Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

California education department releases reopening guidelines

June 9, 2020
Some students may continue receiving instruction online, at least part of the time.

School reopening guidelines released this week call for some California students to learn from home, at least some of the time, while the Covid-19 pandemic persists.

The Los Angeles Times reports the California Department of Education released its nonbinding guidelines, “Stronger Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools,” on its website.

“We know this is just the beginning,” says Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The guidance sets the bar high: Safety first.”

The initial version of the guidelines envisions many students continuing to do “distance learning” at least part of the time and come to  campus either a few days a week or every other week.

Students also may have staggered schedules so that there will be fewer students in areas such as lunchrooms or playgrounds and to allow time for students to wash their hands before reentering classrooms.

In some schools, students may remain in a single homeroom throughout the day and have teachers rotate through classrooms, to cut down on the amount of time students mingle in school hallways.

“Right now is a critical time for districts to analyze their campuses, the footprints of their campuses, and make critical decisions about how many students they can educate with social distancing,” Thurmond says. 

Districts also may consider the feasibility of using outdoor spaces on campuses as instruction areas.

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