SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he is having conversations regarding starting the school year in late July, early August.
He notes that he is worried about the loss of education due to school closures.
While nothing is set in stone, the possibility of this happening is a concern. This concern is part of the fifth indicator that drives decisions made by the state of California.
The fifth indicator focuses on the ability for businesses, childcare facilities and schools to support physical distancing.
The Kern County Superintendent of Schools responded to the governor's announcement, saying:
Kern County school districts already begin in late-July to mid-August, earlier than many districts throughout the state that start after Labor Day. All Kern County school communities share the Governor’s goal of reopening our schools as quickly as possible to serve our students.
The decision to alter the academic calendar will ultimately be made by local school boards after careful consideration and input from parents, staff, local health experts and other local community stakeholders.
The State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond responded saying if possible, this could help us address equity issues facing vulnerable students while providing an opportunity to start recovering the learning lost due to distance learning.
If this is going to work, there are some major questions we will have to answer. First and foremost: Can this be done in a way that protects the health and safety of our students, teachers, and school staff?
“We also must consider the fiscal implications. Social distancing in schools may require smaller class sizes, but schools are going to need additional resources to make it happen—including the possibility of hiring more teachers. Additionally, teachers and school staff will need personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies so that our schools are sanitized. We expect that some form of social distancing will be with us through the summer, so if we start school early, we need resources to make it a reality.