2021 Return To Campus

Frequently Asked Questions
[running document, started 3/17 during family zoom session, updated as new information is received]

April 6, 2021
Alice Birney Zoom Presentation – PDF 


March 30, 2021
SCUSD email: Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center’s Academy of Scholars Program

Hello Sac City Unified Families:
As you know, after many months of planning and working with our community, in February, our district announced our official reopening date of April 8. Our district recently learned that the City of Sacramento would not be able to run the 4th R Program by such date. Although operated independent of the district, we understand that many of our families depended on 4th R for after-school care. Thankfully, the Sacramento Chinese Community Service Center has stepped up to take over the program moving forward, including for the remainder of the 2020-21 academic year. The Center is a well-established community-based organization that provides expanded learning opportunities and fee-based childcare and with whom the District and the City of Sacramento have long partnered with.

To learn more about the Academy of Scholars Program and to submit an interest form with The Center, please visit sccsc.org/

See full message here


March 29, 2021
SCUSD email: Return Together Update: Cohort Assignments, Spring Break, Vaccination Update

Upcoming Communication on Cohort Assignments

Our families recently informed us whether they wanted their students to participate in distance learning or the district’s in-person learning model when we begin to Return Together on campuses on the following dates:

PreK – 3 and K-6 Special Day Classes

  • Cohort B: April 8
  • Cohort A: April 13

Grades 4-6

  • Cohort B: April 15
  • Cohort A: April 20

Grades 7-12

  • Cohort B: April 22
  • Cohort A: April 27

In-Person students will be assigned to either Cohort A or Cohort B. Cohort A will meet on Tuesdays and Wednesday. Cohort B will meet on Thursdays and Fridays.

If you selected In-Person learning for your student, please look out for a communication this week with your student’s cohort assignment. At that time, you will also be able to view the final cohort assignment in Infinite Campus.

We will also share a form for families to request learning option changes. After reopening, if a family chooses to change their learning option for their child, they may complete and submit the form. Those requests for learning option changes will be considered weekly. Families will be notified by their school site if their request can be granted.

See the full message here


March 26, 2021

Happy Spring Break Alice Birney Families.

The busy bees at Birney are abuzz with work and excitement as we prepare to welcome 86% of our students back on to campus beginning April 8 with our Early Kindergarten to Third Grade classes. Each Thursday we will add an additional grade-level segment through April 22. There are no words to express the joy that I feel in my heart. I am so excited to have students on campus again.

Our district and school site staff have made repairs, updates, and modifications to our physical space to help keep all of us safe and healthy when we return together. Students will see marks on the floors, posters on the walls, and directionality for hallway use. Although there will be safe capacity limits set for indoor space, students will spend the majority of their day outdoors enjoying nature, fresh air, and one another’s company. Your teacher will provide you with their class schedule that is developmentally appropriate for the grade level of your child. For example, middle school children may spend more time inside while younger grades may not go inside at all. We were gifted some EZ Up tents from the district and we are in need of more. If you have any that you would be willing to let your class borrow, please connect with your teacher. As you know, we have a beautiful campus but not much of it is shaded.

By March 29, you should be receiving notification from SCUSD about your child’s cohort. If you do not receive it by March 30, please let your teacher know so we can follow up.

I know this does not give you much time to plan for transportation or make childcare arrangements. We will have a site-based childcare option that you can register for on the days your child would be on campus with their cohort. We are currently working out the details around fees, time of service, etc. When I have additional information, I will share it with you.

Your teachers and our support staff have been working tirelessly to collaborate on making the student’s return to campus and those joining us remotely the best that it can be given the current circumstances. We know that it is not ideal but we see this as the first step in us all being together again. Please know that this team of educators has your child’s and family’s best interest in mind as every decision is made. They are an incredible group of people and I am honored to work with them. All of you have become an extension of our education team this year. Your patience, flexibility, endurance, stamina and support are much appreciated and invaluable.

On April 6 at 5:30, I invite you to attend a parent meeting about the next phase of our reopening. I will share some necessary information from SCUSD and we will discuss the hybrid model of learning, details of how children get safely on and off campus, and other pertinent information. Because information is changing quickly, I have purposely chosen to do this meeting as close to students returning as possible so I can share what is most up-to-date. If you are not able to make the meeting, the presentation will be available on our webpage.

Thank you again,
Mechelle Horning, Principal


March 25, 2021

SCUSD email: Free and Voluntary COVID-19 Testing for TK-3 Grade Staff and Students on April 5 & 6

Get ready to Return Together!

All TK-3rd grade staff and students – come get your free and voluntary COVID-19 Testing before school starts on Thursday, April 8! Staff and students must pre-register for testing before attending the testing event. School site testing registration links for staff and students may be found on our COVID-19 Testing website here.

Why We Test

  • The results of this test can help keep your school community healthy and safe.
  • The results of this test can help limit the spread of COVID-19 to your family and your community.

COVID-19 Test Information

  • Individuals take their own test by self-swabbing – to collect the specimen, the individual will place a swab, similar to a cotton swab/Q-Tip, inside of the tip of the nose.
  • Results are provided directly to the individual within 24-48 hours via text and email.

You may test at any time during the dates/times listed below:

  • Monday, April 5 from 10am – 3pm
  • Tuesday, April 6 from 10am – 3pm

Locations available:

  • Rosemont High School
  • Hiram Johnson High School
  • C.K. McClatchy High School
  • Luther Burbank High School
  • John F. Kennedy High School


March 23, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Please see the link for the 2020-2021 Expanded Learning Enrichment Program (after school program) Application: https://www.youthdevelopmentscusd.org/.

The Application is currently live and will close on April 1, 2021.

Following the end of in-person learning, students will be able to participate in engaging experiences and physically distanced activities in the expanded learning space including, but not limited to: art, dance, and other outdoor activities.

The Enrichment Program will run for 3.5 hours after the conclusion of the regular day.

You will receive a call from our Expanded Learning team during April 5 – 7 regarding your student’s enrollment in the Expanded Learning program.


March 15, 2021

Good Afternoon Alice Birney Parents and Guardians,

I am so excited about having students return to our campus.

I know the decision for your family may be difficult and you have many considerations. If I can be helpful with that decision, please join me on March 17th at 5:30 PM for a question and answer session.

The Sacramento City Unified School District parent survey closes on March 17 th at midnight. I have heard from several parents that in order to make the best decision, they need more information. If you have specific questions, you may email them in advance or we can discuss them together during the Zoom call. If you have already made your decision and completed the survey, you do not need to join this discussion, but you are welcome to.

Although at the time of this writing, there is not an agreement on the instructional model, I do have clarity on the health and safety measures that are in place. To make sure that I have the most updated information to share, I am inviting you to a Zoom question and answer session on March 17 th from 5:30-6:30.

I will do a more formal presentation for all parents when we get closer to April 8th.

Thank you for your continued support.
Mechelle Horning, Principal


March 8, 2021

Good Afternoon Alice Birney Public Waldorf Parents and Guardians,

Spring is a season associated with renewal and reopening. As we approach the anniversary of our school closure, it is wonderful that virus metrics are heading in the right direction.

With this news, Sacramento City Unified School District has proposed that students begin to return for on campus classes twice a week, for three hours a day, in a cohort hybrid model beginning April 8 for EK-3 and the following week with grades 4-6 (details found at learn.scusd.edu). This news may bring great joy to some and trepidation to others.

Every parent should have received an email survey this weekend asking what your intentions are for the remainder of this school year. Please take the time to complete the survey (k12-schedule.com/sac-city) because it will inform how we move forward at Birney. The parent survey requires a student identification number. This number can be found by accessing your Infinite Campus account or you can email Sophia-thomsen@scusd.edu or Catherine-chalmers@scusd.edu.

To make the best decision for your child, you may need more specifics of what the on-campus class time will look like at Alice Birney Public Waldorf School. Because there are still ongoing negotiations with labor partners, there are no final decisions at this time. Our staff discussions have centered around the idea of doing as much outside as possible for the hours students are on campus. The community needs time to heal and reconnect. Nature is healing and the safest place to be. The belief is that students are entitled to our undivided attention and social/emotional well-being is the emphasis. Academics will focus on those elements of the curriculum that don’t translate well over a computer screen.

Students who are NOT returning to campus this school year, would continue to be served at their developmentally appropriate level through Zoom, Google Classroom, or The Families Project. Details and schedules would be shared by your individual teacher once a decision/agreement is reached.

Health and safety are the top concerns when making this difficult decision. All staff has had the opportunity to be vaccinated and will have had their second dose prior to students returning. Staff and children returning to campus will have their temperature checked, symptoms screened and hands sanitized prior to entering campus. They will remain within their cohort for the three hours they are on campus and remain six feet apart. If there is a weather concern, desks are six feet apart in the classroom as well as other safety mitigations in place (details found at returntogether.scusd.edu)

Please email me at Mechelle-horning@scusd.edu with questions or concerns you may have. Once there are more details to share, a Zoom meeting will be scheduled. I will attempt to address the questions and concerns at that time. I miss my students so much and can’t wait to see them in person. Since I can’t do it, please give them a hug from me and let them know that they are loved.

Thank you, parents, for all that you have done and continue to do to support your children and Alice Birney. Your resilience and flexibility are much appreciated. We will continue to navigate this uncharted journey together as we take our first step in returning students to on-campus learning.

Much love and appreciation,
Mechelle Horning, Principal


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