Governor Newsom has prioritized the health and safety of California children and schools in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Newsom, as a father of four, agrees with parents, educators, politicians, and pediatricians that the best way to address not only the students' core academic needs, but also their mental health and social-emotional needs is in person. For our youngest children, students with disabilities, and those already disproportionately affected by the pandemic, it's particularly essential. For children, families, and communities in the state, resuming in-person training is important.

 

The protection of workers and students is fundamental. With growing evidence that the right precautions can effectively stop the spread of COVID-19 in schools, particularly in elementary schools, the Administration is committed to doing everything it can to make in-person teaching secure for students and staff in schools. The Administration's strategy, developed in collaboration with the Legislature, focuses on ensuring careful implementation and building trust by helping schools to bring back the youngest children (TK-2) and those who are most disproportionately affected first, then progressively through the spring to other grade levels, as circumstances permit. This phased-in strategy acknowledges that younger children, with key safety measures in place, are at a lower risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19.

 

At the same time, for parents and learners who want it and for those whose health status does not allow them to return to school in the near term, distance learning will remain an option.

 

 Governor Newsom pledges to advance, with the Legislature, California's Safe Schools for All Plan, built on four pillars:

1. Funding. In January 2021, the Budget will recommend $2 billion for urgent action for the secure reopening of schools starting in February, with a preference for returning the youngest children (TK-2nd grade) and those most disproportionately affected first, then returning other grade levels through spring to in-person teaching. These grants will provide school districts providing in-person training with roughly $450 per pupil and will be weighted towards districts serving low-income students, English learners and foster youth.

 

2. Safety & Mitigation. To further ensure health and safety in the classroom, the Administration will focus on implementation of key measures, including testing, PPE, contact tracing, and vaccinations.

  • Testing. The Administration will support frequent COVID-19 testing for all school staff and students, including weekly testing at schools in communities with high rates of transmission. For example, any interested public school will be on-boarded to the state-owned Valencia Branch Lab for PCR tests at one-third the market rate and the State will establish a hotline to help schools implement testing.

  • PPE. All staff and students in schools are required to wear masks. Furthermore, surgical masks will be recommended for school staff, and the Administration will distribute millions of surgical masks to schools at no cost. The Administration has also enabled schools to leverage state-negotiated master contracts for PPE to reduce costs and streamline supply chains.

  • Contact Tracing. Schools will continue to be on-boarded onto the School Portal for Outbreak Tracking (SPOT) to improve collaboration between school and health officials, and members of the state contact tracing workforce will be deployed to improve communication with schools.

  • Vaccinations. School staff will be prioritized in the distribution of vaccines through the spring of 2021.

 

3. Oversight & Assistance. Dr. Naomi Bardach, a UCSF pediatrician and expert on COVID-19 transmission in schools, will lead the Safe Schools for All Team, a cross-agency team composed of dedicated staff from CDPH, Cal/OSHA, and educational agencies. The Team will provide hands-on support to help schools develop and implement their COVID-19 Safety Plans. These supports include school visits and walk-throughs as warranted, webinars and training materials, and ongoing technical assistance.

 

4. Transparency & Accountability. A state dashboard will enable all Californians to see their school's reopening status, level of available funding, and data on in-school transmissions. Additionally, a web-based "hotline" will empower school staff and parents to report concerns to the Safe Schools for All Team, which will lead to escalating levels of intervention, starting with technical assistance and ending with legal enforcement.

 

The Safe Schools for All Plan in California offers resources and transparency to set a consistent course for reducing in-school transmissions and enabling, first, a gradual return to in-person instruction and then continuing safe in-person instruction.

Concord, California is blessed with some of the area's top schools.  Make sure to check out these amazing schools:

  • College Park High School Concord

  • Mt. Diablo High School

  • Northgate High School

  • Ygnacio Valley High School

  • Pleasant Hill Middle School

  • Riverview Middle School

  • Sequoia High School 

  • Valley View Middle School

 

All of these wonderful schools are located just a short distance from our location at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek, California!

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