SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Guidelines have been released by the California Department of Education for school districts across the state to follow as they make plans for reopening this fall.
In the 62-page guidebook “Stronger Together: A Guidebook For The Safe Reopening of California’s Public School,” everything from face mask requirements to class schedules and updated lunch times are outlined.
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond predicts class sizes will typically be capped at between 10 and 15 students in order to ensure proper physical distancing.
To accommodate those smaller class sizes, the state has provided school districts with four examples of scheduling models:
Example A: Two-Day Rotation Blended Learning Model: Students report to school on two designated days based on grade level for in-person instruction (example: Monday/Wednesday for grade levels K–3, Tuesday/Thursday for grade levels 4–6) .
Example B: A/B Week Blended Learning Model: Half of the student population attends in-person learning opportunities four full days per week while the other half is engaged in distance learning opportunities . The students would alternate each week .
Example C: Looping Structure: For schools serving grade levels TK–8, there is an opportunity for students to stay with the same teacher in cohorts for multiple grade levels .
Example D: Early/Late Staggered Schedules: Grade level bands would have staggered start and dismissal times, such as AM/PM rotations (for example, TK–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–10,11–12).
Even if students head back to school, officials said distance learning will still remain an option for parents who do not want to send their child or children back to the classroom.
School districts opted to close when Gov. Gain Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order and developed distance-learning plans on the fly.
The guidance asks schools to try to keep students 6 feet apart at all times — in class, in the hallways and at recess.
It also says schools should consider installing “portable hand-washing stations” as part of a rigorous hygiene regime urging students and staff to wash their hands before and after eating, coughing, sneezing, being outside and using the restroom.
It calls for intensified cleaning and disinfecting — at least daily — of frequently touched surfaces on school buses and in buildings, such as door handles, light switches, student desks and chairs.
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