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Some school districts keep original reopening plans after state announces deal

CLASSROOM

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) Reopening plans for some schools in the Central Coast are not changing despite the state's efforts.

California announced a deal to allow schools for in-person instruction by the end of March. Public schools can get $6.6 billion dollars if they do return to in-person learning.

“In order for a school to reopen, first of all, it has to be allowed under the cdph guidance,” said Dr. Deenen Guss, Monterey County Superintendent of Schools.

Public schools are eligible for the state's $6.6 billion-dollar fund if they return to in person learning. Plans need to be adopted and approved, in order for a school to reopen, said Dr. Guss.

“It's important to remember that every single school district is in a different situation with their reopening process in that each school has to work with their community partners and their union partners and the school board to develop a CSP and CPP,“ said Dr. Guss.

Districts throughout the Central Coast, have different academic calendars. Spring break falls at different times depending on what their calendar already has in place. This is one reason why some school districts will miss the initial deadline for additional funding.

"Between April 1st and may 15th funding will be reduced by 1% for each day of instructions the school district did not provide in-person instruction,” said Dr. Guss.

Pajaro Valley Unified Schools District is one district returning after April 1. In an email sent to KION PVUSD wrote their start date was determined by both the number of staffed who need to be vaccinated. and the case rate in their respective community. They also wrote in part, “This timeline would have placed us three days prior to the start of Spring Break. Therefore, we decided to bring students back right after Spring Break. We have finalized our plan and we will be starting on April 5th.”

Monterey Peninsula Unified School District is another district expecting to return after, starting on April 8th. But according to Dr. Guss, the most important part of reopening is having plans in place.

"The goal is to try to get opened by April 1st,” said Dr. Guss. “But, they're not required to be opened by April 1st they should be open when they have their covid Safety Plans and CPP in place and ready to go, and again they have to work around their own districts negotiated calendars to plan their reopening dates."

Read the full statement from PVUSD below:

PVUSD's start date was determined by both the number of classified and certificated staff PVUSD who need to vaccinate and the case rate in our communities.  Due to PVUSD's size, it took us longer to ensure that all of our staff had access to the vaccine and then have 3-4 weeks of wait time for the second dose.  Due to the fact that we see over 50% of the cases in the entire County within our district boundaries (and we are only 18% of the County's population), we are waiting the two weeks after the second dose to ensure the full effect of the vaccine for the safety of the students and staff. This timeline would have placed us three days prior to the start of Spring Break. Therefore, we decided to bring students back right after Spring Break.  We have finalized our plan and we will be starting on April 5th with preschool-1st grade students followed by 2nd-3rd grade and all special education students in the second phase and the rest of the district in the third phase. Districts are not being required to return to class; we are provided with re-opening and increased-in-person guidelines that we must adhere to when we have more students on site.  If we wish to access the additional monies, we would be required to include additional grades.

Article Topic Follows: News
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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a former multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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