Governor Gavin Newsom announced Friday learning in California is "non-negotiable," and schools in counties that have not been on the state monitoring list for 14 days can physically open.
Newsom said while most people prefer in-class teaching and the benefits it brings to education, safety and health must come first.
The governor stated that schools in counties that do not meet the 14-day requirement must begin the school year with distance learning. This decision just one part of the governor's Five Principle Pandemic Plan for Schools.
That plan included the following:
- Safe in-person school based on local health data
- schools can physically reopen when county has been off the monitoring list for 14 days
- schools that do not meet this requirement will not be able to reopen to in-person learning. Must begin the year with distance learning.
- Mask requirement
- all school staff and students in 3rd grade and above must wear masks
- 2nd and below must wear face shields
- Physical distancing + other adaptions
- staff must maintain 6ft distance between each other and students
- symptom checks
- handwashing stations
- protocols for quarantine
- Regular testing + dedicated contact tracing
- test staff regularly
- state contact tracing workforce will prioritize schools
- Rigorous distance learning
- access to devices and connectivity
- daily live interaction with teachers and students
- challenging assignments equivalent to in-person classes
- adopt lessons for English language learners and special education students
Newsom also announced the state investing $5.3 billion in additional funding for schools.
He also stated schools should close in-person learning if there is a confirmed case or if students go home with more than 5% of the school positive.
A district should go home if 25% of their schools are closed with a 14-day period.
This is developing.