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California School Superintendent Tony Thurmond reviews coronavirus guidance for public schools

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LINK: "Stronger Together -- A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California's Public Schools"

State School Superintendent Tony Thurmond unveiled the detailed 55 page document Monday morning during an online press conference.  

The plan is called “Stronger Together -- A Guidebook For The Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools”.

“We have worked to provide some guidance to our districts to the types of things they should do and could do,” said Thurmond. 

Thurmond offered a brief overview of the plan which covers ten main categories ranging from “Local Conditions to Guide Reopening Decisions” to “Communication with Students, Parents, Employees, Public Health Officials, and the Community”.

“Our Guidance attempts to envision broadly many scenarios that the schools will have to deal with and how to prepare,”

Thurmond says the recommendations which are based on input from the CDC and the State Department of Public Health are not mandatory, and says it will be up to local districts to make final decisions on adopting protocols.

The most notable recommendations include “social distancing”, maintaining at least six feet of space among students and staff, with desks spaced accordingly. 

Other guidance includes using facial coverings at all times for everyone on campus, performing temperature checks for everyone when arriving at school, and adopting some form of a staggered schedule, with certain grades coming certain days of the week or on campus at different times throughout the day.

“There is nothing ore important right now than protecting the safety or our students and staff and their families,” said Thurmond.

Thurmond also emphasized the importance of all students in the state having access to computers while away from campus and access to reliable internet service.

He also says districts at their own discretion will decide on their own approaches to education, whether it be in-person, “distance learning” or a combination of the two.

News Channel 3 requested on-camera interviews with Superintendents from the Desert Sands Unified School District and the Coachella Valley Unified School District.

CVUSD did not respond to our request for comment.

DSUS responded to our request with this written statement from Superintendent Scott L. Bailey:

"The Desert Sands Unified School District will consider recent CDPH and CDE guidance, as well as forthcoming county guidance, in building a stakeholder-informed local school reopening plan."

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Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.

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