County of San Bernardino Superintendent of Schools Ted Alejandre, during today’s county video briefing, announced that reopening guidelines for school districts will soon be released and that districts may be able to start the next school year by August. The guidelines should be released sometime next week.
“We know how important it is to our families and students to be back in the classroom, and we all want to provide the safest environment possible for our staff and returning students,” said Alejandre. “I’ve been working with district superintendents, state agencies, and as part of the state superintendent’s Back to School Task Force to develop key areas of guidance for schools on how to reopen. This guidance is being finalized now by the Department of Education and is expected to be released next week, along with another set of key guidelines being developed by the California Department of Public Health. This will all be critical information for districts to finalize their planning for the new school year.”
County school districts have planned on starting schools in August. However, each school opening will be decided on a one-on-one basis and based on the current conditions at each site, said Alejandre. He also stated that his office has been working with the Department of Health to help determine each district’s timeline.
“All districts have been planning for different reopening scenarios that could include onsite traditional learning, distant learning, and a hybrid model, said Alejandre. “Health and safety is critical, so when looking at social distancing, for example, a traditional classroom that might usually hold 34 students may only have the capacity for 12. We are looking at staggered schedules and other modifications, especially as it relates to social distancing, personal hygiene, and transportation.”
Snowline JUSD has been working collaboratively with the SBC Superintendent’s office, public health officials, staff, students, parents, and community members to consider the safest and most equitable options for the return of school. To this end, a survey has been issued, which is available to parents and community members. The survey is asking parents to consider what options are best for their family based on the current information regarding COVID-19. This information will help the district plan several scenarios in case they are not able to operate under a traditional school setting. The survey can be found HERE.
“Superintendent Ted Alejandre and his colleagues at San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools have done a great job of keeping us informed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are fortunate that he is part of the task force in Sacramento advising the California Department of Education on this work. We will use the soon-to-be released school reopening guidelines and those from our local and state public health agencies in conjunction with the feedback we have received from our students’ families, staff, and community members to direct our school reopening decisions. The information will help us maximize safety within the entire Snowline learning community for the 2020-21 school year,” commented Dr. Ryan Holman, Snowline Joint Unified School District Superintendent.
Additionally, a County Collaborative has been established with representatives from all 33 districts, which will ensure SBC County school districts are sharing the best ideas, strategies, and resources to have a successful reopening for all 500 schools and 400,000 students in San Bernardino County.