President's Message January 19, 2021
Hello TVEA Members,
Last Thursday, January 14th The California Department of Public Health issued a fifty -one (51) page Public Health Directive titled “COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework and Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-21 School Year.” This creates a series of Executive Orders that applies to ALL public and private schools operating in California and supersedes previously issued documents. A link to the full document can be found here:
Here is a summation from this updated document of key points which apply to TVUSD and have potential impacts on TVEA members.
* All Districts/Schools must complete and post to their websites a COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP) before reopening. For a district housed in a county currently in the “Purple Tier” such as Riverside County, they must submit their CSP to the County Local Public Health Director and State before being permitted to reopen schools. It is strongly recommended that Local Districts CONSULT with Labor, Parent, and Community Organizations and that they provide such evidence in the submission of their COVID-19 Safety Plan. The County and State have seven (7) business days to review a submitted plan and provide deficiencies to correct, and if there are none, districts and sites may open on the 8th business day after submission.
* Elementary Schools: Districts or Sites may not re-open for in person instruction if located in counties designated in Purple Tier Status with an Adjusted Case Rate above 25 new COVID -19 cases per 100,000 people per day. They must attain a Case Rate below this mark and maintain it for 5 consecutive days before reopening. This replaces the California Elementary Education Waiver Program. Since TVUSD’s previous Waiver Application was not processed by the County and State, TVUSD will not be able to open utilizing a Waiver.
* Secondary Schools: May not reopen for In-Person Instruction if its county is in the Purple Tier. They must attain Red Tier Status (A Case Rate of 7 or less new cases per day per 100,000 people) and maintain that status for 5 consecutive days.
Note that as of today on the Riverside County Public Health website, the county adjusted case rate is 127.5.
This is more than five times the required Case Rate for Temecula Elementary Schools to begin reopening and more than 18 times the required case rate for TVUSD Secondary Schools to begin reopening.
* Directives and Guidance for the opening of Cohort groups has NOT been modified. Schools which have not reopened may provide in-person instruction, supervision, and targeted support services which ensure connectivity for all students under distance learning and implement state law which requires “Students with Disabilities and English-Learners receive educational and related services to which they are entitled under the law….”
* This directive calls for a “Thoughtful, Phased -In” Reopening Plan. Examples of this include:
-Utilizing a Hybrid Model when shifting from Distance Learning
-Bringing back a gradual number of students of the total capacity, at specified grades and/or a percentage of each grade to campus beginning with the youngest and disproportionately impacted students.
In terms of Safety Procedures, this new directive:
Reinforces the use of Face Coverings for ALL students K-12 as well as staff. For staff that come into routine contact with others, disposable 3 ply surgical masks are recommended over cloth face coverings.
Promotes Testing as a Key Strategy to Mitigate the Spread of COVID.
* If a district opens in the Purple Tier and the Case Rate is 14 or higher, asymptomatic testing of both Students and Staff is required. For districts which open in the less extreme Purple Tier with case rates of more than 7 and up to 13.9, or in the Red Tier asymptomatic
While the California Department of Public Health strongly recommends that all persons eligible to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine do so at their first opportunity, it does not appear the state nor county will be mandating it. While COVID Testing is clearly spoken to as a mandate for schools under this directive, yet vaccinations are not at this time.
Since a COVID Safety Plan is required to consider reopening and in consultation with Labor Unions are strongly recommended, TVEA will consult with TVUSD related to this plan. Meetings are scheduled Wednesday afternoon, January 20th, and Friday January 22nd.
We will keep you updated of any developments from these conversations.
Thank you for taking in this summation of the latest state guidance and directives which set the parameters TVEA is navigating in working with TVUSD.