COVID-19 Updates


Happy New Year! As we continue with Distance Learning this month for Encore High School amidst a global pandemic, I wanted to share with our parents, staff, and students some important updates regarding the safety measures Encore has taken for COVID-19 and share with you statewide updates.


ENCORE DISTANCE LEARNING - Encore's classes resumed this week on Distance Learning platforms. While Encore does plan to reopen for in person learning as soon as allowable by the state of California, currently Distance Learning will continue through the month of January. Encore is fully anticipating being able to return to the classroom and in person learning. We miss our kids.


ENCORE ON CAMPUS OFFICES CLOSED TEMPORARILY - As we did with Encore's Fall Break, the school office has remained closed this week so staff can get up to date COVID tests prior to returning to work. You can still get questions answered remotely by phone call or by using the contact form in the bottom margin of the encorehighschool.com website. These are answered throughout the school day. The on campus office will reopen with limited hours starting Thursday, January 7, 2021. The new on campus office hours will be from 8 am - 2 pm Tuesday through Thursday for the month of January. Our team will still be available by phone Monday through Friday 8am - 3pm Monday through Friday.


SPED COHORTS, AT RISK COHORTS, and Internet Cafe - These on campus supports will be closed until Monday, February 1, 2021 in response to the current spike of COVID cases in San Bernardino county. In person testing, technology support appointments, and food distribution will continue.


ON CAMPUS STUDENT SUPPORT TESTING - Based on Governor Newsom's press conference on December 30, 2020, students and staff that are on campus for cohorts will be required to get tested regularly based on the number of cases per 100K tests found within a county for a 7 day period. For counties that are in the "purple" tier or the "deep purple" tier, these tests will have to happen weekly. San Bernardino County is currently in the "purple" widespread tier. We will offer more information regarding student testing as it is released by the state.

ON CAMPUS OUTDOOR PRACTICES AND MASTER CLASSES - If you remember, I had discussed the possibility of Encore starting outdoor practices and master classes pending the CDPH approval. Encore has received this approval and is planning on starting these outdoor activities on February 1, pending the limitations of stay at home orders. Your students will be made aware of limitations, registrations, COVID testing requirements, and times of these OUTDOOR activities directly from their teachers and coaches. This is not in person learning and is limited to less than 16 people outdoors as defined by the CDPH. For all students planning to attend, weekly COVID testing will be required for participation. This has not started, but has been approved by CDPH according to guidelines and Encore's CDPH approved plan.


ENCORE'S COVID STATISTICS SO FAR THIS SCHOOL YEAR - Over the course of the 20/21 school year so far, Encore has experienced some cases of COVID-19 through staff and students even though we have not been conducting in-person learning during this academic year. None of the cases were worksite related and anyone that may have come directly in contact or indirectly in contact with anyone with COVID-19 have been notified immediately and asked to quarantine until a negative test could be confirmed.


Starting in September, Encore's staff has submitted to COVID-19 testing at least every 8 weeks and/or every time a possible exposure or indirect exposure to the virus has happened. Many of us have taken multiple tests (I have taken 8 tests with negative outcomes every time so far) since the opening of school just to be extra precautious. All of our staff was required to test prior to coming on campus the first tiime after summer break, after the completion of fall break, and now after the completion of winter break. We believe that our vigilante testing has kept the cases through our staff to a minimum. Encore believes in the highest safety measures for our staff, students, and families.


THE VACCINE - Governor Newsom stated in a press conference on Monday that California has already received just under 1.3 million doses of the vaccine for the state. In his Safer Schools implementation measures, getting the teachers as a priority for the vaccine is part of the plan. Currently, educators are in Phase 1B of the vaccine distribution. He will be giving more information regarding this distribution in a press conference to be held on Wednesday.


CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (CDPH): COUNTY MONITORING METRICS (from the County website)

California has a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities. Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases and positivity. At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated every Tuesday. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. Public health officials are constantly monitoring data and may step in if necessary.


Four-Tier Color Coded Classification System

The county risk level is determined based on the following two metrics:

Daily New Cases (Adjusted): The average number of new cases per day (during a specific 7-day period) per 100,000 residents. This number is calculated and then adjusted upward or downward based on whether county testing volume exceeds, or is below, the state median testing level.


These tiers include:

● Widespread (purple): More than 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents or higher than 8% positive rate. This means that most non-essential indoor business operations are closed.

● Substantial (red): 4 to 7 daily new cases per 100,000 residents or 5-8% positive rate. This means that some non-essential indoor businesses are closed.

● Moderate (orange): 1 to 3.9 daily new cases per 100,000 residents or 2-4.9% positive rate. This means that some indoor business operations open with modifications.

● Minimal (yellow): Less than 1 daily new case per 100,000 residents or less than 2% positive rate.This means that most indoor business operations open with modifications.


Last updated on January 5, 2021 for San Bernardino County. sbcovid19.com


We will keep you updated as new information unfolds. In the meantime, please follow the safety guidelines that are outlined by the state by wearing your mask, staying home when you are sick, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, and stay vigilante in helping to reduce the spread.


We will be adding a section on the website for staff, parents, and students to report COVID-19 testing and results soon. This will help Encore with contact tracing one people are back on campus. For students and families that may need help with social and emotional help, please reach out to counseling@encorehighschool.com. We want to make sure that you are fully supported through this unprecedented time.


Hang in there pirates and stay strong. Do not let COVID and ZOOM fatigue dictate your learning outcomes this school year.


Thank you for your ongoing support of youth arts and thank you for your ongoing support of Encore High School.

https://www.encorehighschool.com/blog

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Denise Griffin, CEO is the author of this blog for Encore Education Corporation. Part of Encore Education Corporation is Encore High School, a free public performing arts regional high school in Southern California grades 7 - 12. Encore's program is currently taking applications for the fall 2021 enrollment. Encore offers full time, hybrid time, and independent study programs. Encore offers transporation from the Inland Empire and the high desert. www.encorehighschool.com. Where arts and academics grow together. WASC Accredited. Copyright 2021.

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