COVID-19 School Resources & Information

What does the dashboard show?

The dashboard shows 2 weeks of data for each Golden Valley school and the central office.

  • Covid Positive - A positive test result for COVID-19 (All reports of positive test results are reported on the dashboard including those for students or staff who have not been on campus.)
  • Running Covid Positive - a running total for the year of covid positive cases.
Orchard School 
  • September 1-10 
    • Covid Positive Students - 7
    • Covid Positive Staff - 2
    • 22/23 Covid Positive Running Total - 26
River School 
  • September 1-10 
    • Covid Positive Students - 1
    • Covid Positive Staff - 2
    • 22/23 Covid Positive Running Total - 5

Where does the data come from?

All students and staff members are asked to report if they experience COVID-19 symptoms, an exposure to someone who tests positive or receives a positive test result to the school principal. School principals (Safety Officers) will report cases to the Central Office. The CO will ensure it is reflected appropriately on the dashboard.

How often is the dashboard updated?

The dashboard is updated every Monday.

COVID-19 Updates

2/23/21: Returning to School

Greetings Golden Valley Families, 

On Monday, March 1, Golden Valley River and Orchard Schools will re-open for in-person learning in K-3. Classes will be on Monday and Tuesday for group A and Thursday and Friday for group B. CBK and Meadow Brook will meet Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. For students in distance learning as well as the cohort groups, Wednesday will be the day for all students in the class to be on-line at the same time. Individual teachers will communicate with you about how the live interactions and the asynchronous learning will be structured.

I know there are a lot of questions about specific details. That is why we are phasing in our student body, so we can make sure we get things right before expanding to grades 4, 5, and 6. We need to be in the red tier with a lower Covid test rate for two weeks before we can invite grades 7 and 8 back. Picturing ahead to next week, what will look different about our schools? There will be lots of handwashing and sanitation stations. Everyone will be wearing a mask on campus. Students will be released before lunch and there will be no aftercare or before care (Eagles Nest). There will be a lot more time outdoors. Grades k-3 will still have assistants, but most classes will be half their normal size. At drop-off there will be temperature checks for all students. There will be a lot of new friends your child will see for the first time in-person and we are all very excited. 

The GVCS board has approved our opening plan and the Sacramento County Health Department has found “no deficiencies” in the plan after careful review. It will take all of us working together, having patience, and following a new rhythm to make this start successful. As always, your primary point of contact will be your child’s teacher. The front office will be open and the principals will oversee the implementation of the safety measures. Unfortunately, we cannot have parent volunteers on campus. Once your child has been brought to the school, please socialize off campus. Our teachers are just now getting their first vaccines and we have everyone on a Covid testing schedule. If we have three positive cases at the school, then the whole school goes back into distance learning for 14 days.

In some ways, it’s like starting a new school year and there is always lots of anxious feelings about a new beginning. Wake up early. Have a big breakfast with your child. They have been so brave during this transition. We can all do this together and bring them safely back to school where they belong.


Caleb Buckley, EdD
Executive Director

2/12/21: Social Contract

Dear Golden Valley Families,

This week the board voted to open the first phase of in-person learning at all of our schools. This includes grades k-3 at River and Orchard and grades k-5 at Tahoe. If we can meet all of the conditions set forth by public health, over 300 students across our schools will be setting foot on campus for the first time in a year, and for many in kindergarten, for the first time ever. The success of this endeavor depends on how we maintain the health of our community as a whole. 

There are a couple of families in every class who will choose to stay in distance learning (DL) all semester. Once the teachers have built the cohort groups, students may not join the group from distance learning, however, students may go from in-person into distance learning and remain there. If there are three cases of Covid-19 at a school, the whole school will have to go into DL and a single case may result in a whole grade level being in quarantine. 

“Honesty is central to maintaining community relationships,” Principal Barbara Ames wrote to the River School recently. “We trust both community members and school employees are following public health and safety guidelines no matter where they go. Please observe measures including social distancing, mask wearing and isolation/quarantine as offerings of love and hope.”  

As we celebrate St. Valentine, we celebrate the success of keeping our communities together through this global pandemic. When we move into this new phase, we find that we are even more connected as our actions increasingly impact those around us. When you monitor your own family’s health, you are monitoring the strength of our own social contract that keeps our teachers and each other safe. 

Many of the details of the reopening will come directly from your child’s teacher. Our target is March 1 which means much must happen the last week of February and we should be able to confirm our opening plans following the break next week. Have a safe and happy Valentine’s, Presidents Day and ski week.  


Caleb Buckley, EdD
Executive Director 

10/19/20: Halloween Covid-19
10/19/20: Sacrameto Rental Emergency Assistance (SREA)
10/14/20: Back to School Process
9/30/20: Orange in October
9/17/20: ABCs of Distance Learning
9/15/20: Executive Director Update for Return to School Plans
9/9/20: Meals and Resources for 20-21

The USDA has issued updated guidance that meals can be provided at no cost to all children 0-18 years old through December 31, 2020.  District schools are offering pre-packed breakfasts/lunches for children.  Some districts are distributing meals daily while others are on a 3 day schedule.  Please check with the district nearest to you to verify their pickup schedule and locations. 

Families in the Folsom Cordova Unified School District (FCUSD) should note that FCUSD has decided not to offer free meals to all children 0-18.  GVCS families in FCUSD will need to travel to an adjacent district to pick up their meals.  All other districts in the Sacramento area are offering meals to children 0-18 regardless of student status or enrollment.  

Please check with the district nearest to you to verify their pickup schedule and locations.    

Area Food Banks

Type in your address and find food resources near you

If you would like assistance finding food resources near you, please call 916.597.1477 and leave a message or send an email.

9/8/20: California Parent & Youth Helpline

In partnership with Governor Newsom, Parents Anonymous® Inc. recently launched the California Parent & Youth Helpline and Online Parents Anonymous® Support Groups in response to the Coronavirus to provide free trauma-informed, evidenced-based emotional support to Parents, Children and Youth in any language via calls, text, live chat and email. The California Parents & Youth Helpline operates 7 days a week from 8:00AM-8:00PM. Parents can Join a Weekly Online Support Group NOW through the website: In this confidential setting, Parents address their underlying emotions and build resiliency to strengthen their family.

Given the stress and anxiety families are experiencing as schools are opening, we are requesting that you add the California Parent & Youth Helpline and Online Support Groups, which are FREE and a valuable resource for Parents, Caregivers, Children and Youth on your website and/or social media platforms. I have attached the outreach ads in both English and Spanish.

8/27/20: Update From the Executive Director
8/5/20: Welcome Back 20-21
7/15/20: Important Announcement

Good Afternoon Golden Valley River and Orchard Parents,

Today the Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools has announced that all 17 districts will move into a distance learning model for the Fall semester. In order to protect our community of teachers, students, and families, Golden Valley will also begin school in a distance learning model.

The situation since our last town hall has rapidly deteriorated and will not allow us to implement our plans we discussed in June. There has been a great effort to create an outdoor learning plan and move instruction outside in a way that maintains safety and teaching. We have been very impressed by all of the creative discussions surrounding teaching and remaking our school day. For now, we will have to call these - plans for the future - and instead move into a distance learning model until the environment supports students being on campus.

There will be a special board meeting on Friday at 4pm to discuss updating our school plans and the school calendar. Look for the Zoom link in a future announcement.

The faculty has also reviewed our experience from the Spring and is well aware of what they would like to modify for the next semester in order to have a more robust distance experience than before. This decision will now focus our efforts for the rest of the summer. This week, teachers are already conducting online meetings in groups to discuss how to make this the best Waldorf oriented experience possible. Considering safety requirements, there are a number of opportunities for activities to keep the life of the school active and resilient during the Fall. Golden Valley Charter Schools stands united to care for all students and bring them a sense of wonder and knowledge even while not on campus. Please look for more details to follow as the first day of school approaches.


Caleb Buckley, EdD, Executive Director
Heather Fraser Hurtt, Board of Trustees, Chair

6/15/20: Wellness Resources

Dear Golden Valley Families,

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to impact our world and communities, we are sharing these community resources to aid in your physical and mental wellbeing during our Summer Break and as we anticipate our return to school in the Fall. Attached to this email are the following resource documents:

  1. Stress Management Resources
  2. Crisis Management Resources
  3. Meals and Food Resources

Our hope is that you find something helpful for you and your family.

Be well.

Caleb J. Buckley, EdD
Executive Director

5/20/20: Golden Valley Fall Planning
4/3/20: Distance Learning (PDF)

With the guidance of health officials and in coordination with the other local school districts, Golden Valley Charter Schools has made the decision to extend campus closures for the duration of the 19/20 school year. While our original goal was to re-open schools after spring break, it has become clear that the best way to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community is to extend our campus closures and transition to distance learning.

The faculty and administration at Golden Valley Charter Schools are working hard to continue our uniquely social education remotely. Nearly every day this past week our faculty have met remotely to review the responses of other schools, learn about online platforms, and discuss our plan. This communication will provide an outline of the Golden Valley Charter Schools distance learning plan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Distance Learning PDF.

3/31/20: Meals and Resources for Families (PDF)

If you are unable to easily navigate the internet and would like assistance finding food resources near you, please call 916.597.1477 and leave a message or send an email to Amala Easton.

3/30/20: Extended Campus Closure

Dear Golden Valley Families,

Both Sacramento and Placer Counties have acknowledged that they will not be having kids on campus again through the first of May. I predict that this will be extended to the end of the semester. This is why Golden Valley is currently writing a new web page to keep parents informed of our timeline for distance learning to begin. For the period up until Spring Break, we have asked faculty to supply families with enrichment activities to practice learned skills. Please check the COVID-19 Resource Page later this week for more updates.

Caleb J. Buckley, EdD
Executive Director

3/23/20: Meals for Families

Dear Golden Valley Families,

We want you to know there are resources for you to obtain lunches (and often breakfasts too) for your children. There are multiple locations throughout the region to pick up meals from. These meals can be obtained from district schools with meal programs. Most of our Sacramento families are in the San Juan Unified School District and most of the Tahoe families reside in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. You do NOT need to be a student at these schools in order to receive a meal. You do need to have your children with you when you pick up the meals.

San Juan Unified School District
Tahoe Truckee Unified School District
For other districts...

Please continue to practice social distancing during this crucial time.

3/13/20: Be well: Schools Closed until 4/13 (Sacramento) & 4/20 (Tahoe)

Hello Golden Valley Families,

We hope that you have had some time to digest the news of the school closure and start making contingency plans for the daytime care of your children in the upcoming weeks (GVOS and GVRS will be closed to students from March 16 – April 13; GVTS will be closed to students from March 16 – April 20).  Golden Valley will be in communication with you as we receive further updates from the districts and state.  

Please keep in mind that a school closure is done as a last resort and solely out of necessity.  (Both Placer and Sacramento County have canceled school for all districts.)  Here are some things to keep in mind while we navigate this new territory.  

  • Practice every day preventative measures to stay healthy.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.  
  • If you or your child is sick, contact your physician and follow their advice.
  • Practice social distancing as much as you are able.
  • Meetings are planned for staff Monday morning to address continuing to deliver a quality education to your children.  
  • If your child participates in the meal program through SJUSD, there are multiple locations where they can pick up two daily meals beginning on Tuesday, March 17.  Where school meals in Sacramento region are available during coronavirus closures.
  • Stay calm.   The newness of the situation makes this scary but we’re going to get through it.  
  • Golden Valley has made this decision because we care about your children, you, and the greater community.  

Be Well,

Caleb Buckley, EdD
Executive Director

GVCS Attestation for Covid 19 at Home Testing