There are many complex issues in the reopening of schools during Covid, but sometimes we make things too complicated. If we get our teachers and staff vaccinated, what would prevent them from returning to classrooms?
Of course there would still be safety protocols and cleaning procedures to follow. We’d still need physical distancing and there would not immediately be the same number of students in a classroom. Employee agreements have to be signed. But why wouldn’t we be able to start physically returning kids to the classroom where they need to be?
There is lots of talk about looking at this District or that state to find a model of how they have planned for kids to come back. I know for MDUSD, and I’d imagine for almost every other school district, that the Superintendent, the staff and the Board have exhaustively planned for the return of students. It isn’t a lack of a plan that is preventing the return- there might be minor differences in the details, but the blueprint is there for a return to the classroom. It is a matter of implementing the plans that have been developed based on the health guidelines available.
Governor Newsom’s recent statement about not waiting for perfect conditions to get kids back in the classroom is correct. But instead of his plan to shift around money to create an illusion of new funding for reopening, he’d be better served continuing to focus on more efficient distribution of the vaccine in California. As of a couple of days ago, only 5.5% of Californians have received a shot and fewer than half the doses we’ve received have been administered. That is slowing down the reopening of schools and the rest of our society.
Let’s get teachers and staff vaccinated and start getting kids back in the classroom.