School Officials Seek Answers On How Schools will Reopen

School Officials Seek Answers On How Schools will Reopen

Nico Payne

Governor Gavin Newsom discussed the possibility of starting the school year in July yesterday, which came as a surprise to most.

The order closing schools extended from April 3rd lasting now till June 19th, and now some are questioning how students will be able to return to school and what guidelines we will need to follow.

“We are considering the prospect of an even earlier school year into the fall, as early as late July/early August,” explained Governor Gavin Newsom of California during his daily press briefing.

As Governor Newsom laid out his plan to reopen the state, school leaders learned what the next possible steps may be for them.

“In the next few weeks, that was as specific as he was, that he would have enough data to determine that goals in the six-point framework he’s outlined have been met and that we can begin to discuss stage 2,” said Sandra Lyon, Ed. D. Superintendent with Palm Springs Unified School District.

Stage 2, according to the governor’s plan is when we will begin to see students heading back to class, but the classroom will look different than it did before.

“He indicated that this would be with adaptation and that physical distancing and face coverings would still be required,” explained Lyon

NBC Palm Springs reached out to all school districts in the Coachella Valley, most declined an interview at this time as they are awaiting official decisions.

Palm Springs Unified School District held a board meeting in which they discussed a message sent out by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond.

“There are some major questions that we will have to answer, first and foremost, can this be done in a way that protects the health and safety of our students, teachers and school staff and he also says we need to consider the physical implications, social distancing and school may require smaller class sizes, but schools are going to need additional resources to make it happen,” added Lyon.

School officials also mentioned a focus on gatherings and how they are classified in the governor’s plan.

“I think this is our challenge, we hear something, a bold statement that says schools are set to start late July, early August and we have more questions raised than clarity around what that will look like,” said Lyon

Board members with Palm Springs Unified School District are set to meet with the Department of Public Health Wednesday in search for more answers