes this year.  Students will be socially distanced to the greatest extent possible and outdoor instruction areas will be maximized. Additionally, MVWSD will provide instrument bell covers and specialized music masks to reduce the possibility of COVID transmission.



What happens if COVID or wildfire smoke force school closure?

Please see our Air Quality webpage



Can classes go outside for learning?
Outside learning is encouraged as an option, following safety protocols. Whether classes go outside is determined by the teacher, school schedule and access to these areas.

Will there be policies for student behavior, such as mandatory mask wearing, to ensure safety and reduced disruption for classes in person?
Yes, schools will have consistent practices for student behavior regarding masks and social distancing. These expectations will be communicated to students and parents. We are confident our students and families will be able to follow safety rules.  If a student cannot comply with mask wearing, he/she will be referred to the remote independent study program. 



Volunteer Guidelines

Click here for the latest status of volunteers




What should students do about lunch?

Due to federal funding, the district is able to provide free breakfast, snacks and lunches to students on campus daily. Menus and nutritional analysis are posted at https://www.mvwsd.org/nutrition. There will be a vegetarian option each day. Our Food and Nutrition Services Department may be able to meet some specialized dietary restrictions. Please contact the department at 650.903.6965. Gluten free lunches are not available. A count of those taking school lunch will be taken at the beginning of the school day. Students may bring their own self-contained lunches if desired.



Will food distribution at Castro continue when the district reopens?

MVWSD will continue providing free grab and go meals at Castro Elementary (500 Toft St) during lunchtime for children in the community who are not on campus.


Mental Health

What can we do for students’ mental health?
In addition to our ongoing partnership with CHAC, our site based counselors, and the recent hire of a Director of Wellness, MVWSD has allocated funds for student orientation activities, social-emotional learning and targeted tutoring. Over the next two years, each school will be developing and rolling out these plans for the benefit of students. 

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