VMS aligns with the Alameda County Public Health Department.

For complete, up-to-date Covid-19 Guidance, see the Alameda County 2021-2022 School Guidance document.
Contact the VMS Covid Team at covidteam@valleymontessorischool.com with Covid-related questions or if your child has symptoms or has been exposed to Covid.

VMS Covid Guidance-at-a-Glance (For complete guidance, see the Alameda County 2021-2022 School Guidance)

When is “Mask Season”?
Although the masking mandate for schools has been lifted, our county health partners still strongly recommend masks as a layer of protection against transmission, especially for children in our early childhood program who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated. Like other viruses – colds, flus – there tends to be a seasonality to them. See this Mask Season handout for a complete explanation.

What do I do if I have symptoms?  Here are the Diagnostic Testing Options for symptomatic individuals regardless of vaccination status:
  • PCR Test: Negative test result and the student may return to school. Email results to Covid Team.
  • Antigen Tests (including at-home tests): Since antigen tests may not detect infection in the early stages, a negative antigen test must be followed by a second antigen test 24-48 hours after the first test. The student must stay home until after 2nd negative test. If using home antigen tests, write the date and child’s name on the tests. Email results to the Covid Team.
  • Note regarding allergies:
    With allergy season upon us, we understand some have had concerns about allergy symptoms being mistaken as Covid symptoms. When students exhibit a new symptom(s), we align with the ACPHD and require the above testing procedure to determine it is not due to Covid. If the student tests negative and the symptoms continue, a doctor’s note indicating the symptoms are due to allergies would suffice. No additional testing would be required.
  • Note regarding siblings:
    If not exhibiting symptoms, siblings of a symptomatic individual do not need to stay home while awaiting test results.
Household Exposures:  What if someone in my household has Covid?   
Families living with a household member with Covid, who cannot properly isolate from the individual, are at a much higher risk of contracting it, regardless of their vaccination status. Therefore, at this time, our quarantine is the same whether or not the individual is vaccinated. This protocol has prevented many classroom exposures at VMS. If a family member tests positive, the remaining household members must:
  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • Test on day 5. If negative, individual may return to school with a well-fitting mask through day 10.
  • Send test result with date of test and individual’s name to the Covid Team.

Non-Household Exposures: What if I am expose to someone with Covid?

Both PCR and Antigen test results are acceptable to exit quarantine for a student exposed to Covid, you may:
  • PCR test on day 5 or after. Email negative results to the Covid Team and return to school the next day.
  • Antigen Test on day 5 or after. If negative, the student may return to school. Take a photo of the test with the date and individual’s name and email to the Covid Team.
Testing to Exit Isolation: When can my student come back to school if they test positive for Covid?
Antigen test results are recommended to exit isolation for a Covid positive student. Test on day 5 or later. If negative, take a photo of the test and email to the Covid Team. Return to VMS for a confirmatory test the next day. If negative, the student may return to the classroom. (No confirmatory test required after day 10.)
Air Travel Quarantine Guidance:
Individuals who travel, especially by public transportation, are considered “exposed” to Covid but may return to school if they:
  • wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days post travel
  • test on day 5 post travel

Test and Stay in School (School Exposures)

VMS participates in the Test and Stay in School program, whereby students exposed at school may stay in school if they:

  1. Test before returning to school the day after exposure.
  2. Test on day five after exposure. (The day of exposure is Day 0.)
  3. Wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after exposure.

This has been an integral part of keeping our classrooms open and students safe.

Please see he ACPHD Testing Scenarios Chart for additional information.

Final Note:
Since each situation may have different circumstances, we encourage you to reach out to the Covid Team covidteam@valleymontessorischool.com with questions.


Wednesday, March 9, 2022: Letter from Head of School, Ann Clark

On March 3,2022, Alameda County aligned with the CDPH regarding indoor masking guidelines for all individuals in K-12 and childcare settings. Effective Monday, March 14, the county moved from having a masking requirement to making masks a strong recommendation. This decision is based on the substantially improved conditions in the county – Covid case counts have decreased significantly while vaccination rates have increased. Our local school districts, including Livermore, Dublin and Pleasanton, also have adopted this new guidance.
After careful consideration, VMS has decided to align with this recommendation from our public health partners and will no longer have an indoor mask mandate for students or staff starting March 14.
Masks WILL be required at VMS for staff and students in the following situations:
  • If an individual is exposed to someone with Covid, i.e., an individual is a close contact of a non-household member who tests positive for Covid, they are required to wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days following the exposure.
  • If there has been a household exposure, i.e., parent tests positive for Covid, the remaining household members must stay home and test on day 5. If negative, they may return to school with a well-fitting mask through day 10.
  • If an individual tests positive for Covid, they may test on day 5 or after. If negative, they may return to school with a well-fitting mask through day 10.
Important Notes:
Both the state and county have emphasized that masks remain one of our best mitigation tools against Covid and, although not required, masks are still a strong recommendation.
At VMS, we recognize there are varying opinions on masking and anticipate many in our community will continue to mask while others do not. We ask everyone to respect the choices each family makes. Please recognize individuals have different risk tolerance based on their personal situations. Some may opt to continue masking because they or someone they care for is immune compromised, elderly or is unable to get vaccinated due to age or health status. Likewise, others may opt to not mask because they recently had Covid and know they are not a risk to others, etc.
Grace and courtesy are foundations of the Montessori philosophy. We ask both our staff and families to model this for the children and to be respectful of everyone’s opinions and choices around masking, trusting that each is using their best judgement in all situations. Thank you for your ongoing support as we navigate this transition.

Monday, February 28, 2022: CDPH MASKING ANNOUNCEMENT

This week, Governor Newsom issued a press release announcing California’s forthcoming change to the mask mandate for students in schools. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will remove the requirement of masks for students in schools and child care facilities after March 11, 2022. Masks will remain strongly recommended, but not required.
It is important to understand that the Alameda County Department of Public Health (ACPHD) can decide to impose stricter masking requirements than the State. ACPHD published a press release in response to the State’s announcement that expressed their plan to review the State’s changes and assess how they may impact us locally before issuing their guidance. Since we are guided by the County, we will wait for their official statement before announcing any possible changes to our masking protocols. Thank you for your continued patience, support, and partnership as we await direction from Alameda County.
After careful consideration, VMS has decided to align with this recommendation from our public health partners and will no longer have an indoor mask mandate for students or staff starting March 14.


Note: Staff Guidance per CalOSHA can be found on Staff Page.



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