Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Deneen Guss, County Superintendent of Schools

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Monterey County Information & Resources written over image of coronavirus under high-powered microscope

CDPH K-12 Schools Guidance

A Message to the Monterey County Community from the Monterey County Office of Education

Digital art of a woman wearing a mouth/nose covering mask

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has released several updates to K-12 Schools Guidance for the 2021-2022 school year. In accordance with CDC guidance released on Friday, July 9, 2021, California will align with this guidance by implementing the multiple mitigation strategies of continued mask guidance and robust testing capacity, while not recommending physical distancing due to the obstacles it would present to California schools’ full reopening.

According to CDC guidance: “When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully reopen while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking.”

In accordance with CDC’s guidance, and due to the fact that many of California’s school facilities can’t accommodate physical distancing, California will layer multiple other prevention strategies, including:

  • Continued masking guidance: California will continue to require that masks be worn indoors in school settings, which also will ensure that all kids are treated the same.
  • Robust testing program: Every California school has access to free testing through the robust state testing program for schools.

“Masking is a simple and effective intervention that does not interfere with offering full in-person instruction,” said California Health & Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. “At the outset of the new year, students should be able to walk into school without worrying about whether they will feel different or singled out for being vaccinated or unvaccinated – treating all kids the same will support a calm and supportive school environment.”

All California schools, public and private, must adhere to the CDPH requirement of masks for all persons indoors on school campuses. Masks are optional outdoors. All other guidance recommendations will be reviewed and implemented to the fullest extent possible. Schools in our county will continue to review these updates and will communicate expectations and practices for the 2021-2022 school year to their communities.

Planning for Reopening Schools

The Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE) provides the leadership, support and service needed to prepare the diverse students of Monterey County for success in each step of their educational journey.

MCOE does not make decisions nor mandates regarding closing districts/schools or how they will reopen. MCOE provides information and guidance regarding best practices and each individual district/school, their boards of education, with input from stakeholders, make decisions on school reopening, school closing and school operations plans.

The Monterey County Office of Education, Monterey County Health Department, and local districts/schools are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all students and staff. We will continue closely monitoring the rate of infection in Monterey County. As public health guidelines change, the districts/schools will adapt and modify plans. We will work together with our students, families and staff to keep everyone safe as we transition to reopening our schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each of the 24 school districts and ten charter schools in the county is responsible for developing and implementing their own reopening plan. For more information about your district, charter or private school reopening planning process, please contact them directly.

Options for Reopening Schools in Monterey County

Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released guidance related to reopening schools on December 30, 2020.

Governor Newsom’s Safe Schools for All Plan proposes providing vital resources to school districts to facilitate the phased opening of schools for in-class instruction.

To learn more about the Safe Schools for All Plan, visit the CDPH's new Safe Schools for All Hub.


For education-related questions about Monterey County Office of Education's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), please contact Safe Schools for All Program Coordinator, Nicholas Zafiratos at 831.755.0303 or


Esmeralda Owen

Communications & Public Relations Officer
Phone: 831.784.4245

Nicholas Zafiratos

Program Coordinator, Safe Schools for All
Phone: 831.755.0303

Social Media