Today, Governor Gavin Newsom gave an address that outlined a plan to reopen California.
On the four phases of reopening, California’s schools fall into the “Phase Two,” category of re-opening. He also mentioned opening some school districts as early as July or August in order to remediate learning that has been lost during this time. These early reopenings will likely be based on regional factors, related to the Six Indicators that California has adopted to guide the safe reopening of the state.
These Six Indicators include:
- Expanding testing and contact tracing to be able to identify and isolate those with the virus;
- Preventing infection in people who are most at risk;
- Being able to handle surges in hospitals and the health care delivery system
- Developing therapeutics to meet demand;
- Ensuring businesses, schools and child care facilities can support physical distancing; and
- Determining when to reinstate certain measures like the stay-at-home order if need be.
Governor Newsom also mentioned that when schools reopen they would have some modifications in order to ensure safety. Beyond these details, however, not much information was given regarding the reopening of schools in California.
Information was not given on whether Parents would have the option to keep their children home from school, due to COVID-19 safety concerns. UTLA expressed concerns regarding Newsom’s timeline on the reopening of schools this summer.
The Second Phase of reopening has been characterized by the reopening of lower-risk workplaces. Schools being categorized as lower-risk in terms of the spread of respiratory disease is an idea that should be approached with educated caution.
In these uncertain times, we will continue to update on what precautions should be taken for this virus, and its impact on education.