CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — All students in Contra Costa County will start the school year with distance learning.

This includes both public and private schools.

Contra Costa is just one of 32 counties in the state that will start this way because they are on the state’s monitoring list.

Until districts meet the requirements of the governor’s statewide plan, students will be at home.

Superintendents across the state are receiving thousands of emails from parents urging them to keep schools closed or to open them, everyone has an opinion.

But schools here will not reopen when school starts back up in a few weeks.

“This is an unprecedented situation we are in and we are trying to build a whole new school system really,” Lynn Mackey, Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools, said.

School district superintendents across the Bay Area have been working tirelessly, making plans for both distance learning and for the possibility of students returning to school in the fall, how to handle the mask requirements, social distancing guidelines and classroom cleanliness.

But on Friday — Governor Gavin Newsom announced a five step statewide plan for safe learning and announced that schools cannot reopen until the county they are located in has been off the state’s monitoring list for at least 14 days.

Contra Costa County is on that list — along with 31 other counties across the state.

“I do appreciate getting more guidance and more direction on a statewide level that we can then use on a county level,” Mackey said.

The governor’s plan did not surprise Lynn Mackey — the Contra Costa County superintendent of schools. She says she found it helpful and that the districts are adjusting and adapting.

“I think what happened today is it’s given us better parameters,” she said. “It’s given more concrete parameters of what we need to do so now everyone knows we have to start with distance learning because we are on the monitoring list.”

Mackey is excited for the start of the year — but says Contra Costa County families must come together to flatten the curve so students can return to school at some point, in some way before the end of the year.

“I am hoping that as a community, as a Contra Costa County community, we all think that is so important that we stay home when we can and we wear our masks when we can and we use all those protocols so I am optimistic,” she said.

Mackey says realistically she doesn’t see 30 kids in a classroom by the end of the year but she does believe there will be some sort of face to face learning, but we have to flatten the curve first.

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