2021-2022 School Year

Updates related to the 2021-2022 School Year

01.10.22 – Important Updates from our Health Services Team (click to read full email)
Updated interim decision forest (view pdf here or images below):

Below is some general guidance in response to frequently asked questions:

  • Tested Positive for COVID? 

If you tested positive for COVID-19 you must stay home and isolate for at least 5 days from the date tested positive. You may end isolation and return to school when symptoms resolve AND an antigen/rapid test collected on Day 5 is negative. With a negative test and symptoms resolved, the earliest you can return is Day 6. If you test positive on Day 5 or you do not test, you may return on Day 11. Present your negative test to your school office or supervisor on the day you return.

  • Were You Identified as a Close Contact or Were Exposed to Someone Who Has COVID?

Any unvaccinated close contacts should stay home and quarantine for at least 5 days after their last contact with a positive person. You must test on Day 5 and can return to work/school on Day 6 if the test is negative. Present your negative test to your school office or supervisor upon returning. CDPH is still revising their school guidance, so please note quarantine guidance may change. If you test positive, isolate per above. If you do not test, you can return 10 days after the last person who tested positive exits isolation.

  • Were You Identified as an Unvaccinated Household Close Contact?

Any unvaccinated household contacts must quarantine from the date the last person in the house tested positive. Household members should COVID-19 test on Day 5. If the positive case tests negative, as well as all other household members, and individuals are symptom-free, they may return on Day 6. Present your negative test to your school office or supervisor upon returning. If any individual in the household tests positive, refer back to the guidance for testing positive for COVID. CDPH is still revising their school guidance, so please note quarantine guidance may change.

  • Were You Exposed to COVID and Are Fully Vaccinated?

If you are fully vaccinated and remain asymptomatic, you are not required to quarantine and may go to school/work. You must test on Day 5 from the day you were exposed. If you live with someone who is positive you may still return to school/work, however you should test right away, and again on Day 5 since your household members positive test. Fully vaccinated individuals are advised to receive a booster dose if eligible.

If you have any symptoms, stay home except to get tested or seek medical care.  You can return to school if you test negative and symptoms resolve. If you do not test, stay home for 10 days from the day you first had a symptom.

All SCUSD staff, students and household members may access free COVID-19 testing at Serna Center from 12-3:30 pm or at Albert Einstein Middle School from 3-6:30 pm. To minimize exposure on our school campuses, School Site Care Room Testing and Surveillance Testing is for students and staff only. Other community members may access free testing at testing sites found here .

You can find guidance about taking care of yourself and others while isolating here .

Wear a good fitting mask whenever you are around others outside your household and always when at school or work, ensuring that your nose and mouth are covered.

We appreciate your vigilance to help keep our schools as safe as possible during this challenging time.


01.05.22 – “Temporary Contact Tracing Protocol Updates” (click to read)
11.12.21 – “Important Weekly Update: November 12, 2021” (click to read)
– Key Dates in November
– Covid-19 Vaccination Clinics
-Vaccination and Testing Requirements (due 11/30)
-P-EBT Card information


SCUSD does not currently require this age group to be vaccinated. All you need to do by Tuesday, November 30th is:

  1. Submit the student form at scusd.edu/reportvaccine, selecting the “Not Yet Required (age 11 or under)” option.
  2. Register your student (if not yet fully vaccinated) for COVID-19 testing at scusd.edu/covid-19-testing.

SCUSD requires vaccination. Some exemptions may apply. All you need to do by Tuesday, November 30th is:

  1. Complete the student form at scusd.edu/reportvaccine and submit your student’s vaccination record or valid exemption.
  2. Register your student (if not yet fully vaccinated) for COVID-19 testing at scusd.edu/covid-19-testing.

NOTE: You only need to register and consent for COVID-19 testing one time a year. If you have already registered your student there are no further steps required.

QUESTIONS? https://www.scusd.edu/covid-19-vaccination-requirement-faq

If any students or staff exhibit any symptoms listed below, please stay home:

• Fever or chills
• Cough
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
• Headache
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Diarrhea
• Nausea or vomiting


10 DAYS and 24 hour fever free and symptoms improved
or Presenting a negative Covid-19 test result and 24 hours fever free and symptoms improved
or Presenting a note from health care provider confirming symptoms are the result of
another diagnosis, and 24 hours fever free and symptoms improved

Chronic conditions: Children with documented non-infectious chronic conditions can return to school
when symptoms have improved. A doctor may diagnose an illness other than COVID-19 and provide a note for return to school earlier than 10 days. Children with  unmanaged Covid-like symptoms (such as congestion, coughing, runny nose) may be sent home until symptoms have improved. If there are questions about individual cases, contact your school nurse or health services.

Click here for a decision forest flow chart to find out when your child may return or see images below:






Sign Up for the California State Park Adventure Pass Program
[For fourth grade students – email dated 9/30/21]

The California State Park Adventure Pass Program waives day-use entrance fees to 19 state parks for fourth graders and their families for a full year-including the summer. The selected parks offer a range of features and recreational opportunities, including beaches, museums, redwoods, off-highway vehicle recreation, hiking trails and important cultural history.

Applying for the free pass online is simple.

  1. Set up a profile on ReserveCalifornia.com. All you need to do is enter your name, address, email address and phone number.
  2. Then access your ReserveCalifornia.com account, add the California State Park Adventure Pass(es) to your shopping cart,  and then complete the checkout process. (Passes are free.)
  3. You’ll immediately receive your Pass(es) in your email. You can use it by either printing it out or keeping it on your phone to show a uniformed state park staffer.

Passes are also available by calling (800) 444-7275 or visiting a State Parks Pass Sales Office.

For detailed information on the program and the list of participating park units, please visit parks.ca.gov/AdventurePass.
RideFreeRT Program

This great program is back on October 1st!   Cards will be distributed via class teachers, and you can visit this link for more details.

Weekly COVID Surveillance Testing [email dated 9/16/2021]
We are updating our Surveillance Testing information. Beginning next week, ALL students who are signed up for testing, will be screened once a week on Tuesdays. We have a team of health staff that are dedicated to providing that service to us once a week. Based on the testing supplies available, either a [self-administered nasal swab] PCR or an Antigen Rapid test will be used. Our previously scheduled testing for grades 4-8 will continue tomorrow.

Thank you all very much for your support and diligence in keeping us notified of any potential exposures and keeping your children home if they have ANY symptoms. To date, we have had zero positive cases transmitted on campus. Your beautiful children and our amazing staff are doing an excellent job of following the health and safety guidelines. We are settling in to our new rhythms and routines and there is a sense of normalcy developing. Words are not enough to express my gratitude for all that you do to help keep our school healthy and safe.

Please remember that breakfast and lunch are provided free to all students daily. Anyone arriving before 7:30 is expected to eat breakfast with us. The yard opens to all others at 7:45. Please encourage your child to take a school lunch if they would like. There are always colorful  fresh fruits and vegetables available that make a good snack as well. Good nutrition and plenty of sleep help us all to be healthier.

If there is anything that you or your child needs, please reach out to your class teacher or our office staff. We will do our best to meet your needs or direct you to someone who may be able to help.

Thank you again,
Mechelle Horning, Principal


Birney Surveillance Testing Update [excerpt from email dated 9/9/2021]
  Beginning on September 14, surveillance testing will begin on the Birney campus for students and staff who are signed up for this school year. The testing will be routinely done on every other Tuesday and Friday on a rotating basis similar to what we did in the Spring. Our intention is to test grades EK-3 on Tuesdays and grades 4-8 on Fridays during the regular school day. We will use a PCR test [self-administered nasal swab] and results will digitally be sent to the device that you listed upon registration with Primary in approximately 48 hours. If you receive any results other than NEGATIVE for your child or anyone else living in the household, please do not send your child to school until you have spoken with a district health care professional who will contact you. Notifications of positive tests will be communicated with our health service staff as well. If you would like your child to be tested more frequently or with a rapid test because you suspect exposure, please contact nurse Maribel Labrado at Maribel-labrado@scusd.edu. The Serna Center on 47th Avenue also offers free testing [Monday – Friday, from 12-3:30pm. More information can be found on the district web page.


Videos from the August 31, 2021 Family Meeting
Beginning joint presentation by Alice Birney & AM Winn principals Mechelle Horning and Nisha Turturici

Alice Birney breakout session with zoom chat Q&A


Mon January 17 | Martin Luther King Jr. Day [No School]
Tue January 18 | Guild meeting, 5:30pm (zoom)
Fri January 28 | Grades 7 & 8 ONLY: 12:20pm dismissal


Please include the following information when reporting an absence:
Parent’s name
Child’s full name
Teacher’s name
Date(s) of absence
Reason for absence

Email: alicebirneyattendance@gmail.com
or call: 916-395-4510, press 1


Students and staff must stay home if experiencing any of the following symptoms:
• Fever or chills
• Cough
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
• Headache
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Diarrhea
• Nausea or vomiting

Please follow the guidelines above in how to report an absence. Thank you for helping keep our school community healthy and safe. Click here for more information about when to return to campus.

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