The Governor’s Administration just released 50 pages of new COVID-19 reopening guidance, which can be found here. The State of California Safe Schools for All Hub, which has more information and will be regularly updated, can be accessed here.
This update provides both K-12 schools and Local Health Districts additional guidance for providing in-person instruction, including:
- Criteria and processes for school reopening under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework.
- Considerations intended to help school community leaders plan for and prepare to resume in-person instruction including steps to take when a student or staff member is found to have COVID-19 symptoms during the school day and while participating in before and after school programs.
- Response to confirmed COVID-19 infections when:
- A case of COVID-19 is confirmed in a student or staff member; and
- A cluster or outbreak of COVID-19 at a school is being investigated.
- Physical distancing in classrooms.
- Implementation of stable groups of students and staff.
This updated guidance supersedes the following previous guidance:
- COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Schools and School-Based Programs (first published in May 2020; last updated August 3, 2020).
- The COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year (July 17, 2020).
- The Elementary Education Waiver process and the associated School Waiver Letter and Cover Form and Local Health Officer Waiver Notice Form (all issued on August 3, 2020).
- CDPH Schools Frequently Asked Questions (first issued August 3, 2020; last updated October 20, 2020).
The guidance does not supersede the Guidance Related to Cohorts for Children and Youth.
This new guidance affects all schools. Schools are required to post a compliant COVID-19 Safety Plan prior to reopening. Schools already open must post their COVID-19 Safety Plan by February 1.
Of particular interest is a new requirement that beginning January 25, 2021, every local educational agency and private school in California shall notify the California Department of Public Health whether it is serving students in-person. Specifically, the local educational agency or private school shall report the following information:
- In-person instruction is provided full-time, including whether provided for all grades served by the local educational agency or private school or only certain grade spans.
- In-person instruction is provided only part-time (hybrid model), including whether provided for all grades served by the local educational agency or private school or only certain grade spans.
- In-person instruction and services are provided only pursuant to the Guidance Related to Cohorts issued by the California Department of Public Health.
- No in-person instruction and services are provided (distance learning only).
- This reporting shall continue every other Monday (or the Tuesday immediately following, if the Monday is a state holiday) until this directive is modified or rescinded.