August 5, 2021

Dear Oroville City Elementary School District (OCESD) Students, Families, and Staff:

We are very excited to welcome the new school year and the full opening of our schools for learning. It’s been a busy couple of months with the delivery of our largest summer learning program ever and continued preparations to bring all students back to every campus, every day this fall. We are excited to reopen OCESD schools for full-time, in-person learning. The safety of our students and staff remains our highest priority. We plan to return to our regular schedule with Friday no longer being a minimum day. To that end, we want to share the latest health and safety guidance that applies to all school settings for 2021-2022.

As you may have seen in the news, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued updated guidance related to school settings with the largest emphasis being on the continued requirement of masking. The update applies to all TK-12 schools for the 2021-22 school year, which for OCESD students, begins on Tuesday, August 17. 

Below is a brief summary of the health and safety practices that will apply for the start of the new school year. If you would like to read the entire document, you can click on this link: Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-22 School Year

Masking Guidance Update

All OCESD students are required to wear masks indoors and on all district transportation, including school buses, with exemptions available per CDPH face mask guidance. All adults in TK-12 settings are required to wear masks when sharing indoor spaces with students. According to the new CDPH guidelines, masks are optional outdoors for all TK-12 settings. OCESD students will not be required to wear masks outdoors. CDPH has not yet issued updated guidance for athletics and other activities such as band and choir. We will communicate the protocols associated with these activities as soon as we receive the information.  IMPORTANT TO NOTE:  There are no exemptions on school buses due to the close proximity of student riders.

Staff mask requirements when students are not present are governed by the Cal/OSHA standards available at the following link:  CAL/OSHA Face Covering Guidance. Previous masking exemptions per CDPH face mask guidance will still be honored. 

Schools will provide masks to students as needed, and school staff will follow protocols to address behavior issues related to mask wearing. The wearing of facial coverings indoors and on district transportation is a requirement by the state, not a local decision. Per the CDPH mask guidance, students who do not qualify for a face covering exemption and who are not willing to wear a face covering, may be served through OCESDs Independent Family Learning Center Program.

We think it is important to note that our school board and staff have not ignored the concerns regarding mask wearing that have been shared with us from families. Many of us were hopeful that we would be able to start the school year without any restrictions. We ask that you be patient with us as we are required to follow the state guidelines.  We will modify our requirements as soon as it is permissible.

Independent Family Learning Center Program (IFLC)

OCESD will offer independent study through our Independent Family Learning Center Program for the 2021-22 school year for any students who choose not to return to in-person learning.

  • School staff will refer interested parents/guardians to the IFLC Coordinator at 530-532-3007 x3714 or 530-990-0316.

  • Students with special needs will need to have their IEPs modified to address the request for independent study and adjust services.

  • Students enrolled in the independent family learning center program for the 2021-22 school year will have rights to return to in-person learning within five instructional days of receiving the notice.

  • A separate notice with information specifically about the independent family learning center program will be sent to families and placed on our website very soon.

If you have questions or to schedule an intake meeting for the 2021-22 school year, please call 530-532-3007 x3714 or 530-990-0316. Please leave a message if needed and we will contact you next week as staff is available.

Physical Distancing Update

According to the new CDPH guidelines, in-person instruction can occur safely without minimum physical distancing requirements when other mitigation strategies such as masking are implemented. 


Physical distance will be maximized as much as possible, including through the use of additional spaces outside of the cafeteria for mealtime seating.  

School Visitors and Volunteers

While access to school offices is permitted, to ensure the highest level of safety, visitors’ and volunteers’ access to school grounds will be limited and individuals will not be allowed in classrooms unless deemed essential for educational purposes. In those cases, all safety protocols will be adhered to.  

What if my child is showing symptoms?

To protect all students and OCESD staff, please screen children each day for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to school and keep your child at home if they are displaying any symptoms. Please call your school office with questions or for further guidance. Symptoms include:

  • Fever (a temperature of 100.4 or higher) and/or chills

  • New, persistent cough

  • Sore throat

  • Muscle pain

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Vomiting/Nausea

  • Shortness of breath

  • Diarrhea

We will continue to keep you updated as new guidance becomes available.  Thank you for your continued support and patience as we work together to safely welcome our students and staff back to the new school year. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, August 17, 2021.


Spencer Holtom, Ed.D.