Reopening California schools: 2 of the largest Bay Area districts agree on distance learning this fall

ByLauren Martinez via KGO logo
Friday, July 17, 2020
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San Jose Unified and San Ramon Valley Unified announced their decisions about reopening schools ahead of official state guidance Friday.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Jose Unified and San Ramon Valley Unified announced their decisions about reopening schools ahead of official state guidance Friday.

Superintendent of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Richard Schmitt said he's asked board members and trustees to come together again just two days after they voted in a meeting that took over four hours long on a hybrid program.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom expected to make call on reopening California schools, sources say

Christopher George, head of public relations for SRVUSD, said the hybrid program meant students would return in the fall in person for two days, learn remote for two days, and then different models were presented on what to do for the fifth day.

But Schmitt said just in the last 24 hours alone, they've had to reconsider that plan as comments from the state superintendent came down, as well as surrounding school districts announcing plans to go the distance learning route and then news that Governor Newsom will be announcing guidelines to school districts.

"Contra Costa County, as all of you know, is on the watch list. A more restrictive position than the other 28 counties. I'll let the governor describe that tomorrow, I have some insight and some understanding on what that will look like but it's going to be nearly impossible for schools in watch-list counties like Contra Costa to open in person," Schmitt said.

He went onto say school will reopen on August 11, as scheduled, with full remote distance learning and phase into in person learning as soon as it is safe to do so.

RELATED: Everything to know about CA's confusing reopening plan, summer shutdown and what comes next

And late Thursday night, San Jose Unified, one of the largest school districts in the Bay Area, made the call to go virtual until October 2.

Teachers will still be going to their classrooms.

In the update regarding reopening, the district said, "This outcome comes with major disappointments. We believe that in person instruction, even in a limited capacity, is the best way to serve our students." It went on to say, "We are grieved by the emotional toll on our students from being unable to see their classmates and teachers face-to-face."

These announcements come the night before Governor Newsom is expected to make a call on whether distance learning will be recommended or required.

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