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Healdsburg Unified School District is planning for a full reopening in August 2021. To view the latest update (05-27-21) from Superintendent Vanden Heuvel please click English, Spanish.

frequently asked questions - reopening

In an effort to ensure transparency and clear communication, we’ve put together these FAQ’s for our staff and community’s reference.


Q: Is there a requirement for staff to be vaccinated to be able to reopen?

A: There currently are no mandates or guidance that school staff be vaccinated before schools reopen. However, in an effort to minimize risk for our staff and their families, HUSD has chosen to pursue vaccination or wait for lower community case rates (red tier) prior to reopening our schools.

Thanks to the vaccination drive efforts through Sonoma County Office of Education and the gracious support of the Alliance Medical Center, all staff who wish to be vaccinated will have completed their series by Spring Break.


Q: Can we require staff to be vaccinated before returning to work?

A: No. Staff can make personal decisions about whether they want to be vaccinated or not. When schools reopen, there will be an expectation that staff report to work. We are, however, working with staff who may have certain health risks to allow for alternative or virtual assignments.


Q: What are the cleaning practices and products being used at our sites?

A: We closely follow guidance and mandates from the County, State and Federal governments, which are constantly changing.

Custodians currently conduct at least two extra rounds of cleaning high-touch surfaces such as the counters in the offices, door handles at entrances, break room areas, etc.  This added process disrupts the potential for spreading the virus and germs.  Each evening, custodians focus on “deep cleaning,” including all high-touch surfaces and all areas occupied during the day.  This step is in addition to the routine cleaning and preparation assigned. The custodial staff's highest priority is maintaining vigilance in cleaning.

Currently we use the following products for the cleaning of our school sites:

  • Betco AF79 Concentrate – Acid-Free cleaner, disinfectant, fungicidal, virucidal

  • Betco FastDraw 23 Deep Blue Concentrate – Ammoniated Glass and Surface Cleaner

  • Betco pH7Q Dual – one-step Germicidal, disinfectant, cleaner, and deodorant.  No-rinse neutral ph disinfectant cleaner that disinfects and cleans in one labor-saving step

  • Betco FastDraw 20 Green Earth Daily Floor Cleaner – Neutral ph low foaming floor cleaner

  • Scott Foam Skin Cleanser with Moisturizers

 Additional products used as needed, when available:

  • Clorox Anywhere Hard Surface Cleaner/Sanitizing Spray

  • Germicidal Wipes – The product can be used when available but requires the surface be cleaned first to be effective.  The surface remains wet longer and has other less desirable results

  • Hillyard Q.T. Plus – one-step disinfectant, staphylocidal, pseudomonacidal, bactericidal, salmonellacidal, fungicidal, virucidal

Q: What is the difference between “cohorts” and “stable groups” in our planning and guidance documents?

A: Per the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Cohorts refers to small groups (no more than 16 total individuals) of at-risk students who have been brought back to school for in-person, more individualized instruction prior to school reopening for all students. Cohorts are permissible in any tier.  

When schools reopen to all students, Stable Groups are formed.  Stable Groups refers to groups of students that are assigned to a class, program or area when schools reopen in general to all students.   

More information about cohorts and stable groups from the CDPH can be found here:

Q: How will the district conduct surveillance testing for staff?

A: We have secured a contract with Valencia Labs, the state sponsored COVID-19 testing agency, for periodic surveillance testing of staff. We began piloting the program on March 5th at the district office and now all sites are conducting testing.  We will continue testing once schools open at the recommended cadence by CDPH. The PCR test used by Valencia Labs is self-administered, under the guidance of a trained employee, and then sent to the lab for rapid processing (approx. 48 hours response time).

Q: Is surveillance testing for students required?

A: Currently there are no County, State or Federal requirements for surveillance or asymptomatic testing of students. However, there have been a number of bills at the State level that, if passed, would require it. Any testing requirement will hopefully be accompanied by funding, as testing currently costs about $55 per test. 

Q: What does the State and County require to reopen?

A: Frustratingly, this is a moving target and requirements continue to change. Currently, the State requires a comprehensive COVID Safety Plan (CSP) which consists of two documents:  the COVID-19 Prevention Program required by Cal OSHA, and the School Guidance Checklist. The HUSD COVID-19 Safety Plan is now complete, posted on the HUSD and approved by the Board of Trustees at the March 17, 2021 Regular Board Meeting. 

School reopening conditions are driven by a tiered structure.  If Sonoma County is still in the Purple Tier on the California Blueprint for Safer Economy, only elementary schools can reopen and they must submit their CSP to the State and County for review/approval 7 days prior to reopening.

Sonoma County reached the Red Tier on Sunday, March 14, 2021. In the Red Tier, both secondary and elementary schools may reopen.  In this scenario, the District is required to post the CSP publicly prior to reopening, but the plans do not have to be approved/reviewed by the County or State.  


Q: How will staff be trained on safety protocols for reopening?

A: Principals, nurses and our COVID Coordinator will provide training to staff on designated days late in March, closer to our actual reopening. These are tentatively scheduled for March 18th for elementary staff and March 29th for secondary. 

Additional Resources:

California Safe Schools for All Hub – Guidance from the California Department of Public Health 

Sonoma County Office Of Education COVID Safety Plan Information

HUSD COVID-19 Health and Safety Guide

HES Welcome Back Video
Reopening Video (English)


Reopening Video (Spanish)



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