Update: September 22, 2020

Options for Reopening Schools in Monterey County

Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have released guidance related to reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year. Below are three options for schools to consider.

      Monterey County schools may re-open for in-person instruction when Monterey County has been in the state’s “Red Tier” for 14 consecutive days. The Red Tier is California’s second highest risk level and counties that are in that tier have a positivity rate of less than 8% and between 4-7 daily cases per 100,000 county residents. Does not require approval from Monterey County Health Department.
      CDPH outlined a waiver application process for schools in “Purple Tier” counties who wish to provide in-person instruction for students in grades TK-6. The waiver application must address all required elements outlined by CDPH. The Monterey County Health Officer will review and consider approval of waiver applications based on local epidemiological data and other guidance provided by CDPH. Waiver applications may be submitted to the Monterey County Health Department when the 14 day average number of new cases drops below 200 cases per 100,000 residents.
      Counties in the state’s “Purple Tier,” are permitted to offer in-person instruction and services to small cohorts of students (14 students to 2 adults or a configuration of no more than 16 individuals total in the cohort) with special needs (students with disabilities, English learners, homeless youth, foster youth, those struggling with distance learning, etc.). Does not require approval from Monterey County Health Department.

All school reopening plans must follow CDPH health and safety guidelines including face coverings, symptom screenings, increased cleaning and
hygiene practices, social distancing, and more. For a complete review of the Guidance for Schools and the K-12 Reopening Framework, visit the covid19.ca.gov Industry Guidance Schools section.

Update: September 1, 2020

COVID-19 Workplace Plan

On March 19, 2020, California’s State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health issued an order requiring most Californians to stay at home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our state. This living document provides guidance for Monterey Bay Charter School (“MBCS”) employees to work safely in his/her workspace and will be revised and updated from time-to-time, as necessary. This document is not intended to revoke or repeal any employee rights, either statutory, regulatory, or collective-bargaining, and is not exhaustive, as it does not include County health orders, nor is it a substitute for any existing safety and health related revelatory requirements such as those of Cal/OSHA.

The Director, as the designee of the Executive Director, will be responsible for updating this document as necessary and for monitoring state and local public health communications regarding COVID-19.

Read the full PDF Document

Update: June 22, 2020

Dear Monterey Bay Charter School Community,

Throughout the summer, I will send pertinent updates relevant to COVID and Reopening. Here are two to pass along:

1. Legal update re masks in school:

2. Social Circles
Monterey County Health Department releases guidance on social circles

Today, Monterey County Health Department released guidance on “social circles”. This guidance is intended to allow individuals to interact more with family and friends, and for youth to participate in extracurricular activities. The guidance is effective immediately.

Social Circles are small, stable groups of 12 or fewer people that are part of either a Household and Friends Support Unit or a Children’s Extracurricular Activity Unit as defined in the guidance. Individuals may only participate in one Social Circle for a four-week period, with some exceptions.

“Being connected to others is good for our mental and physical health,” said Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer. “Social circles allow for more connectiveness to people outside of our household while considering the health and safety of vulnerable individuals by limiting the number of contacts.”

Social gatherings of persons in a Social Circle are allowed if the gathering takes place outside and individuals comply with all applicable requirements and guidelines.

People in Social Circles are not required to strictly adhere to Social Distancing Requirements while participating in social gatherings authorized in the guidance. However, persons in Social Circles are still strongly encouraged to:

Maintain six-foot social/physical distancing from each other;

If 13 years and older, wear face coverings; and

Wash or sanitize hands frequently.

For details see the guidance at www.montereycountycovid19.com

Cheers, Cassandra

Update: June 11, 2020

Dear Monterey Bay Charter School Families and Employees,

I wanted to share the County Public Health Officer’s press release. Schools are part of the “reopening businesses” within Level 2. As you know, we are currently in “Level 2.” We have been developing our fall reopening plans and collecting input from families through focus groups as we expect to be at level 2 or 3 in the fall.

During the fall, we may move between levels depending upon the virus’ impact and it may lead to more or fewer restrictions. We have the flu season to contend with and we may have low incidences on the peninsula at this time, but we are a tourist zone and if we move into level 3 over the summer it will lead to more businesses being open and more opportunities for interaction and transmission. Our due diligence as responsible citizens helps keep everyone healthy and safe as we ride this pandemic’s wave. I will continue to share this information throughout the summer as it comes my way to keep you informed. You may adjust your ParentSquare settings to determine how and when you receive these messages. – Sincerely, Cassandra Bridge, Executive Director

Here is the press release:

On May 26, 2020, the Monterey County Health Officer issued a new Shelter-in-Place Order which aligns the County Health Officer Shelter-in-Place Order with applicable State Orders to fully join the State in Stage 2 and continue to move with the State through Stages 3 and 4 of the State COVID-19 Resilience Roadmap.

On June 11, 2020, a supplement to the order was issued and can be found here.

In order to continue to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19, the Governor has issued COVID-19 Industry Guidance for businesses to follow when reopening. The Governor’s purpose is to provide guidance on how businesses can resume operations while supporting a safe, clean environment for workers.

It is critical that businesses take all steps necessary to ensure the safety of workers and customers, which includes developing and implementing a COVID-19 prevention plan. Key prevention plan practices include physical distancing to the maximum extent possible, use of face coverings by employees and patrons, frequent handwashing and regular cleaning and disinfecting, and training employees on these and other elements of their COVID-19 prevention plan. In addition, businesses must have in place appropriate processes to identify new cases of illness in workplaces and, when they are identified, to intervene quickly and work with Monterey County Public Health to halt the spread of the virus.

This Order requires that businesses that are allowed to reopen statewide or to reopen with Monterey County attestation and County Health Officer approval must implement California Resilience Roadmap COVID-19 Industry Guidance. Businesses must also adhere to any additional Monterey County Health Department guidance. Adherence to the guidance will continue to limit person-to-person contact and ensure continued social distancing and other infection control measures in the workplace and in the community.

“Countywide efforts to socially distance, use face coverings, wash hands, clean and disinfect surfaces and stay at home as much as possible have slowed the spread of COVID-19,” according to Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer. “In order to reopen safely, businesses will need to implement State guidance that protects workers and customers,” says Dr. Moreno. “Customers should also respect the efforts of our local business owners and their workers as they establish healthy practices that will protect us all.”

Businesses must review, understand and implement sector specific guidance found at State of California webpages at www.covid19.ca.gov

Update: May 13, 2020

This is a nasal test for the active COVID-19 virus and infections, this is not an antibody test.

Dear Monterey Bay Charter School Families,

Yesterday in the County Superintendent’s meeting that I attend, we learned about this partnership that Governor Newsom has formed to provide more testing for COVID-19 in our county. Today, I received the flyers for distribution to our community.

The purpose of this partnership and county-wide testing is to help the County and State really understand the infiltration of the virus in each county. This knowledge will help inform health officials about our county’s statistics and allow us to move through the Governor’s proposed re-opening stages expeditiously should our testing results demonstrate that it is safe to do so. It also will give everyone peace of mind about their own health and the health of their family members.

Please see the attached flyers in English and Spanish to get tested for COVID-19 whether you show symptoms or not.

Cassandra Bridge, Executive Director

Update: May 8, 2020

Community Message from Cassandra Bridge, Executive Director

For weeks we have been meeting, planning and consulting with various agencies to develop next year’s school schedule in compliance with Centers of Disease Control guidelines and our County Health Department’s requirements. As no definitive information has been provided at this time, we are moving forward with developing various scheduling options for the fall that will be drafted into a plan. This will take some time as the process includes gathering feedback from families, students, staff, and board members on both what they believe has worked during the past six weeks as well as suggestions for improvements. We are expecting deep cuts to our State income and will need to meet the needs of our school with significantly less funds in the 2020-21 school year due to the economic downturn. We are exploring contracting out our childcare program to provide more options for parents next year. We want to hear from you via this survey, hold virtual meetings, hear your thoughts and feedback through ParentSquare, and work together towards improving our practices. When we have more information and recommendations, we will share that publicly.

Three Options Under Consideration:

MBCS must be prepared to implement each option as new guidelines emerge:

  • Option 1: Normal School Environment returns. We sincerely hope for this option
  • Option 2: Hybrid Environment: Small Cohorts/Split Schedule with Distance Learning Instruction
  • Option 3: Continuation of Shelter In Place Orders/Distance Learning Environment

I meet regularly with the MBCS administrative team and with the county superintendents to discuss plans for reopening school this fall. We will continue to meet until we are confident that we have a plan that can serve our TK through 8th grade students with sufficient flexibility to respond to this ever changing pandemic. We will gather feedback and ideas from all stakeholders throughout this process. Currently, we are focusing our energy on Option 2 as that seems most likely, though this may change. The hybrid schedule means only small cohorts of students will be allowed on campus at one time. Each class would be divided and half of the class will attend school physically for two days per week each and the whole campus will engage in distance learning via Google Classroom one day per week plus the two days they do not attend school physically (3 days total). One of the days would be dedicated to deep cleaning between each cohorts’ presence on campus.

Ultimately, plans must pass the scrutiny of county health officials for alignment with certain guidelines and the Governor’s executive orders. All districts in the county are awaiting the required template for this purpose and are all in similar meetings to discuss the three options. We are networking and sharing ideas across our county and paying attention to schools internationally who are already returning to school. The partnership and collaboration at the Monterey County Office of education under the leadership of Dr. Deneen Guss has been exceptional.

We are seeking our families’ input on our plans and encourage you to provide honest and direct feedback on the survey. Your emails and Parent Square suggestions have been very helpful as well. The administrative team will also invite staff to share their input and ideas. We will share out our drafted plans with everyone when they are more concrete.

Thank you for partnering with us to serve your children. We value the trust families are placing in MBCS to serve your children during these unprecedented times. We will get through this together! Thank you for taking the time to complete the following survey:

Distance Learning Survey

With gratitude,
Cassandra Bridge, Executive Director

Update: May 1, 2020

SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER: Monterey County’s shelter-in-place order has been extended through May 31, announced Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno on Friday.

The updated Shelter-in-Place Order goes into effect May 4, when the previous order was set to expire. The new order also includes a few modifications, which were “determined in part by using a risk-based analysis,” according to Moreno.

These modifications include:

  • Easing of restrictions on construction, golf courses and golf driving ranges, which are subject to the health officer’s requirements for operation.
  • Providing clarification on residential transactions, including rentals, leases, home sales and vehicle sales.
  • Permitting plant nurseries, landscaping and gardening as well as drive-in church services.
  • Allowing fabric and craft stores that sell supplies for the purpose of creating face coverings, gowns and personal protective equipment to operate.

All activities permitted in the order must comply with physical distancing requirements, specific activity limitations and all orders related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Update: March 31, 2020

MONTEREY BAY CHARTER SCHOOL IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC TO HELP SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 Monterey County is on a Shelter in Place order through May 4, 2020. With this new information and an abundance of caution, we are taking a safety-first approach and immediate action to extend the school facility closures through the end of the school year. To be clear, the 2019-20 school year is not over, it has just transitioned from classroom instruction into distance learning for the remainder of the year. For all stakeholders please check ParentSquare regularly for updates regarding continuing education.


Update: March 24, 2020

SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER: Monterey County is on a Shelter in Place order through May 4, 2020. For all stake holders please check ParentSquare regularly for updates regarding continuing education.


  • The intent of the Shelter in Place order is to ensure the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible. Vulnerable populations including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions must stay home.
  • All community members should stay home except to perform essential duties for business continuity or government functions, to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or perform activities related to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during this time.
  • It is OK to go outside for walks if you are not in a group and practice proper social distancing.

Download Full PDF

Update: March 18, 2020

SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER: Monterey County is on a Shelter in Place order through April 8, 2020. For all stake holders please check ParentSquare regularly for updates regarding continuing education.

The County Board of Supervisors and Health Officer Dr.Edward Moreno issued a shelter in place order for all of Monterey County. With the confirmation of Monterey County’s first two cases of COVID-19 and increasing cases statewide, Public Health Officer Dr. Ed Moreno is issuing a Shelter in Place Order for all residents of Monterey County to enhance measures already being taken to slow the spread of novel coronavirus in our county and preserve critical health care capacity.

The order announced by Moreno will begin at midnight, March 18, 2020, which means tonight at 12:01 PM, and last for three weeks, until midnight on April 8, 2020.

The term, “shelter in place” is a more rigorous form of ‘social distancing’. The goal is to limit groups congregating together to stop the further spread of the virus; it is not a complete social shutdown. It means to stay in your home and not leave unless necessary for one of the designated exceptions. For most people, this means you and those you live with should remain at home. You can leave your home for specified reasons to make sure you have the necessities of life such as getting food and medical supplies. You are allowed to go outside to take care of pets, go on a walk, or just get outside as long as you do not congregate in a group and maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people.

Update: March 13, 2020

SCHOOL CLOSURE: Monterey Bay Charter School (MBCS) will be closed from March 16 – March 31, 2020 in compliance with the Monterey County Health Department and Monterey County Office of Education in response to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

2020 LOTTERY: The random drawing (lottery) is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at 2:00 pm and it has NOT been postponed because of the school closure.

Our state and local health and government entities have expressed the need to increase our preventative measures to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the various ways we, as communities, can work together to do so. Accordingly, the Monterey County Office of Education and Monterey County school district superintendents in conjunction with the Monterey County Health Department have decided to close all public schools and extracurricular programs in Monterey County schools for the remainder of March. All Monterey County schools will be closed starting Monday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 31.

For MBCS we will follow the countywide closure and this means students will NOT return to school until Wednesday, April 1.

Please click here to read the notice from Monterey County Office of Education alerting school communities of this decision.

Over the next two weeks, MBCS COVID-19 Response Team will continue to consult with local and state authorities and may make the decision to extend school closures and move to alternative non-classroom based learning or make any other changes to school schedules.



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