NOVATO (KPIX) — There’s no summer break for educators this year as they try to make a plan for the fall.
Thursday night, there was a town hall meeting with the California superintendent of schools to discuss the options. While the hope is to get kids back to school, districts do have to plan for the worst-case scenario.
Carrie Anderson, a 3rd-grade teacher with the Oakland Unified School District said, “I know students want to go back, I know parents want their kids to go back but the science is telling us it’s not safe to go back.”
As California sees a spike in COVID-19 cases, educators like Carrie Anderson are worried about going back into the classroom this fall.
“If anybody has children or has been in a school, you know how unrealistic it is for kids to keep masks on all day,” Anderson added.
While the Marin County Office of Education has announced a plan to get kids back to school full-time starting in August, many districts are still weighing their options.
According to Assembly Bill 77, which is part of the 2021 budget legislators and Gov. Newsom agreed to this week, schools are being told to “offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible.”
Tony Thurmond, the state superintendent of schools said, “Schools will have flexibility to do a balance of distance learning and in-class instruction but there’s still some conversation on a percentage of distance learning a school can have.”
The exceptions will be if distance learning is ordered by the local health official or if a student is at-risk or has been exposed to COVID-19.
Parents share coronavirus concerns but many are hoping their home-school days are over. Jonathan Lull said, “(School is) the best place for the kids to be at. It’s best when they are engaging with their friends and the other people in the environment.”
The state budget is expected be finalized by the end of the month. Many Bay Area districts are waiting until that happens to make any decisions so they know how much money they have to work with for the next school year.