WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Education Leaders on California's Guidance for Fully, Safely Opening Schools for 100% In-Person Instruction
Date: July 10, 2021
SACRAMENTO – Today, education leaders voiced their support for California's guidance to fully reopen schools for full in-person instruction and the CDC guidance that the state is aligning itself with:
- L.K. Monroe, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools & President of CCSESA: "Our schools are preparing right now for full, in-person instruction and our children and staff will be back in classrooms in a matter of weeks. As CDPH and educational leaders review the CDC guidance for K-12 education, we strongly support CDC and CDPH's conclusion that multiple prevention strategies will continue to be necessary. The three-foot physical distance standard is difficult for many schools. We want to ensure we do not create any unnecessary barriers to in-person instruction. The utilization of face coverings, as well as other measures such as vaccines, testing, ventilation, and handwashing strikes the balance needed to bring our kids back to school."
- "The state guidelines strike a fair balance between safety and the need to reopen campuses," said Edgar Zazueta, senior director of policy and government relations for the Association of California School Administrators. "Requiring masks can help compensate for the loss of social-distance rules. All things considered, it's a fair trade-off. There will undoubtedly be many families who are upset the state is continuing the mask mandate, but other families will be relieved."
- Jim Yovino, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools: "Our priority is to have all of our kids back in person in the fall, as we have been doing since the spring. Layering multiple prevention strategies has worked well for us and enabled us to keep our students and staff safe during this pandemic. We are grateful now to learn that we won't have to worry about physical distancing requirements when we return to our campuses this fall if consistent masking guidelines for all ages are followed. We feel that this is a small and worthy sacrifice if it means we can get all our kids back together, inside the classroom, and in front of a caring adult."
- Daniel Domenech, director of the American Association of School Administrators, called the new guidelines "a science-driven guide (to) support school district leaders in their work to ensure schools are open for in-person instruction as much as possible for the start of the 2021-22 school year."
- San Ysidro School District Superintendent Dr. Gina Potter: "Given that our school district's region endured one of the highest positive COVID case rates in the state, safety remains our top priority as we reopen schools in the fall. The Governor's steadfast commitment to safety during the pandemic, with continued mask guidance and robust testing and vaccine capacity, shows his focus on protecting and saving lives in California while fully opening schools for in-person instruction."
- The California Teachers Association was also supportive of the state's guidelines, adding that schools should become community vaccination centers. "We know this pandemic is not over, but due to the availability of vaccines and multiple safety measures put into place and practice, as well as the roadmap provided by science-based guidance, school communities are in a good position to ensure safe-in person instruction for students this fall," said union spokesperson Lisa Gardiner. "As CTA has said all along, learning happens best in-person and educators want to be with their students in classrooms."