The next academic year is only a month away for many Bay Area school districts.
The California Department of Education has directed local districts to develop their own models for resuming school. However, there is little agreement about how to do it.
The Alameda and Berkeley unified school districts are planning a combination of online and in class instruction. Both the San Lorenzo unified school district and the Oakland unified school district will begin with distance learning and hope to provide some in-class instruction at a later date.
In the South Bay, students at Santa Clara County schools will also start the school year with virtual classes. Schools in San Jose were initially planning for as many students as possible to return for in person instruction, but are now reassessing. The teachers union says teachers don’t feel safe enough to return to class.
Plans for reopening are subject to change as districts await further guidance from state and local health officials.
Studies indicate that children face the lowest risk among age groups for COVID-19 and are less likely to transmit it.
And distance learning can be challenging. According to the New York Times, research shows most students fell behind during the last term of the year, with low income students being hit hardest.