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Rules in place for students returning to school Nov. 2

Showing up for class when students start returning to Manteca Unified campuses in 11 days will be anything but normal.

Mandatory pandemic protocols have been fashioned that are likely to change as COVID-19 conditions do. While many protocols are universal through all grade levels and campuses, each of the district’s 33 school sites have protocols tailored specifically to issues at each campus.

Letters outlining those protocols have been — or are being — distributed to parents by Friday

Transitional kindergarten through 3rd graders as well as high school juniors and seniors will start returning to school campuses Nov. 2. Then fourth graders through high school sophomores would return on Nov. 16 as allowed and based on conditions.

Before a student can even leave their home to head to school they will need to complete a self-screen every morning by clicking a link provided in their email inbox.

That means anyone displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19 of which many mirror symptoms tied to other illnesses such as the flu and are not cleared to attend school through the self-screening process will need to contact the attendance office and respective vice principal to discuss the next steps.

Those students that knowingly submit false information during the self-screening process may be subject to discipline.

Those clearing the self-screening process will report to a campus where all surfaces, touch points and classrooms are disinfected nightly in preparation for the next day.

The letter sent to Sierra High parents notes that half of the students will be placed in the Grey Group and the other half in the Blue Group. Sierra High will not honor any request to change groups.

This reflects the fact classroom capacity is being reduced by 50 percent to meet special distancing requirements.

Students across the district will either be on campus Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays. On those four days when a group is off campus they will be involved in distance learning by the same bell schedule. All students will do distance learning on Wednesdays.

The Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday bell schedule for Sierra High is 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  with lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon. On late start Wednesdays when distance learning is universal, collaboration is from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. The first period starts at 9:30 a.m. and the fourth and final period ends at 3:10 p.m. Lunch on Wednesdays is from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Unlike before the pandemic hit when attendance typically was taken at the start of a class, the protocols in place call for attendance when students are on campus to take place during Pack Time — a 40-minute period that ends the school day at 3:30 p.m.

There are other changes as well. During the Phase 2 hybrid learning model student lockers will not be assigned.

Food delivery of any kind will not be allowed at Sierra High. All students will have the opportunity to receive a free lunch daily. Students eligible for campus passes will still have the opportunity to leave campus for lunch.

All students will be required to wear masks indoors while on campus and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. Masks must follow existing dress code guideline regarding images and whether they are school appropriate.

Two cloth masks will be provided to all students during the first day of returning to school along with a reusable water bottle. Paper masks will also be available as needed.

Seating indoors such as classrooms and common areas will be socially distanced as much as possible given space constraints.

Restroom capacity will also be enforced to encourage social distancing.

Sierra High is advising student athletes that county guidelines allow students to continue meeting with coaches in small cohorts or groups. The California Interscholastic Federation athletic calendar is scheduled to start in December.

Other extracurricular activities are being modified to ensure student safety.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email