On Monday night, August 3, 2020, the Newsom Administration released highly anticipated guidance for local health officers (LHOs) to consider when reviewing Elementary Education Waivers that would allow elementary schools to open for in-person instruction under specified conditions.
The full waiver guidance can be found here.
Under state guidance, schools located in counties on the state’s COVID watch list cannot open for in-person instruction. The only exceptions to the ban are elementary schools that receive a public health waiver. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance outlines the factors that LHOs must consider when reviewing waiver applications, including the ability to keep children in “small, stable” groups and available scientific evidence on the risks of transmission at elementary schools “along with the health-related risks for children who are not provided in-person instruction.”
Waiver applicants must submit a waiver application form, to be provided by the LHO.
The elementary school waiver is applicable only for grades TK-6, even if the grade configuration at the school includes additional grades. Applications and all supporting documents must be submitted to the LHO at least 14 days prior to the desired reopening date.
Consulting with parents and teachers
Waiver applications must “include evidence of (1) consultation with labor, parent, and community organizations and (2) publication of the elementary school reopening plans on the website of the local educational agency (or equivalent).
- “The applicant must sign an attestation confirming the names and dates that the organizations were consulted. If school staff are not represented by a labor organization, then the applicant must describe the process by which it consulted with school staff.”
- “The applicant must confirm publication of the elementary school reopening plans on the website of the local educational agency (or equivalent).”
Probably should not open
The guidance also states, in bold, “CDPH recommends that schools within jurisdictions with 14-day case rates more than two times the threshold to be on the County Monitoring List (>200 cases/100,000 population) should not be considered for a waiver to re-open in-person instruction.”
- Posted by CCIS
- On August 4, 2020