CONCORD (KPIX 5) — One of the largest school districts in California, the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, has voted to send students back to classrooms.
The school board voted 5-0 Wednesday night to adopt a reopening plan board and choosing to follow state and county guidelines to resume in-class learning.READ MORE: Atmospheric River: Parts of San Mateo County Pummeled with Heavy Rain, Flooding
The district’s reopen plan is contingent on the county moving into the Red Tier from the current Purple Tier in the state’s Blueprint for a Safe Economy.
Parents say the science supports a return to in-person learning and that parents are fleeing the public school system for private schools. The district says it has lost 1,000 out of its 29,000 students to private schools.
“We will lose more if we fail to provide in-person options,” said parent and teacher Kristen Burkhardt. “Distance learning is failing our students.”
One option could be a hybrid plan to bring students back on campus a few days a week, with Zoom classes the rest of the week.
“I know the hybrid plan is not perfect and will not meet everyone’s need at this moment, but this is a step forward,” said parent Laura Steele.READ MORE: UPDATE: Atmospheric River Drenches Northern California, Setting Some Rainfall Records
“We should consider re-opening the schools safely as soon as we can,” said parent Christina Petricca.
However, teachers say the case numbers in Contra Costa County don’t support the wish to come back.
“I’m really concerned that parents of students don’t understand how many of our families currently have COVID,” said kindergarten teacher Denise Rodezno. “You don’t know that you have COVID until you have COVID. So why put everybody at risk?”
A $6.6 billion funding package from the state could come as early as Friday and would provide the tools to resume in-person classes from kindergarten to 6th grade.
Mt. Diablo Unified Superintendent Adam Clark said he want to hammer out as many details as possible, specifics on each school site such as hybrid vs. small cohorts and who would or would not be on campus, so when the county does hit the Red Tier the district is ready to move ahead.
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