The first cases of COVID-19 have been reported at Menlo-Atherton and Woodside high schools and TIDE Academy.
The week of Aug. 9 to 13, the first week of school in the Sequoia Union High School District, seven cases were reported at M-A in Atherton, six at Woodside and three at TIDE in Menlo Park, according to a newly created district data dashboard. The district assembled an internal team to develop the dashboard, said district spokeswoman Ana Maria Pulido in an email.
The district counts a case during the week in which it is confirmed by school health staff, in collaboration with the San Mateo County health department, before listing it on the dashboard, even if it's from an earlier date. This could result in a delay of cases appearing on the dashboard.
The district entered this school year with the goal of keeping numbers as low as possible, Pulido said. She said their ability to keep the numbers down is contingent on safety measures like mask wearing and health checks, and a series of external factors in the community, such as vaccination rates.
During the school year, the dashboard will be updated weekly every Friday, according to the district.
When a positive case is reported to the school's health team, the school along with the district office initiate a case investigation with the county health department, according to the district's fall reopening plan.
The school's health team works with the district office to start contact tracing, and the school informs close contacts — interactions within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes with someone who is positive for COVID-19 — about their possible exposure, the plan states. The contacts are referred to testing, told to monitor for virus systems and connected to resources to support self-quarantining.
A general exposure notice is sent to classmates, guardians, teachers and others potentially exposed during the case's infectious period on campus. Notice will be sent to all staff members who were on campus at the same time as the positive case's infectious period, according to the plan.
Not all students or staff who tested positive were on a district site during the infectious period, which creates a discrepancy between case counts and notifications, according to the district.
Staff vaccination rates
District staff vaccination percentages are currently based on self-reported responses. The vaccinated percentage rate is equal to the total number of vaccinated staff members divided by the total responses received. As of Aug. 27, 74% of all district staff members have responded.
At M-A, 96.02% of staff members who responded are fully vaccinated. Some 96.1% of Woodside High staffers are vaccinated and at TIDE, 93.3% of staff reported being vaccinated.
The district promised to collect data on student vaccination rates at an Aug. 5 Parent Community Night. District officials expect to collect those numbers, which will be voluntarily reported, by September, Superintendent Darnise Williams said at the meeting.
View the data dashboard on the district's website.