Today the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) launched a comprehensive framework for reopening campuses that closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The framework was developed by subject-matter experts from SDCOE in consultation with school district and charter school leaders, bargaining association and parent representatives, and experts in topics such as transportation and special education. A cross-functional workgroup crafted documentation and guidance based on SDCOE’s planning assumptions and recommendations for reopening schools in the fall. Those assumptions and recommendations, which align with guidance from the state and federal governments, were also vetted by local public health officials.
“San Diego County’s schools are doing everything possible to prioritize student safety, keep the community updated, and work toward getting teachers and learners back together as soon as we can,” said San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold. “We are hopeful that careful planning on the part of schools will support our region’s effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
The plan is presented in six focus areas to allow stakeholders to quickly access information most relevant to them and customize their plan to meet the needs of their school community. To view the reopening plan, visit https://covid-19.sdcoe.net/Reopening-Plan.
In addition to SDCOE’s framework for reopening, schools’ efforts to successfully reopen will depend on adequate state and federal funding to support needed safety precautions and alternative scheduling as well as state waivers to afford flexibility from traditional compliance requirements.
“It’s important to note that reopening campuses not only will require a great deal of planning and preparation, but also funding for expenses that would not have been needed before the pandemic,” Gothold said.
SDCOE will continue to work with local school districts, charter schools, and public health to identify next steps and further supports to help plan for the fall. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, local schools will adjust as needed.
“This is a living document,” said Gothold. “SDCOE will continue to adjust our guidance as appropriate based on future health orders and additional guidance from local, state, and federal agencies so that the nearly 800 public schools and 230 private schools in the county can tailor it for their specific needs.”