COVID-19 Response and Resources » VCS Covid-19 Guidelines for SY 23-24

VCS Covid-19 Guidelines for SY 23-24



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Updated COVID-19 Guidelines (February 2024)


We continue to navigate a complex public health context; public health guidelines are now focused on living with and managing COVID-19 and VCS durrent policies reflect that approach.

The goal of our COVID-19 guidelines is to help ensure that every child has access to in-person learning while maintaining a safe school environment for all. 

Please read carefully  below for updated VCS COVID-19 guidelines and protocol to help us reach this collective goal. 


Valley Charter Schools will be following the Los Angeles County of Public Health guidelines regarding masking, which may change throughout the year based on community transmission levels.

As of March 13th, 2023, masking for 10 days post-exposure is strongly recommended for students and staff exposed to COVID-19 in a TK-12 setting and for students and staff returning from isolation in a TK-12 setting.

If there is a classroom or campus outbreak, VCS retains the right to implement mandatory masking.

The type of masks required are medical grade masks (surgical or KN95); cloth masks are not permissible for exposure or return from isolation. 


The California Department of Public Health recommends that “antigen tests be considered the primary option for detecting COVID-19 in schools, compared to PCR Tests.”

At the current time, VCS is not engaging in surveillance testing on a regular basis; this could change if the public health context changes.

We do require students to test if they are exhibiting symptoms; this must occur to limit any potential spread of the virus.


VCS uses the group contact tracing approach when an individual tests positive in a school setting.

How does group tracing work?

  • VCS families will continue to receive e-mail notification from VCES or VCMS  if their student spent more than a cumulative of 15 minutes (within a 24-hour time period) in a shared indoor airspace (e.g. classroom) with someone with COVID during their period of infectiousness. 
  • Exposed students, regardless of vaccination status, are strongly recommended to be tested for COVID-19 with at least one diagnostic test obtained within 3-5 days after last exposure. Antigen or PRC tests are acceptable.
  • Exposed students may continue to take part in all aspects of K-12 schooling unless they develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. 
  • Exposed students are strongly recommended to wear a medical grade mask (surgical or KN95) indoors for 10 days to prevent individual infection and potential community spread.



Although vaccination for staff and students is strongly recommended, per public health guidelines, VCS does not currently have any vaccination requirements. 


If students are exposed to COVID-19 from a member of their household, the family is required to contact the school so that we may implement the appropriate guidance based on the context. Please use the below surveys to report an exposure:

VCES COVID-19 Exposure Reporting Survey

VCMS COVID-19 Exposure Reporting Survey

Students are exempt from quarantine if all of the following are true:

  • They are generally able to remain separated from the positive household member; if there are spaces that must be shared, precautions (e.g., masks) are taken
  • They do not have symptoms 
  • They wear a medical grade mask (surgical or KN95)  for a minimum of 10 days post-exposure
  • They test regularly after exposure



  • If your child tests positive, please complete the appropriate survey: 
  • The minimum isolation period for a positive case is 1 full day after the date of symptom onset or a positive test (whichever comes first).
  • Day 0 is the date of symptom onset or the date the positive test was collected (whichever is first).
  • In order to exit isolation, individuals will need to meet the following conditions:
    • Be symptom free or have greatly improved symptoms (e.g., a small lingering cough or slightly stuffy nose) and be fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication. 
    • Wear a medical grade mask to return to school (note that despite optional masking in other contexts, this remains a requirement for return from isolation between Day 6 and Day 10 unless there are two negative antigen tests in a row).
    • Individuals are able to “exit” out of the mandatory 10 day mask wearing requirement with two negative tests in a row, however these tests must take place 48 hours apart and must be submitted to Rachel Lim at [email protected] and the school principal for mask exemption.
*Please note that per revised March 2023 public health guidelines, a negative antigen test is not required to return to school, as long as the above conditions are met.