Teachers Say They Are Not Prepared For An Early School Start

Teachers Say They Are Not Prepared For An Early School Start

Nico Payne

A July Start date for California schools is just a proposal at this point, nothing is set in stone. NBC Palm Springs spoke to local teachers unions who say opening early would be a bad idea and they are not prepared.

There are many ideas being thrown around when it comes to the possibility of starting school early from cutting class sizes to havings students on different schedules, members from teachers unions say there is just no way.

Local Teachers Unions say they were caught off guard by the governor announcing a possible early start to the school year.

“An early start would not allow the districts the time needed to properly plan,” said Carissa Carerra, President of Coachella Valley Teachers Association.

Teachers say there’s too much that needs to be done and not enough time. Some of the ideas being floated include cutting class sizes or staggered schedules.

“In order to have half the class there on a rotating basis, you’d have to have a class size of twenty. I don’t know any classrooms in desert sands that have a class size of twenty, they’re all in the upper thirties and forties, so there is no way that they would work,” explained Trina Gonzales-Alesi, President of the Desert Sands Teachers Association.

Cost is also a factor as teachers question how an early school start would work.

“If we had to do bussing morning and afternoon for two different groups there’s a cost associated with that and is the state prepared to fund the districts for that? Said Carrera.

Educators are also having a hard time understanding how scheduling would work in the case of an early school start and the handling of younger students.

“Teachers are having a hard time wrapping their brain around if we go back early, do we get out early? if we go back do early then are we working 11 months out of the year? how do you keep small young children social distancing, how do keep them from touching their faces? Said Gonzales-Alesi.

“Without knowing what the specific guidelines would be would be a waste of time at this point,” said Carrera.

Local teachers tell me they’re happy with Governor Newsom’s choice for the co-chair of the task force that will get schools back up and running. E. Toby Boyd is a kindergarten teacher and President of California’s Teacher Association, teachers I spoke with say they’re confident he’ll do a good job.