Lake Elsinore Unified School District

Skip to main content
En Español
COVID-19 Safety Plan » Reopening Plan Update

Reopening Plan Update

UPDATED JANUARY 20, 2022-August 17, 2021

The foundational principle of the COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-22 School Year guidance is that all students must have access to safe and full in-person instruction and to as much instructional time as possible.


Below are answers to frequently asked questions:

January 5, 2021


Happy New Year! On behalf of the Board of Education, I am pleased to welcome our staff and students back after what I hope was both a restful and memorable break with your loved ones. Next Tuesday, January 11, 2022, is the start of the second semester of the school year, and I would like to take this opportunity to update you on health and safety protocols for a safe return to school.


Over the holiday season, the case rates in Riverside County have continued to increase. Today in Riverside County, the 7-day average is 52.0 cases per 100K. The 7-day positive test rate is currently 14.5%. Additionally, health officials in Riverside County reported the first case of the Omicron variant in Riverside County on December 17, 2021.


The District will continue to follow the health and safety protocols from the Riverside University Health System (RUHS) to keep our students, staff, and community safe.

Please take a moment to review FAQs regarding the return to school on the 11th:

August 10, 2021.

In accordance with the California Department of Public Health's (CDPH) most recent COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-22 School Year, this plan outlines LEUSD's current safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is a fluid working document that will adjust as conditions and/or guidance changes.




COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that spreads by respiratory droplets released when individuals talk, cough or sneeze. Many individuals infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and contagious. Federal and state public health agencies, including the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommend that individuals wear a face covering to limit the spread of COVID-19.


The California Department of Public Health and Lake Elsinore Unified School District require ALL students, over 2 years of age, to wear masks or face coverings while indoors during the school day. Any student seeking a medical exemption to the mask requirement must have the student’s treating physician complete the below Medical/Health Exemption Form.

July 26, 2021. 

As we prepare for the 2021-22 school year, we would like to provide our families with insight into life on campus based on the current California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Riverside County Public Health Department (RivCoPH) guidelines.  

Lake Elsinore Unified School District is required to meet the current COVID-19 guidance and mitigation requirements mandated by CDPH and RivCoPH to provide the safest in-school experience established by the CDPH’s Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California.


10 Things LEUSD Families Should Know About Returning to Campus 2021-22



MARCH 3, 2021.

The District has submitted its COVID-19 Safety Plan for approval in accordance with the Governor’s reopening plan, which is received final approval on March 5, 2021. 

FEBRUARY 26, 2021. In January 2021, the California Public Health Department updated guidance for returning students to school campuses, which required District staff to update the draft school Reopening Plan. On February 26, 2021, the District submitted the state-mandated documents for approval to reopen the TK-6 grade. 

Below is the state-mandated document, submitted to the Riverside University County Health and California Department of Public Health. 

The following educational videos on hygiene were developed by the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).  They are provided for school nurses as they return-to-school during COVID-19.  School nurses can use these as a tool to educate the school community including students, staff, and parents.

DECEMBER 17, 2020. A conditional school reopening plan was approve by the Board of Trustees during their regular meeting. School for all grade levels will resume under a Distance Learning model on January 12, 2021 with the following conditions: 

  • For Students in Elementary Grades TK – 5: to facilitate a smoother academic transition for all elementary students, First Semester will be extended starting Tuesday, January 12, 2021 through Thursday, February 11, 2021. Distance learning under existing elementary teacher and student assignments will continue unchanged. 
  • Spring semester for grades TK – 5 would begin on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. 
  • Parents will receive spring semester class rosters in the second week of January. 
  • For Students Grades 6 – 12: Spring semester would begin Tuesday, January 12, 2021 under the distance learning model, and is subject to teacher and student roster changes to accommodate both virtual learning for families that expressed this preference when surveyed, and on campus cohort/hybrid instruction once it is safe. 
  • Protecting the medical needs of students and staff remains a priority for reopening under California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. 
  • Parents will receive spring semester class rosters in early January. 
  • Grab and Go Meal Service resumes Tuesday January 12, 2021 at the same school locations. 


  • Athletic Conditioning and Sports Calendar Options: Athletic conditioning is currently suspended until January 4, 2021. State and Regional championships have been removed from the CIF Season 1 Sports Calendar. 
  • As allowed under guidance from the California Department of Public Health and local health orders, LEUSD will evaluate conditions in order to notify student participants as to when activities such as conditioning and competition can safely resume. 
  • A modified sports season and calendar for LEUSD high schools will also be explored. 

The district's goal of moving into phase two cohort/hybrid instruction when Riverside County is in the red tier and it is safe for our students and staff to return remains unchanged. 


DECEMBER 6, 2020. The Governor announced a new stay at home health order last Thursday, which became effective Saturday, December 5th, with additional triggers based upon ICU capacity below 15% that went into effect in our Southern California Region at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, December 6. The Regional Stay at Home Order doesn't alter existing state and public health guidance for schools and education, though certain restrictions may result in more employees and teachers working from home while the Order remains in effect for at least another three weeks, or until ICU capacity returns to better than 15%. Communicating with the District Office or staff is best using email, though our switchboard is covered during business days. The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is on December 17, 2020. Please watch for additional communications via ParentSquare, district and school web sites, and our social media channels to learn more about our school reopening plans and status after Winter Recess, which begins December 21, 2020 through January 11, 2021 (January 11 is a teacher/non-student work day). 


DECEMBER 5, 2020. Following a news release from CIF about the removal of State and Regional Championships from the Season 1 Calendar, last week the district notified student athletes that athletic conditioning and workouts would be suspended effective Saturday, December 5, because of worsening pandemic conditions while Riverside County remains in the state's most restrictive COVID-19 risk tier, purple. The district will reassess conditions after January 4, 2021. 


NOVEMBER 30, 2020. LEUSD has extended existing school and workplace occupancy limits through Friday, December 11 to limit the risk of COVID-19 spread through our workplace environment. We will reassess conditions next on December 14. At two upcoming Board of Trustee meetings on December 3 at 9:00 a.m., and on December 17 at 6:00 p.m., we will provide a public update on pandemic school reopening plans for second semester of the 2020-2021 school year. These virtual Board meetings are accessible by preregistering for the Webinar link. Visit our home page under the Calendar heading for links when they become available. 


NOVEMBER 13, 2020. School Waiver Process Suspended. Riverside University Health System (RUHS) informed school partners that application for new school waivers are officially suspended as of 11/13/2020. Officials stated that until the county's adjusted case rate is consistently below the maximum level of 14, waivers cannot be submitted for state concurrence. Case prevalence data and positivity rates continue to trend upward. (Schools with existing waivers that have not yet opened will still be allowed to open under the waiver terms). 


NOVEMBER 9, 2020. Riverside County remains in the state's most restrictive risk tier for COVID-19: purpleTo avoid the risk of coronavirus transmission in the workplace, LEUSD recently implemented a limit on workplace occupancy effective November 9 through November 30. As a result, the previously announced plan to start a small group cohort program for special education services in early November must be postponed. We are reassessing conditions regularly, so we can provide an update on or by November 30, 2020. 


OCTOBER 23, 2020. Special Education students with Moderate / Moderate-Severe disabilities may be allowed to return to school campuses in small group cohorts beginning in early November 2020. LEUSD is in negotiations regarding start dates...View the full news release: English  Spanish 

OCTOBER 22, 2020. Trustees approved a recommendation to extend Distance Learning for all grades to the end of first semester, Friday, December 18, 2020. In-person instruction for all grades TK-12 would begin on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, subject to being in the red tier. Riverside County is currently in the purple tier. Should the County still be in the purple tier in January, the Board approved reassessing health conditions and reopening timelines to give parents and staff advance notice of any changes. View the full news release: English  Spanish

Student Schedules & Learning Models for Reopening

In other action on October 22nd, trustees reviewed learning models for Elementary Grades TK-6; Middle School Grades 6-8; and High School, Grades 9-12. Separate reopening committee for Elementary, MS, and HS grade levels have each developed their preferred school reopening schedules; however, the plans linked below are not yet adopted and are awaiting negotiation approval so they can be presented and ratified by the Board of Trustees.
Student Schedules and Reopening Timelines News Releases are linked below.
OCTOBER 8, 2020. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a Draft School Reopening Plan 2020-21 at the Regular Meeting of the Board. The plan will serve as the 'Constitution' or rulebook for reopening schools safely under COVID-19 pandemic conditions. Timelines and schedules were not included in the approval action, but were placed on a Special Meeting set for October 22, 2020, the outcome of which is reported above.
Click here to view Draft School Reopening Plan 2020-21.
The Board video presentation is below; if you do not see the video frame, paste the URL into your browser:
Below are video timestamps and corresponding Draft School Reopening Plan topics:
00:00:15  Overview & Introduction, presenter: Dr. Doug Kimberly, Superintendent
00:04:08  Maintenance & Operations, presenter: James Judziewicz, Director, School Operations
00:06:15  Health & Safety / PPE Supply Protocol, presenter: Philip Dominguez, Director of School Support Services
00:07:20  Transportation Element, presenter: Gene Durham, Director, Transportation & Facilities Support Services
00:08:46  Food & Nutrition Programs, presenter: Arleen Sanchez, Chief Business Official
00:10:54  COVID-19 Screening, Exposure Notification, Testing Protocols, presenters: Dr. Kip Meyer, Assistant Superintendent, Student & Instructional Support Services; and Jennifer Edquist, nursing team member
00:22:00  Social & Emotional Wellness, presenter: Felipe Flores, Program Specialist-Mental Health
00:26:36  Learning Models: Cohort and Hybrid In-person, presenter: Tracy Sepulveda, Assistant Superintendent, Personnel Support Services
00:29:42 Elementary School Schedule Options (pros & cons of 3 schedule variations), presenter: Rita Post, Director of Elementary Curriculum & Instruction
00:40:15  Middle School Schedule Options (pros & cons of 2 schedule variations), presenters: Dr. Alain Guevara, Assistant Superintendent, Administrative & Instructional Technology Support Services and Dr. Steve Behar, Director of Child Welfare and Attendance
00:55:46 High School Learning Model Overview, presenter: Dr. Kip Meyer
00:57:25 High School Schedule Options (pros & cons), presenter: Brian Deis, Director of Secondary Curriculum & Instruction
01:08:22  Parent Survey Summation, presented by Dr. Doug Kimberly
01:09:25  Athletics & Extracurricular Overview, presented by Brian Deis
01:10:59  Conclusion, presented by Dr. Doug Kimberly
01:12:00  Board Action, President Heidi Dodd
A Printer Friendly News Release on this topic is linked below (English and Spanish).