At a Dec. 10 board meeting, Superintendent Lou Cavallo spoke about recent discussions within the district regarding bringing teachers and students back into the school building. But so far, he said, no date has been set for anyone’s return.
According to Cavallo, a committee, consisting of the teachers’ union executive board, all the administrators and principals and board president Kyra Tyler met to discuss the district’s reopening plan.
“We have a tentative plan, a draft plan,” Cavallo said. “It includes just basically some bullet points on what it looks like.”
The three-tiered plan doesn’t include a date for a return to in-person learning, said Cavallo, because that will “solely depend on the metrics and whether or not it’s safe to do so.”
Cavallo said the district’s priority is to make sure everyone is safe, but he said data indicates schools aren’t the biggest culprits when it comes to COVID-19 outbreaks.
“From the data that has been released recently, schools are not appearing to be the petri dishes that everyone was afraid they were,” Cavallo said. “Infection within schools is pretty rare. It’s not happening very much. It is not not happening at all; it has happened something to a very small degree, and almost always from adult to adult. Kids aren’t spreading it.”
Still, with so many unknowns, such as where educators will fall on the eventual COVID-19 vaccination schedule and what COVID-19 infection rates will look like, a date hasn’t been determined, though the “how” is being planned.
Cavallo said the district plans to slowly bring kids back up to a full day of in-person learning, phasing kids in gradually. Before doing that, though, the district will survey parents again, with more targeted and specific questions than last time. And, said Cavallo, there will be an option for remote learning so parents can choose what works best for their family and comfort level.
Teachers will also be surveyed again, said Cavallo.
Currently, teachers are instructing from home and will continue to do so through next week when the holiday break begins. Remote teaching will continue after break, with current metrics determining whether teachers will be working from home or school.
So for now, it’s uncertain when both teachers and students will return to the school buildings.
“The virus has the control here, not us,” Cavallo said. “We have to see where we are, and make sure that it’s safe.”