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Coachella Valley school districts eye reopening as President Biden pushes to open within 100 days

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With local school campuses closed to in-person learning for nearly a year, most parents we spoke with support the idea of students returning to campus.

"I'm up for it because the kids need the social interaction," said parent Sarah Blumschein.

But one teacher we spoke with questions whether classrooms will be safe within one hundred days and thinks it might be best to finish the school year virtually.

"Since we're still abiding by the standards, you know we're keeping our routine going, I think that is one of the reasons we can keep this going," said Eddie Rodriguez, a teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Indio.

A president for a valley teacher's union generally supports the President's push to open schools but is cautiously optimistic and is reluctant to set a specific date.

it all depends on Covid-19 case numbers, according to Trina Alesi, President of the Desert Sands Teacher's Association.

"Everyone wants to be back in the classroom serving students face to face, interacting with them, but we want to make sure it is safe to do so," said Alesi.

District representatives for both Desert Sands and Palm Sprigs Unified say their schools were prepared to begin offering hybrid learning January 19th, but were prevented from doing so because of current state restrictions.

The representative for Desert Sands Unified School District did not specify the procedures, protocols and PPE on hand.

The PSUSD representative said they now have the needed PPE to open campuses and cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

The district is also working to arrange vaccinations for staff from a "community provider".

"We're definitely on board to being back with our students. That is going to be the most effective way to educate most of our students," said Palm Springs Teachers Association President Karen Johnson.

The President's pledge of federal help for local schools follows Governor Newsom's $2 billion "Safe Schools for All" program unveiled in late December.

That proposal was the focus of a public hearing Thursday in Sacramento.

The Coachella Valley Unified School District did not respond to our request for comment.

California / Class of 2020 / Coronavirus / Education / News / News Headlines / Top Stories

Tom Tucker

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

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