Some younger students in the Desert Sands Unified School District can mark their calendars for March 15, less than two weeks from today, to return to their classrooms for in-person instruction two-days a week.
The school board voted Wednesday evening on the March 15 school reopening date for students in Pre-Kindergarten through the 5th grade under the hybrid learning schedule.
Students will be split into two groups. One group will be allowed on campus Mondays and Tuesdays, then continue with at-home virtual learning the rest of the week for the foreseeable future.
The other group will return to campus Thursdays and Fridays.
Older students will be allowed back to campus once Riverside County's state-imposed pandemic restrictions are relaxed further.
Under the state's pandemic orders, schools may not reopen for grades 7-12 if the county is in the most-restrictive Purple Tier. Schools may only reopen at all grade levels if they are located in counties in the Red, Orange or Yellow Tiers.
Riverside County already meets the state's positivity rate mandate with a 5.8% infection rate. The county remains too high, however, to meet the state's daily limit of 7 new cases per 100,000 people. The county's current number is 11.3. The county will be eligible to reopen all grade levels once it meets that less than 7 mandate.
The county's adjusted case rate for new COVID-19 cases dropped below a threshold of 25 new daily cases per 100,000 people that will allow for these school to reopen transitional kindergarten through sixth-grade education two weeks ago.
The district stated, "Students in grades 6-12 will return to in-person learning (hybrid schedule) subject to the COVID-19 case rate thresholds defined in California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which currently requires that school districts be at an adjusted COVID-19 case rate per 100k residents of 7.0 or less (red tier), and a positivity rate of 8.0% or less (red tier). Specifically, once Riverside County has met the threshold of an adjusted case rate of 7 or less per 100k residents for 5 consecutive days, and a positivity rate of 8.0% or less, with a minimum 7-day notice to staff and community, students in grades 6-12 would return to in-person learning."
Four school districts already have safety-plan approvals from the county and state approval is anticipated.
Desert Sands Unified School District
Corona-Norco Unified School District
Palo Verde Valley Unified School District
Murrieta Valley Unified School District
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