Needles Unified School District

Governor Mandates Distance Learning for San Bernardino County School Districts

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From CSBA Update on New Gu8idelines Mandating ALL California schools...
 
 
On Friday, July 17, Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled new guidelines mandating that all California schools in counties on the state’s COVID-19 monitoring list begin the school year solely with distance learning and must meet strict criteria in order to open campuses. As of today, San Bernardino County is on the watchlist. 
 
The new guidance for reopening campuses largely aligns regulations for K–12 education with those used for many other sectors and represents a shift away from local educational agency leaders, in consultation with local public health officials, determining when campuses should welcome back students and staff. However, when a county does come off the monitoring list, which requires, among other criteria, 14 consecutive days of a declining number of COVID-19 cases, local officials (county agencies) will still make the final call on if and when in-person instruction should resume.
 
Gov. Newsom also delivered clear direction on the use of face coverings for students. The new guidance calls for students in kindergarten through second grade to be encouraged, but not required, to wear face coverings. Students in grades 3 through 12 are required to wear them; those who do not comply or do not have a valid exemption must be sent home. Schools are being asked to develop protocols to provide a face covering to students who inadvertently fail to bring one to campus to prevent unnecessary exclusions.

All staff must use face coverings in accordance with CDPH guidelines unless Cal/OSHA standards require respiratory protection. A face shield can be used in limited situations when a face covering cannot be worn for pedagogical or developmental reasons.
 
In its updated guidance, CDPH requires that all adults stay 6 feet from one another and 6 feet away from children, while students should maintain 6 feet of distance from one another as practicable.
 
The guidance also outlines the need for “periodic” testing of all staff members who may contact students or other staff when schools are open for any level of in-person instruction — including an increased level of testing in areas with rising community transmission, as lab testing capacity allows. 

Listed examples of recommended frequency include testing all staff over two months, during which 25 percent of staff are tested every two weeks, or 50 percent every month to rotate testing of all staff over time.