21-22 School Year Planning

Updated October 5, 2021

Live Oak’s plans for the 21-22 school year prioritize in-person learning for all students, while ensuring a safe school environment that reduces the risk of COVID-19.

Guiding Principles

The following are the guiding principles that focus our decision-making:

  • Live Oak is committed to the health and safety of our students, our faculty and staff, our families, and our broader community. Live Oak will adhere to guidelines regarding school openings and closures as established by the Center for Disease Control, the California Department of Public Health, the San Francisco Public Health Department, and the California Association of Independent Schools.
  • Every Live Oak student’s social-emotional well-being and educational potential is best served by full time in-person learning.
  • Live Oak’s educational program will be designed to support the potential and promise of each student while advancing equity, promoting diversity, and deepening inclusion in our school and broader community.


COVID-19 Prevention & Mitigation Plan

Live Oak’s COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation Plan is made available to staff, families, and students through the school’s websites. Staff training on the plan will be completed during Opening Week, August 16-23. Staff meetings and bulletins provide staff with updates to our plans. Communications to Parents/Guardians will commence in August 2021 through bulletins and virtual meetings. The Plan is also posted in full to the school’s website, Staff Portal, and Family Portal.

Live Oak is implementing three key mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19: indoor masking, hand hygiene, and indoor ventilation. If students remove masks for eating while indoors, physical distancing will be implemented as a mitigation strategy.

Live Oak requires that all employees are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Staff and students will be required to complete daily, at home screening for COVID-19 exposure and COVID-19 symptoms. All staff and students are directed to stay home if sick.

Students who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day will be isolated in the sick room. While on campus, all students and staff will wear face masks and practice hand hygiene. The school will communicate with staff, students, and families after a confirmed COVID-19 case or known COVID-19 exposure to direct required testing or quarantine.

View Live Oak’s COVID19 Prevention & Mitigation Plan

View Live Oak’s Cal/OSHA Prevention Program

All staff and students who are ill are required to stay home from school. Visitors and volunteers who are ill are not permitted onto campus.

All employees will be required to complete a daily health screening that includes symptom screening, exposure screening, and temperature check. Employees will be asked to complete the screening before arrival on campus for work.

Parents of students will complete a daily health screening before arrival at school each morning that includes symptom screening, exposure screening, and temperature check. Students who do not pass the daily health screening will not be allowed to attend school until the return to school conditions are met.

Adults with symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 will not be allowed on campus. Students with symptoms will be sent home. Students who are waiting to be picked will wait in the school’s sick room.

Family members of students and staff with symptoms of COVID-19 are encouraged to get tested promptly, before they can spread infection to students and staff.

Face masks can keep infection from spreading, by trapping respiratory droplets and aerosols before they can travel through the air. Face masks promote safety and in-person learning by reducing the need for physical distancing. They are an essential prevention strategy in indoor spaces that include anyone unvaccinated against COVID-19.

SFDPH established that face masks are required indoors for all TK-12 students, with exemptions per CDPH face mask guidance, even when fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Adults in TK-12 school settings are required to mask when sharing indoor spaces with students regardless of vaccine status. Persons seeking exemption should be made directly to Edie Alejandre, Executive Assistant to the Head of School, at edie_alejandre@liveoaksf.org.

All individuals, including staff and students of all ages, must wear face coverings that cover their nose and mouth while at school/on campus. No individual is permitted to enter the campus without a face covering and they may only be removed for eating or drinking.

Though SFDPH does not currently require face masks outdoors, Live Oak will require that face masks be worn by students and staff throughout their day at school, indoors and outdoors, except when actively eating or drinking. When students and staff have to remove their masks to eat or drink, physical distancing of 3 feet is expected.

3-ply disposable face masks will be provided for students and staff upon request. Washable, reusable face masks are permissible as well. Please review the proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings. Face masks with vents are not sufficient to prevent the spread of the virus and are not permitted as face coverings by students or staff.

Face shields may be used for additional protection for the transmission of the virus through the eyes. They will be provided for optional use by staff. Face shields may not be used as a replacement for face masks.

Frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer use removes COVID-19 germs from people’s hands before they can infect themselves by touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. All students and staff are required to wash or sanitize their hands with routine frequency throughout the day, including upon entry to the building, upon entry and exit to a classroom or office space, before and after eating, and before and after using shared equipment. Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the campus to support this protocol.

Live Oak uses one of two hand sanitizers across the campus, active ingredients are listed below:

  • Liquid - Ethyl Alcohol 70%
  • Foam - Benzalkonium Chloride 0.13%

Increasing outdoor air circulation lowers the risk of infection by “diluting” any infectious respiratory droplets with outdoor air.

Live Oak’s facilities team will open all windows and doors ahead of the student arrival period to increase air circulation in the building. Windows and doors will remain open throughout the school day and after the dismissal period.

Adjustments to the settings in Live Oak’s HVAC system have increased the draw of outdoor air into the facility. Additionally, Live Oak has upgraded the filters in our HVAC system to MERV 13 and increased the regularity with which they are replaced.

In classrooms where windows can not be opened to increase the flow of outdoor air, portable HEPA filters will be used to contribute to the air quality in the space.

During wildfires or other times when air quality is poor, Live Oak will prioritize maintaining healthy air quality indoors. Live Oak will remain open even if we need to close windows or decrease outdoor air intake by our ventilation system during these times. In these situations, Live Oak will continue other precautions, especially wearing face masks and the use of portable air cleaners (HEPA filters).

See SFDPH Ventilation Guidance.

Live Oak’s campus will be fully accessible to staff, students, and essential visitors (health care workers, emergency personnel, educational support professionals, facilities maintenance personnel). Daily attendance of staff and students will be kept as well as a log of any visitors.

Drop-off and pick-up, during designated times, will occur outside the building. Parents and guardians are allowed on campus for drop-off and pick-up outside of designated times and in emergency situations. Masks are required of all children and adults on campus.

Live Oak will allow limited campus access to volunteers and visitors who are fully vaccinated. These volunteers and visitors must be scheduled and registered with the front office. Campus volunteers are required to meet other volunteer protocols as established by the school including the completion of a state and federal background check.

Eating together is a high risk for COVID-19 transmission because people must remove their masks to eat and drink. People often touch their mouths with their hands while eating.

Live Oak has established plans with our caterer Darioush Epicurus to continue our commitment to providing a delicious and nutritious lunch for students and interested staff. The program will comply with all local health orders and include an individually packed meal for each participant, including accommodations for students with allergens, food restrictions, and picky eaters. Families will select the preferred meal for their students via the school’s lunch app.

Students will have a snack break daily to coincide with their outdoor recess period. Snacks will be brought from home. In order to protect our students with food allergies, Live Oak does not allow any nuts to be brought onto campus.

Live Oak will avoid any use of shared tables or self-service buffets for lunch or snack. Instead, lunch will be delivered to classrooms for students to eat inside or outside while adhering to strict physical distancing guidelines. Anyone handling or distributing food will use gloves in addition to face coverings.

All students and staff will be required to wash or sanitize their hands immediately before and after eating.

Because students must remove their masks during eating, they will be required to observe physical distancing requirements of 3 feet.

Live Oak will follow updated CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting.

All frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned daily including door handles, desks, countertops, phones, keyboards, light switches, handles, toilets, and faucets.

Cleaning after a suspected or known case of COVID-19 uses the same cleaning agents and disinfectants as routine cleaning, but includes the following steps:

  • Open windows and use fans to increase outdoor air circulation in the areas to be cleaned.
  • Wait 24 hours, or as long as practical, before cleaning and disinfection.
  • Clean and disinfect all surfaces in the areas used by the ill person, including electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.
  • Vacuum the space if needed.

Live Oak requires all school employees be vaccinated against COVID-19. Live Oak also encourages all people eligible for the vaccine, currently aged 12 and older, to receive the vaccine at their earliest availability.

Live Oak will require vaccinations of students eligible by age and medical condition in the coming months. Vaccinations are already required of students eligible by age and medical condition for certain events or activities, including trips and travel.

Since vehicles are small enclosed spaces that do not allow for physical distancing, they can be settings with a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission. For this reason, Live Oak encourages all students and staff who are able to bike or walk to school to do so.

Live Oak families and staff who arrange for carpools and shared rides to get to school are encouraged to follow the guidance offered by the SFDPH: carpool with the same stable group of people, wear face masks at all times, open windows to maximize air circulation.

Everyone must wear face masks while riding public transit or in transit stations (train stations, subway stations), even if they are fully vaccinated, as required by San Francisco’s Safer Return Together order, CDPH and CDC.

Live Oak will follow the Department of Public Health Guidelines in our response to a known or suspected case of COVID-19.

A student who displays COVID-19 symptoms during the daily home health screening, must stay home. Parents/Guardians should email teachers and email attendance@liveoaksf.org to report sick absence. Students should get tested for COVID-19 immediately; a negative test result is required for return to school.

A child or staff member who displays symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home from school with the request to attain a COVID-19 test or a documentation of explanation from a healthcare provider. A negative test or explanation from a healthcare provider will be required to return to campus. A rapid antigen test may be used but a negative result must be confirmed by a PCR test for return to school.

When a parent or guardian arrives to pick up a child, have the child walk outside to meet them if possible instead of allowing the parent or guardian into the building. Since children with COVID-19 may have been infected by a parent or other adult in their home, the parent may also have COVID-19.

Staff who become ill while at school must notify their supervisor and leave work as soon as feasible. Staff should be encouraged to get tested as soon as possible.

Live Oak will encourage family members of children and staff with symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested promptly, before they can spread infection to children and staff. You can find COVID-19 testing sites sponsored by the City online.

Live Oak will immediately (within one hour of learning of the result) report any positive or inconclusive test result amongst our staff to the SFDPH Schools and Childcare Response Team: call 628-217-7499 or email cases.schools@ sfdph.org (please put “SECURE” in the subject line).

Live Oak will require parents or guardians to inform the School immediately (within one hour of learning of the test result) if their child tests positive or has an inconclusive test result and to provide documentation of the positive or inconclusive result within 48 hours. Email Edie Alejandre and Virginia Paik to report test results.

Symptomatic students should remain in quarantine for the 10 days following the onset of symptoms provided symptoms improve over the course of quarantine and can return to school on day 11 if there is no fever in the 24 hours preceding return. Asymptomatic students should remain in quarantine for the 10 days following a positive COVID-19 test and can return to school on day 11 if they have remained symptom free throughout quarantine.

Live Oak will immediately (within one hour of learning of the test result) report any positive or inconclusive test result to the SFDPH Schools and Childcare Response Team: call 628-217- 7499 and email cases.schools@sfdph.org.

In the event that an individual at Live Oak has a confirmed case of COVID-19, Live Oak will notify all school employees and parents/ guardians within one day while maintaining the confidentiality of that individual as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

Return to School Guidance.

SFDPH has developed standard notification letters for schools.

Live Oak will also work with SFDPH to identify individuals who have had close contact with the person with COVID-19. Exposed individuals or their families will be notified, advised on testing, and guided through criteria for return to campus.

A close contact is defined as a student or adult being within 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more in a day, even if both people were wearing masks. Live Oak considers all children and adults in a class to be close contacts. Being around a person who was exposed to COVID-19 does not constitute a close contact.

Families should immediately report a COVID-19 exposure outside of school to Edie Alejandre (edie_alejandre@liveoaksf.org) and Virginia Paik (virginia_paik@liveoaksf.org). Unvaccinated students who have been exposed to COVID-19 outside of school are to stay home and quarantine for 7-10 days. Students cannot attend school or extracurricular activities. Vaccinated students may attend school as long they remain symptom free.

Modified quarantine – Students in TK-12 schools who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have close contact in an indoor classroom setting at school (this includes Live Oak extended care and extracurricular programs) can leave quarantine to attend school if both the student and the infected person were wearing face masks for the duration of their exposure and all of the following criteria are met:

  • They remain asymptomatic
  • Continue to wear a face mask while at school
  • Undergo twice weekly COVID testing with negative results; antigen testing is recommended but PCR testing is acceptable
  • Avoid all out of classroom activities including extracurricular activities and out of school programs.

The duration of modified quarantine is 10 days. Modified quarantine is only applicable for TK-12 students. Staff should follow standard quarantine guidance.

Standard quarantine – All unvaccinated adults must undergo a 10-day standard quarantine. For unvaccinated students, if one of the parties was unmasked during exposure, the close contact should be quarantined from all activities for 10 days (this can be shortened to 7 days if testing was conducted after day 5 and is negative). Monitoring of symptoms should continue for 14 days total regardless of timing of return to school.

People who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or have had COVID-19 in the last 3 months do not have to quarantine after close contact as long as they do not have symptoms. Testing is recommended immediately and five days after exposure, sooner if symptoms develop.

COVID-19 Home Quarantine Instruction for Children and Youth

The Student Quarantine Learning Plan (SQrL) is designed for students who are quarantining due to out of school COVID-19 exposure and who will miss three (3) or more days of school. SQrL is an asynchronous learning experience supported by 1:1 teacher sessions every two days. Materials and technology will be prepared by faculty for pick up on the second day of absence.

SQrL is not a program for students who are symptomatic or for students who are quarantining due to travel.

As Live Oak implements practices and procedures to ensure our safe and healthy return to school for our faculty and our students, our efforts will only be effective if the families in the Live Oak community are aware of and responsive to public health guidance as they conduct their lives outside of school. For this reason, Live Oak asks all members of our community to take actions that demonstrate their responsibility to their own wellness and the wellness of others. Students, staff, and parents are expected to follow COVID-19 prevention measures when out of school.

  • Adhere to all public health guidance regarding face masks, social distancing, and travel.
  • Complete and report established daily health screening before arrival to school.
  • Get a flu vaccine for you and your child(ren).
  • Get tested if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or if you believe you have been exposed to the virus.
  • Observe routine medical practices, e.g. annual checkups and current immunizations.

Given San Francisco’s experience in routine testing of asymptomatic children resulting in low yield of positive tests, but at times ‘false positives’ (which is a positive COVID-19 test when in fact you do not have COVID-19) SFDPH has determined the best path forward for our city specifically, at this time.

SFDPH does not recommend routine testing of the following groups:

  • Staff and students who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have no symptoms.
  • Staff or students who have had COVID-19 in the last 3 months, confirmed by a lab test.
  • Students without COVID-19 symptoms or known exposures.

SFDPH continues to recommend testing for the following groups:

  • People with symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 who are not fully vaccinated and have not had COVID-19 in the last 3 months.

Live Oak will provide guidance for the testing of students and staff if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID 19 or if they have been identified as a close contact for someone with COVID 19. Live Oak will have a small supply of rapid antigen tests and PCR tests to ensure access to COVID testing is not an impediment to maintaining wellness in our community.

Live Oak will comply with SFDPH in posting the following signage on campus:

Questions regarding Live Oak School's COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation Plans and Procedures should be directed to Edie Alejandre, Executive Assistant, at edie_alejandre@liveoaksf.org.

If your child has COVID-19 symptoms, please email your child's teacher and attendance@liveoaksf.org to report a sick absence from school and get your child tested. Send negative test results to attendance@liveoaksf.org. A negative COVID-19 test is required for return to school.

All positive COVID-19 test results should be reported to Edie Alejandre and Virginia Paik within an hour.

If your child has been exposed to COVID-19 outside of school, please email Edie Alejandre (edie_alejandre@liveoaksf.org) and Virginia Paik (virginia_paik@liveoaksf.org) to report exposure.

COVID-19 Planning and Response Team

Incident Command – Liaison to SFDPH and Advisory Groups: Virginia Paik, Head of School
Response to Illness – Liaison to SFDPH: Edie Alejandre, Executive Assistant; Janeth Moreno Gutierrez, Registrar and Receptionist
Health and Safety – Facilities:  Erik Paxman, Director of Finance and Operations
Staffing and Educational Program: Emma Peat, Middle School Head; Victoria Ladew, Lower School Head; Dorothy Martinez, Director of Extended Care
Stakeholder Engagement: Kendra Mastain, Director of Advancement; Francisca Guzman, Director of Communications; Tracey Gersten, Director of Admissions.

The Planning and Response Team is responsible for data monitoring and evaluation of the COVID-19 response plan. Representatives of the team will meet regularly to review adherence to COVID-19 prevention and mitigation plans and changes in guidance from public health officials.

Questions regarding Live Oak School’s COVID-19 Prevention & Mitigation Procedures should be sent to Edie Alejandre, Executive Assistant.