Tuesday, July 14, 2020

CTA- Reopening Schools ?

Reopening Schools

CTA is advocating for our members, our students and their families. We are making sure lawmakers and parents know the health and well-being of our students and our educators come first.


View Letter to Elected LeadersCOVID-19 Resources for EducatorsState Budget

California Cannot Reopen Schools Unless They Are Safe

The health and safety of all students and staff must be the first priority and guiding principle in opening public schools and colleges for the 2020-21 school year. When we physically return to school campuses, it needs to be planned and deliberate with safety and public health at the forefront of all decision-making and with the involvement of educators and parents. There must be clear and up-to-date guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on how schools open safely and responsibly, as well as triggers that require schools to physically close again. The state must provide a uniform symptoms check list that can be used to screen students and staff. The CDPH must work with CalOSHA in developing and providing training for school staff on safety protocols so there are consistent standards and expectations throughout the state. We also expect the state to support districts by providing and bulk buying personal protective equipment for students and staff.

Federal and state guidance regarding a phased reopening have focused on a sustained downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases for 14 days or no more than 1 COVID-19 case per 10,000 in the past 14 days. Districts and chapters should carefully review infection rates and trends for new cases in each area, hospitalization rates, levels of community spread, etc. in order to evaluate the overall safety of opening school buildings for in-person teaching and learning.

We Want Our Students to Be Safe and Ready to Learn

This must include safety supports for students and educators:

· Accommodations to allow for fewer contacts among students, staff and parents.

· Accommodations to reduce class sizes and allow for six-feet physical distancing in classrooms, cafeterias, gyms, buses, and other shared spaces.

· Deep cleaning, and continuous ongoing cleaning of campuses and buses by trained school employees, and the inspection and certification of all ventilation systems.

· Students and school employees have daily health assessments before entering campus with appropriate student and school employee privacy.

· Special considerations and accommodations to protect students and staff with compromised and underlying medical conditions.

· Work with local county health officers to ensure increased testing of students and staff and develop the necessary legal documents for parent permission.

· Work with local county health departments to include schools in contract tracing, including the training of employees in that process and rapid case notification to employees and parents.

· Students and school employees wear facial coverings and practice routine and regular handwashing.

· Access to health services including nurses and medically trained personnel to assist and monitor student and employee health in collaboration with county health departments.

· Mental health counseling and emotional support by trained counselors for students, staff and the school community.

· School Illness and Injury Prevention plans should be updated and adopted prior to the first day of in person instruction.

· Schools have a robust communication system with data transparency among schools, parents, caregivers, county health departments, and school employees.


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