Going back to school continues to be an important conversation happening across the country. Locally, two school districts will be holding special board meetings to discuss reopening plans moving forward.
With start dates in early August, DSUSD will be presenting their ideas to the school board Thursday night and CVUSD will be holding a special study session to prepare for board meetings later this month.
Parents say they hope to gain more answers.
“How are working parents going to be able to be involved in their kids learning and I don’t think anybody has given a concrete answer for that. to what’s going to happen or how we are going to be able to help our children academically when we are working full-time jobs. gotta get home, clean, cook, all that kind of stuff,” said Michelle Nielson, DSUSD parent.
Parents and teachers are divided on what the best course of action is, whether to go fully online, hybrid, or just bring kids back to school.
“Nobody is going to go back full-time in a situation where you can’t protect their health. you’re going to have a lot of teachers either take a leave of absence or ask for a reasonable accommodation or just quit,” said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers.
But some politicians want kids back in school as soon as possible.
“If we have found ways for restaurants, casinos, and others to open, we must find ways for our daycare and our schools to open safely. we cannot miss out on a generation of not being taught,” said Representative Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader.
There are also concerns about students and teachers contracting the virus.
“They’ll have to go home and they’ll have to be quarantined and unfortunately, all those in contact with that teacher or employee affected would also have to be in quarantine,” said Dr. Michelle Ischayek with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Governor Newsom addressed the issue at Thursday’s press conference.
“We have $5.3 billion in the budget, to address learning loss to address hybrid models of learning… and making sure that we are doing the distance learning that we’re doing justice to distance learning in a way that’s equitable for all kids, not just some kids,” explained Governor Gavin Newsom.
Palms Springs Unified has already approved their plan moving forward. Desert Sands and Coachella Valley school districts still have a few more meetings before a plan is finalized.