March 12, 2020

COVID-19 Update: March 12, 2020

Hello Sage Oak Community,

The health and well being of our students and staff at Sage Oak Charter Schools is of the utmost importance. We are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving situation on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are in communication with local public health offices, including county health departments, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We wanted to share some information related to our efforts.

Sage Oak Meetings and Events
The leadership team held several emergency meetings this week to discuss the implications of COVID-19 on the school and upcoming scheduled events.  We reviewed resources and recommendations issued by several agencies and are deferring to the advice of these experts. The World Health Organization (WHO) is categorizing this event as a pandemic. The most recent recommendations from California public health officials include:

  • Large gatherings that include 250 people or more should be postponed or canceled. This includes gatherings such as concerts, conferences, and professional, college, and school sporting events. 

  • Smaller gatherings held in venues that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person should be postponed or canceled. This includes gatherings in crowded auditoriums, rooms, or other venues. 

  • Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people. This includes gatherings such as those at retirement facilities, assisted living facilities, developmental homes, and support groups for people with health conditions. 

  • A “gathering” is any event or convening that brings together people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, cafeteria, or any other indoor or outdoor space.

As a result, Sage Oak has decided to cancel all non-required, supplemental learning experiences for the remainder of this school year effective tomorrow, March 13th. This includes all field trips, high school hangouts, and Sage Oak Socials. If a family paid for a field trip using private funds, the school will work with the vendor to request refunds and refund the families.  However, ultimately it will be up to the vendor's policy. If the family paid for a field trip using instructional funds, the school will also work with the vendor to request refunds and will credit the instructional fund account only if the school receives a refund from the vendor before the ordering deadline. We will be able to provide more information on refunds in the coming days.  Please note the following events are continuing to be evaluated based on the aforementioned guidelines, but remain scheduled as of today: high school prom, high school graduation, kindergarten, 5th grade, and 8th grade promotions. The school will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving recommendations of local health agencies and will decide the status of holding these events as the event date draws closer. 

If a student is attending classes through a community provider/vendor, then please contact them directly to inquire about their policy. Each community provider/vendor will have their own policy on how they will proceed during this unprecedented situation.

All required school events are being held as scheduled as of today. This includes learning period meetings, special education meetings, and state testing. However, it should be noted that this situation is fluid and all decisions related to required school events will continue to be driven by the most recent advice from public health experts in all the regions we serve. For all events that remain scheduled, we will observe the aforementioned guidelines to ensure student safety. To our benefit, Sage Oak is in a unique position being an independent study model school. Many schools are researching different e-learning platforms and developing policies to implement independent study at home. We are fortunate to have many remote learning options and policies already in full effect. 

Preventative Measures
The California Health Department emphasizes the importance of practicing preventative measures to stop the spread of germs and viruses. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the flu, follow these important tips:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Dry hands with a disposable paper towel rather than a cloth towel 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you have a fever or show symptoms of a respiratory virus
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional
  • Observe social distancing by remaining 6 feet apart 
  • An elbow bump or foot tap would be an alternative to a hug or handshake.  Please observe your professional judgment when using these options.

Additional resources:

Sage Oak Charter Schools will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary. If you have an extenuating situation, please contact one of the following:

We thank you for your cooperation and support.

Krista Woodgrift
Executive Director