But “better than last spring” is a depressingly low bar. His announcement came as many of the state’s 1,000 school districts are set to resume instruction in mid-August, with many still finalizing reopening plans. | Randall Benton/AP Photo. California's Department of Education has released a detailed how-to guide to safely reopen schools in the age of face masks and physical distancing. Parents concerned about sending their child back to school with a traditional reopening for the 2020-2021 school year should work with their school district to develop distance or … Assembly Education Committee Chair Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach), whose children are learning from home, told POLITICO this month that California's approach amounts to "state-sanctioned segregation." The governor so far has insisted on local control while pointing to $5.3 billion in emergency aid that districts could spend on laptops, internet and supports to help students. A new study published in the medical journal Lancet found that the reopening of schools in England during the summer was associated with few cases. That’s especially true of elementary schools, where children appear to be far less likely to be sickened or to transmit the virus. A wave of new relief for schools is needed. However, California Gov. Beds filling halls. Safety measures such as masks, hand-washing and better ventilation and air filtration make a crucial difference. Promoting some and not others would mean widening the gap between low-income students and more affluent ones. Rapid antigen testing — faster and much cheaper than traditional laboratory tests — might also prove effective. Most of California's 6 million public schoolchildren remain at home, while private schools and public campuses in rural and affluent suburbs have reopened — and can stay open. Liz Newstat fought to keep Chevalier’s Books engaged, dynamic and open. Who's Applying For School Reopening Waivers in Southern California? The findings: Schools weren’t a significant factor in infections. In fact, we’re all worse off. Instead, parents had blasted the mayor for the decision to go all-remote again, becoming as loud and powerful a voice as the teachers union had been for keeping the schools closed. Grades have dropped precipitously, here and in other school districts. Teachers and other school workers don’t appear to have been catching the virus at school any more frequently than they would have in the community — although the infection rate has been higher for them than for students. "But I would urge us to continue to look at how we keep our teachers and our staff and other staff at the school protected. Don’t tell us to calm down. Coronavirus November 11, 2020 Diana Lambert And Ali Tadayon 1 Comment . Only once the county has been off that list for 14 days can schools consider reopening if they follow strict guidelines laid out by the state. California Governor Gavin Newsom issued strict school reopening guidelines on Friday that would prevent the majority of schools in the state from holding in-person classes, a … School is the main delivery system for food and social services to impoverished students. California health chief says all school reopening is local, View the Full POLITICO California Pro Archives », Congress prepares for weekend work as stimulus stalls, ‘Everything’s great’: GOP ditches election post-mortems, California teachers unions mobilize against Democratic school reopening bill, ‘It is madness’: Governors rage over stimulus snub, Google, Facebook colluded to suppress competition in online ads, Texas alleges. Fewer than 100 ICU beds left in L.A. County, officials say. Among those sounding the alarm Tuesday were Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), a mother of school-aged children and a labor advocate. But these deaths can be prevented. It is up to each of California’s 1,000 school districts or each private or charter school to decide whether to bring students back. School districts will certainly see some cases of infection, but it’s bars and home gatherings that cause disease surges, not schools. "Parents are frustrated and looking for answers," she said in a statement. Delivered daily by 6 a.m., California Pro's Morning Newsletter examines the latest politics, policy and news happening in the Golden State. Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) introduced legislation last week that would require schools to reopen when counties drop out of the tier with the worst infection rates — which right now covers most of the state’s population. More centralized decision-making is needed. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File) SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gavin Newsom on Friday set widespread reopening guidelines for California’s private, public and charter schools set to begin the 2020-21 school year next month. [Read the full story about California’s school-reopening guidelines.] They have been demanding more from Newsom, in the form of testing, guidelines or leadership. Attendance is taken, at least to some extent, and grades are given. The state's seventh largest district, San Bernardino City Unified, last week found the issue so intractable that it called off the remainder of the school year and isn't scheduled to reopen until fall 2021. Rising Covid-19 rates halt school reopening plans in three California counties Change in status disrupts school reopening plans. They must be addressed lest U.S. students fall further behind on the global curve and suffer consequences in social and emotional development. Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said each district has unique considerations that make it important for local leaders to determine how to open schools. But it's time to start planning for reopening. Friday, July 17, 2020 SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state to intervene. An October report by the Century Foundation and Center for American Progress estimated that millions of mothers would lose their jobs because they had to stay home with their children, a responsibility that falls to women far more than men in our society. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio opened schools in New York this fall, then temporarily closed them because the city’s infection rates had exceeded the 3% threshold that had been set in advance. Op-Ed: How a modest investment could save 162,000 women a year from dying from childbirth. The most recent guidance states that schools located in counties on the state’s watch list for rising cases of the coronavirus cannot hold in person classes. A mass reopening of California schools with COVID-19 levels where they are is impossible. This would mean a loss of billions of dollars for the economy, the report said, and set women back in the workplace by a generation. School districts in California counties with elevated coronavirus transmission must begin the academic year with distance learning, Gov. Most students now have computers and broadband, and teachers themselves have learned to provide more effective online lessons. He also has pointed to his broader efforts to secure masks and open a new testing lab in Southern California. Not with COVID-19 levels as bad as they are and getting worse. ... (or equivalent for charter or private schools), in consultation with labor, parent … ‘Our reality is frightening,’ says the county’s top health official as COVID-19 patients swamp Southern California hospitals. Proponents of reopening also note that Ghaly himself said last month that there has been no indication of widespread transmission through schools that are open in California. "I think the characteristics of each community are important to take into account.". That’s the “why not?” in the equation; California must take the health of communities into account before reopening schools. In the earlier days of the pandemic, the reluctance to open schools made sense. The board, which operates separately from the newsroom, proceeds on the presumption that serious, non-partisan, intellectually honest engagement with the world is a requirement of good citizenship. But others point to emerging research suggesting that the risk of school transmission is low and that children — especially in elementary school — can attend class in small groups and wear masks to keep conditions safe. Op-Ed: How to be an effective altruist when giving to charities. The California Teachers Association pushed back on the idea of reopening schools last week in a letter to the governor, legislators and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. O'Donnell and other Democrats aren't calling for a mass return now that cases are surging. Asked about vaccines for teachers and school staff, Ghaly said Tuesday that plans now call for prioritizing health care workers and those working in congregant care facilities. Teachers unions have been the most powerful political force preventing reopenings. In pictures: U.S. launches largest-ever vaccination drive, Trump considers pushing for special prosecutor in Hunter Biden case. In fact, he doubled down: Before the halt, students were attending school part-time and studying remotely the rest of the time. School districts are often hamstrung when unions are adamant, which is why a statewide approach geared toward reopening would be more effective. Column: Wall Street Journal, you ran a sexist essay on Jill Biden. The vaccine task force will discuss who would next receive the vaccines when available. The state will move carefully towards reopening in-person instruction by county based on local health data. The editorial board opines on the important issues of the day – exhorting, explaining, deploring, mourning, applauding or championing, as the case may be. Nearly 95 percent of residents now live under the state's most-restrictive purple tier guidelines, which generally prevents campuses from opening anew. By that point, nearly a whole academic year would be lost. Teachers were justifiably nervous — and working harder than ever to engage students in learning despite the challenges of video conferencing. TOPLINE. The letter said the union was uneasy about returning to school in six to eight weeks with the recent surge of infections. But that doesn’t necessarily mean waiting until a county drops into the lowest tier of viral spread, especially for elementary grades. Gavin Newsom announced new guidelines Friday to determine which school districts are allowed to reopen classrooms in the fall. In an insulting Wall Street Journal essay, Joseph Epstein criticizes Jill Biden’s use of the title “Doctor.” Now he and the paper are wondering why people are angry. District-by-district and school-by-school, some of California’s 6.1 million K-12 students are re-entering classrooms that have been shuttered for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other essential workers have been at their posts for months now. Last week, Los Angeles Unified School District closed its successful program for 4,000 special-need students even though there was no indication of new cases among them or the staff. Ghaly said he believes the state has provided enough tools for school districts to reopen with lower risk environments "when the time is right," a nod to the fact that California's coronavirus numbers are now surging at an unprecedented clip. California watch list affects reopening plans. Multiple factors have held our schools back while schools in Europe have reopened successfully. "If the chance afforded us to do that, we would because I believe that schools have many tools available to potentially be able to do that," he said. But that would be a boring and wasted year for students who managed to stay up to grade level. L.A. Times readers share their experiences caring for their dying loved ones who were receiving hospice services. You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. California Supreme Court Rejects two lawsuits The ruling ended nearly a two month battle between schools and the state. SACRAMENTO — California's top health official said Tuesday that school districts still have to decide for themselves when and how to reopen campuses as the pandemic continues, despite increasing calls for Gov. It speaks to why we need greater statewide guidance and actions. The measure would help — if the funding comes with it to make reopening a possibility. If the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech was good enough to get a nod from the FDA, the vaccine from Moderna and the NIH almost certainly is as well. Letters to the Editor: Does signing up for hospice care guarantee a comfortable death? Many were frustrated that districts did not open when coronavirus rates declined in September and October, including San Francisco, where infection rates were among the lowest in the state. But they should watch what they wish for. And keeping schools closed has its own dangers, not just to the kids whose learning is derailed, but also to the parents who must leave work to stay home with them. The private school-equivalent of a superintendent (in most cases, the head of school) may request a waiver from the local health officer to conduct in-person elementary school instruction, in consultation with labor (as applicable), parent, and community organizations. Reopening plans must cover a raft of safety issues, such as disinfecting, health screenings, social distancing and mask-wearing for staff and students. California Gov. ; Coronavirus Response and School Reopening Guidance Information and resources regarding CDE's COVID-19 response efforts, including the guidance document for safely reopening schools for the 20-21 school year. California school districts have been among the nation's most reluctant to reopen this fall, and 20 of the state's 25 largest districts remain closed, based on a POLITICO review this month. K-12 schools in Los Angeles are not allowed to be open at the moment. In general, officials rely too much on “positivity rates” — what percent of tested people prove to be infected — rather than putting more emphasis on hospitalization rates. The state health chief offered to talk to individual school districts about how they can create low-risk environments. Many other schools don’t. The economy suffers too. "This is a local decision," he said. Editorial: Mitch McConnell is finally ready to pass a COVID relief bill. ", Carla Marinucci and Jeremy B. Pooled laboratory testing, in which samples from multiple students are tested at once, could help. Surely classrooms full of runny-nosed children, notoriously lax about the fine points of personal hygiene, would be superspreading event waiting to happen. Why shouldn’t teachers and other school staff be seen as essential, too? The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board determines the editorial positions of the organization. With smaller class sizes, on average, private schools could have more flexibility when it comes to adhering to the standards for reopening, according to … And at lower COVID levels even within the highest-risk tier, there should be more pressure to open some classrooms. The people who followed safety guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should get vaccinated before people who refused to take precautions. "They're all having their own trials and tribulations and getting through it in different parts of the house, with dueling Zoom courses and people popping in and out.". So much for ideological purity. Though colleges, where authorities have less control over student behavior, have been plagued with major outbreaks, schools for younger students have not. Now many of them will be offered the opportunity to learn on campus five days a week, at least for as long as it proves safe. Letters to the Editor: Pete Wilson: Terrible governor, pretty good mayor of San Diego. With her death, the store soldiers on. Letters to the Editor: Put COVID deniers and mask refusers at the back of the vaccine line. Up until this point, the concerns of the teachers union have been the single biggest factor in whether or not to keep schools open, but they were losing popular support as parents rose up to say they wanted their kids on campus. In this case, however, what seemed intuitively obvious hasn’t worked out that way. The change of mind wasn’t caused by a new drop in infections. Find this guidance and more in the list of statewide guidance and checklists. But, he said, "School leaders are not public health experts. ; Safe Re-Opening of California Schools May 21, 2020 … Indeed, when many public charter and private schools opened months ago, California’s top health official found no increase in viral transmission from their reopening. Editorial: In recall elections, all Californians can lose. President-elect Joe Biden wants to help most of the country’s schools reopen by April 30, but that’s not ambitious enough. Natomas Unified staff rearrange desks to get a better look at what classrooms will be like if students attending the Sacramento school district are social distancing. One important caveat: The study found that higher community transmission meant higher numbers of cases in schools. Most California public school students remain at home while those in affluent suburban districts or private schools, including Newsom's children, are back in classrooms. … (In Europe, there is far more federal control over schools.) But they say school districts should establish plans for reopening once conditions improve. Teachers and some parents warn that classrooms remain unsafe because California hasn't provided enough testing, facility upgrades and other protections to minimize infections. Nearly 95 percent of residents now live under the state's most-restrictive purple tier guidelines, which generally prevents campuses from opening anew. Every two minutes, a woman dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. "There’s no win for us to say we should do remote learning," California Federation of Teachers President Jeff Freitas said in an interview last week. Reopening is expensive, partly because of the need for testing and protective equipment, but even more because of the need for extra personnel. There also should be more leeway on when elementary schools open than when high schools do, since teenagers appear more apt to spread the disease. California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly speaks at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., as Gov. Some California schools are reopening but most kids remain at home and adults are squabbling over when and if they can get back into the classroom. Skip Navigation Share on Facebook In areas where more people are tested, positivity rates will generally come out lower, but don’t necessarily reflect a lower incidence of disease. And once schools reopen safely, they should not close again unless outbreaks start increasing. Districts will follow California Department of Public Health guidance and promote healthy hygiene practices. Republicans have been calling on school districts to reopen throughout the fall, but Democratic lawmakers and mayors have also begun taking up the charge lately. Ghaly said his three oldest children have remained home all fall, but that he would send them back to campus if their schools reopen. They don’t have the expertise and their choices are not without consequence. "The achievement gap is widening as our public schools kids are falling further behind every single day.". Gov. They regularly point to reports of cases detected at schools that have reopened, and they warn infections could cause teachers to get sick and die — a risk none of them signed up for. Burned-out staff. It shouldn’t have taken this long. But within days, he changed his mind and reopened them for elementary students. His group has called on Newsom to close all schools until infections decline. No longer should the foremost questions be, “Why should we do this, and when will it be completely safe?” Instead, they should be, “Why not reopen, and what’s the best way to reduce risk?” Waiting for vaccines to be widely available isn’t a good option because it would sacrifice a significant chunk of the school year. What could Trump have done to produce a different election outcome? Gavin Newsom is expected to announce new guidance for the reopening of California schools Friday, July 17, with many of the state's 1,000 districts just weeks away from returning to school and undecided on whether to allow students back in classrooms. Gavin Newsom have capitalized on a deadly pandemic. And all students lose out on counseling; they’re socially isolated and lonely, and the youngest ones are missing developmental milestones. Gavin Newsom said Friday that schools in much of the state will be prohibited from reopening in-person classes this fall unless they … So the predisposition to not reopen schools needs to change, even while cases and hospitalizations are rising. Now Chevalier’s and its patrons mourn her death. Republicans have scotched both the Obamacare repeal and a second stimulus package supported by Trump. You can read more about the board’s mission and its members at the About The Times Editorial Board page. The California Department of Public Health on Monday released details about the rigorous waiver process for schools with grades transitional kindergarten through six. Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) declared himself "the strongest local control member of the Legislature." Column: She always helped us find the right books. While their concerns have been understandable, they are largely not based on the reality in schools. In this March 12, 2020, file photo, George Washington High School stands in San Francisco, Calif. Jeff Chiu/Associated Press. Gavin Newsom listens. In L.A. Unified, being counted as attending could mean simply handing in an assignment or spending a few minutes in a Zoom class before logging out for the rest of the day. Gavin Newsom mandated earlier this month that both public and private schools in … Newsom announced new guidelines Friday to determine which school districts should establish plans for classrooms... 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