SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's the question on pretty much every parent's mind right now: When will schools reopen for California students?
"There's no one size fits all," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on ABC7 News' 3 p.m. broadcast.
There are a few things we can expect pretty much across the board. For starters, students and staff will be required to maintain physical distance and probably wear face masks. There may also be some required temperature taking of students and teachers, Thurmond said. He said it's not yet decided whether students or staff will need to be tested for the virus before returning to school campuses.
We also know that students will probably only be allowed back into the classroom in smaller numbers, but there are a few ways school districts may choose to accomplish that. Some districts are planning to bring students back on campus every day of the week, while also having online learning available simultaneously for any students or parents who request it. Other schools are planning to split students into morning and afternoon sessions. A third option is splitting students into cohorts; one group would attend in-person classes Mondays and Wednesdays, while the other would attend Tuesdays and Thursdays. Everyone would do distance learning on Fridays.
For high school students who have six or more periods a day with different teachers, may follow a different learning model. They may be broken into smaller, stable groups who stay in the same classroom all day while teachers cycles in and out.
As for when schools will reopen their classrooms, Thurmond said that's up to the districts. The state is working to provide guidelines, but local district leaders can decide how to implement them. That being said, Thurmond says he's hearing most districts plan to reopen for in-person instruction at their usual time in late August or early September.
Thurmond acknowledges the hasty roll-out of online learning has been far from perfect.
"There are students who never really checked in since we moved to distance learning in March," he said. He said the state is working with counseling groups to reach students and their families who may be hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
Of course, any reopening plan involves smaller classroom sizes, more sanitizing and more support for students - all things that demand more resources, not fewer, for schools. But Gov. Gavin Newsom's revised May budget includes cuts to education unless the state receives federal support.
LIFE AFTER COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms, schools, sports will look like when they reopen
If those cuts are triggered, there isn't much of a contingency plan yet, according to Thurmond.
"Our schools cannot withstand any cuts," he said. "It's very critical that we get that federal support."
The state legislature is also working on ways to raise revenue for schools, he added.
Watch Monday's full newscast below:
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- When will the San Francisco Bay Area reopen? Track progress on 6 key metrics to reopening here
- Life after COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms will look like
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: How close was CA to becoming a NY-level crisis?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- How California's COVID-19 cases stack up against other hot spot states
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Asian American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on African American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Latino community
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions