State releases framework for safely reopening schools

January 05, 2021

Governor Gavin Newsom last week released the California Safe Schools for All plan, California’s framework to support schools so they can safely return to in-person instruction.

Informed by growing evidence of the decreased risks and increased benefits of in-person instruction – especially for our youngest students – Governor Newsom is advancing a strategy that will help create safe learning environments for students and safe workplaces for educators and other school staff. The plan – developed in partnership with the Legislature – is intended to ensure schools have the resources necessary to successfully implement key safety precautions and mitigation measures.

"Getting our kids back to school safely must be the top priority for our state and guide our reopening policy. School is an essential service for millions of California children and their families, especially in lower-income communities where we are seeing higher rates of adverse health impacts tied to prolonged time away from the classroom,” said Shannon Udovic-Constant, M.D., Chair of the California Medical Association (CMA) Board of Trustees. “Getting schools reopened quickly and safely is an issue of equity. CMA stands ready to help policy makers and educators find ways to prioritize the needs of our children and their families, while ensuring that educators and kids are able to return to the classroom safely.”

The state’s strategy focuses on ensuring implementation and building confidence by bringing back the youngest children (TK-2) and those who are most vulnerable first, then phasing in other grade levels through the spring. This phased-in return recognizes that younger children are at a lower risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19. At the same time, distance learning will remain an option for parents and students who choose it and for those whose health status does not allow them to return to school in the near term. 

Click here for more information about the components of the plan.


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