Sonoma County Office of Education

COVID-19 Safety Plans

COVID-19 Safety Plans 

Information and Frequently Asked Questions

This page is intended to provide support and information for schools as they prepare to submit their COVID-19 Safety Plans for approval. 

For the most current information on school reopening requirements, please visit the Safe Schools for All Hub at

What documents are required for school reopening? 

The COVID-19 Safety Plan required for school reopening consists of two parts: 

  1. The school safety checklist (must be approved by county health department and state prior to reopening for schools in the “purple tier”)
  2. Covid-19 Prevention Plan

Both plans must be posted to the school/district’s website prior to reopening. 

Guidance Documents and Templates

When do Schools Need to Seek Approval of their CSPs from the County?

Every school must have a CSP completed and posted online at least 5 days before reopening. However, the following categories of schools do not need to submit CSPs for mandatory review by County Health:

  • Schools that already opened under waiver
  • Schools reopening for grades 7-12
  • Any school serving any grade that decides to wait for red tier

Only elementary schools that wish to reopen in the purple tier need to receive approval from county health. County Health does not need to approve Cal/OSHA (CPP) component of the plan; however, schools must complete this before reopening.

Districts/schools may submit plans for review even if they do not fall into the mandatory category. However, county health is prioritizing elementary schools that wish to reopen for instruction soon. They cannot guarantee a prompt turnaround on reviewing non-mandatory plans.

Tips for a Successful COVID-19 Safety Plan from Sonoma County Department of Health Services (SCDHS)

Guidance Documents and Templates

Additional Guidance

Stable group recommendations

The review team at SCDHS has advised that it is critical that LEAs address safety questions in the school safety checklist with specifics, not just generalities, in order to be approved. Simply checking each box on the list is not enough; evidence and descriptions of how each item will be met must be included. 

For instance, it is not adequate to generally state that the school will ensure social distancing and health practices, or simply check that box on the checklist. Instead, schools should list the site-specific steps they will take at each school site for issues such as: 

  • How students will pass in the hallway
  • How pickup/dropoff will be handled
  • How bathrooms will be handled
  • Will water fountains be used? It’s not recommended
  • Where will handwashing stations be? 

LEAs are also encouraged to include a map of each school site for the county’s reference, marked up with locations of handwashing stations, direction of traffic, etc.

How to Submit a COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP)

CSPs must be submitted to the State ( and the County ( for review concurrently. You are welcome to copy the Superintendent’s office (, but this is not necessary. SCOE will be notified by the county when a CSP is approved. 

What to Expect After Submitting a CSP

County Health officials will respond within seven (7) business days (not calendar days) of receipt. If the county determines that there are deficiencies in the plan, it will notify the school/district/charter within that time period. At that point, the LEA will need to re-submit the plan once they have addressed the deficiencies. The County and State would then have an additional 7 business days to notify the LEA of any further areas of concern to address. (See page 10 of the guidance document released on January 14 for more information). 

Frequently Asked Questions

These Frequently Asked Questions were developed with help from the Sonoma County Department of Health Services (SCDHS) CSP review team. They will be updated regularly based on new questions received by SCDHS.