Some Elementary Schools Could Be Exempt From Newsom’s Reopening Rules

On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that counties must remain off the state’s coronavirus watchlist for 14 days before bringing back live instruction. As EdSource notes, one major caveat he didn’t mention is a waiver for elementary schools. It’s mentioned in a footnote in the state’s framework for reopening

 A waiver of these criteria may be granted by the local health officer for elementary schools to open for in-person instruction. A waiver may only be granted if one is requested by the superintendent (or equivalent for charter or private schools), in consultation with labor, parent and community organizations. Local health officers must review local community epidemiological data, consider other public health interventions, and consult with (the California Department of Public Health) when considering a waiver request.

Edgar Zazueta, senior director of policy and government relations for the Association of California School Administrators, told EdSource that the waiver “is generating a lot of attention around the state.”

Santa Clara County, which first brought attention to the waiver provision, is one of the counties encouraging elementary schools to pursue an exemption.