Students return to classrooms in Alameda County

Bay Area

LIVERMORE, Calif. (KRON) – Based on state guidelines, Alameda County has managed to slow the spread of COVID-19 well enough to allow elementary schools to reopen in-person classes.

Tuesday was the first day back in class for some students.

It’s up to each school district to develop a safety plan before they can open their classrooms.

Kids are back on campus at Our Savior Lutheran School in Livermore and parents are relieved.

“Oh my gosh. It’s a blessing. Been praying for this for so long, especially as a working mom and my husband working as well, it’s been challenging having them home,” Linda Franklin said. 

The private elementary school is one of 21 that has submitted a reopening plan to the Alameda County Office of Education and been approved by the Public Health Department to resume in-person instruction.

“I did not have any concerns. The teachers do a great job of keeping the kids distanced and washing their hands and staying clean, staying with their own cohorts,” Tara Guarda said. 

Seven private elementary schools were slated to open Tuesday. This is the first day allowed by the county.

Another is scheduled to open Wednesday and nine more schools plan to reopen in two weeks.

The remainder of schools that have submitted plans expect to host students next month.

“We are in a hybrid model. So half the week we are in cohorts, and the later part of the week, we have the other end of the cohorts,” Julie Knight said. 

Principal Julie Knight says her school has been preparing for this since the end of the last school year.

Right now, the county is in the red tier on the state’s blueprint for reopening a safe economy.

The county says schools that are open can stay open even if the county falls back into the purple tier but schools could be forced to close if at any point five-percent of students and teachers test positive for COVID-19.

“You just have to protect the kids and the staff. So everything is important to do,” Knight said. 

So far, none of the county’s public schools have announced a reopening date for in-person instruction.

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