The decision came after more than an hour of public comment and nearly an hour of discussion by the board.
RELATED: In-person learning during COVID pandemic is possible with the right precautions, CDC researchers say
At issue was whether students in grades six through 12 should come back for in-person instruction or remain in a distance learning model for the rest of the year.
The proposal submitted to the board suggested that they "shift focus from 'reopening' to 'improving remote instruction and enhancing supports for students.'"
There were exceptions for students with special needs, English learners and unhoused students who would have been able to return for some in-person instruction.
RELATED: President Biden pushes to reopen schools within 100 days as part of COVID-19 response
Small groups of students would have also been able to come back to campus for extracurricular classes.
But that plan did not sit well with many parents, prompting a protest outside the district office Thursday afternoon.
"Not everybody wants to go back to school, that's fine," said Andrea Reno, a parent of two PUSD students. "People can stay at home if that's what they choose, but the kids that need to be in-person, they should be in class now."
"I want to come back now. I will do whatever it takes. I'll bring my hand sanitizer. I'll wear gloves. I'll wear a mask. I'll stay six feet apart. We need to go back to school," said sixth-grader Summer Brown.
After a long meeting, the board trustees agreed that they should not rule out the option for in-person learning for secondary schools.
RELATED: East Bay parents, students rally for high school sports to resume amid pandemic
While the plan still needs to be ironed out, the board voted to move forward on previously discussed transition plans that would create some level of on-campus instruction.
According to protocols by the state, elementary schools can begin reopening in the purple tier. However, secondary schools cannot open until the county has been in the red tier.
Issues over testing and vaccines for teachers have been discussed, but are still largely up in the air, seeing as they are reliant on yet unallocated resources from the state.
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- How to register for COVID-19 vaccine in every Bay Area county
- Map: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
- CALCULATOR: Find out how many people may get a COVID-19 vaccine before you
- VIDEO: When will I get the COVID-19 vaccine? We explain who goes 1st
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- Map shows everywhere you can get a COVID-19 test in the Bay Area
- How are Chinatown businesses surviving? Here's what we found
- From COVID-19 to Black Lives Matter, these 13 people defined the Bay Area in 2020
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during pandemic
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here's which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic