No one wants to be back in the classroom more than educators. I want to welcome every one of my students back to my classrooms in a way that keeps everyone safe: students, their families and staff.
As California continues to struggle to control the pandemic, which is still impacting many communities disproportionately, a phased-in approach that responds to local conditions and transmission rates has to be part of a responsible return to in-person instruction.
Any path to bringing students back to campuses will require implementing multi-layered mitigation strategies that consider community conditions and include robust cleaning and updated ventilation systems, asymptomatic testing of students and school employees, six-feet social distancing and enforcement.
To reopen schools for in-person instruction, the state must ensure all employees required to report in person have been provided the opportunity to be vaccinated before students return to campus. The vaccine distribution should prioritize educators in schools already open and schools in communities with high transmission rates.
We must take a comprehensive and data-driven approach to reopening schools that includes addressing community spread. After all, no matter how safe of a bubble we put around our schools, the students and staff inside go home at the end of the day.
If mitigation efforts are inadequate in the community, the risk of it being brought back to school increases significantly.
San Jose, Calif.