CALIFORNIA - As parents worry about their student’s learning loss, the Calif. State Superintendent of Schools suggested staggering reopening of schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic and that some schools may reopen for summer enrichment programs as they traditionally have in the past but that would be determined by local school districts.
According to Tony Thurmond who is the Calif. State Superintendent of Schools, “We’re not anticipating a common reopening across school districts or mandating for when school districts will open”. During a press conference on May 13th, Thurmond stressed that local government and school districts will have the authority to reopen schools. “Students and teachers will likely wear masks when schools do reopen and also added that “shift learning” may be the answer to create smaller class sizes for social distancing and that some districts may opt for hybrid in-person and virtual learning. “Some students may come in a morning shift then another group of students may come in an afternoon shift; that may be a way to accommodate the need to have much smaller class sizes so that school campuses can be open with social distancing provisions in place”. Thurmond said. Thurmond also stated that with smaller classes, that will likely mean more educators are needed in order to assist with instruction and in the coming days, the state may have a better idea of what that might cost.
Thurmond also stated that, “Any learning gaps aren’t anyone’s fault; everyone is working hard to support our students but the reality is that even before the pandemic hit, we had an achievement gap in the state and in this country and we’re working through staggered opening scenarios; we hope to have some examples of what cost might look like in the days and weeks ahead”. Thurmond also addressed digital divide and said that the state is continuing to work with tech partners to provide more laptops to students in need and get free or reduced price internet access to households of the approximately 1 million California students without adequate access. We will keep you informed of any new developments.