Greetings Cypress Community,

I hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving break.  This holiday season is challenging since the ways we normally celebrate with extended family and friends and traveling are not safe.  The school had our first cohort closure due to an exposure and I am happy to report that no additional students or staff have shown symptoms and test results have been negative.  It is reassuring that our procedures have kept us safe so far.  We have had staff and students exposed outside of school, which given the widespread rates of infection in our community is not surprising.  I know for those staff and student families, the testing situation has been challenging in terms of getting a test scheduled, having to go through the swabbing procedure, and awaiting the results. 

In January, Cypress and United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay will be partnering with Curative, a company that allows site-based testing.  We will self-administer the swabs and send them to be processed, with results 24 hours later.  We plan to administer tests to all employees upon returning after the holiday break and then a quarter of the staff weekly thereafter to test everyone monthly.  This testing will give us an added layer of screening in addition to the health questionnaire and temperature checks to address the challenge of asymptomatic carriers that those tools might miss. 

The Governor has instituted guidance that will trigger a shelter-in-place shutdown based on ICU bed capacity threshold below 15% for each of the 5 regions of California.  The Bay Area region is above 25%.  It is projected we will reach the 15% threshold in mid to late December.  This order does not affect schools, so we plan to remain open.  We will continue to monitor the situation, as we may have to adjust plans for our outings in the next couple of weeks, should the order be triggered.  As of now, we plan to continue to practice our health and safety strategies and operate with the same schedule.

Finally, we bid farewell to our beloved teacher Morgan Wood, who will be moving to San Diego in the New Year.  She has had such an impact these past 5 years on our school and on the lives of the students and staff fortunate enough to work with her.  We are sad to see her go, but she will continue to spread the Cypress spirit and we will plan a celebration for her when it is safe to do so later in the year, along with Laura’s retirement, our graduates and others who have not received their proper send off.  I would like to congratulate Naz Torres-Casso who has bravely agreed to take over the helm.  I am confident like Morgan before her, Naz will be an amazing teacher as she has been an amazing aide at Cypress since she began 2+ years ago.  Morgan we will miss you and as you already know, we are like the mafia.  You are a member of the Cypress family for life.

Sincerely,

Nate Yates, Director of Educational and Behavioral Services

Community Relations

Jen Whalen, Director
Steve Gatlin, Manager
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Administrative Office

1425 N. McDowell Blvd, Suite 115
Petaluma, CA 94954
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