San Mateo County, CA — The recent move of San Mateo County to the Purple Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy will impact the ability of some schools to return students to campus for in-person instruction. The following is a summary of options for schools while the county remains in the Purple Tier.

  • All schools that have already returned students to campus for in-person instruction may continue to operate under their plan reviewed by San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE), San Mateo County Health (SMCH), and in the case where a waiver was required, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
  • If an individual school has not yet begun implementing its plan for returning to in-person instruction, it must pause until the county is in the Red Tier unless it is eligible to apply for a waiver.
  • Schools that have not yet returned students to campus for in-person instruction may apply for a waiver to bring back students in grades TK-6 only. SMCOE, SMCH, and CDPH will review these schools’ waiver applications.
  • All schools may return small groups of students to campus for limited instruction, academic or social emotional support, and other small group activities under CDPH’s cohorting guidance.

Regardless of which Tier of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy is current for San Mateo County, all schools that have students on campus will follow the guidance included in the Pandemic Recovery Framework and provided by SMCH and CDPH.

“By following the safety protocols of the Pandemic Recovery Framework, which includes face coverings, physical distancing, screening, testing, and contact tracing, schools have shown they can return both students and teachers to campus safely,” explained San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools Nancy Magee. “While we are not seeing COVID-19 spread within school communities, school leaders will continue to monitor the situation closely and move to distance learning per conditions set forth in the CDPH guidance for schools.”

For more information on which schools have approved plans, the waiver process, and the Pandemic Recovery Framework, visit the San Mateo County Office of Education’s website.