Ripon Unified is targeting Aug. 12 for the reopening of the new school year.
Based on a survey given to staff members and families of the district, most favor a return to the classroom with safety being the No. 1 priority for all amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Superintendent Ziggy Robeson, the new coronavirus protocols could consist of those entering the school sites being required to go through a health screening process of a temperature check along with the continuing practice of social distancing.
Hand sanitizing stations and thorough cleaning of facilities would be part of the plan as well as gloves and face coverings being encouraged but not enforced.
The other option that's still on the table is distance learning used during the final few months of the past school year.
"Drafting (of the plan) is still a work in progress," Robeson said at Monday's school board meeting. "This is our current status on short notice."
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to reopening schools, San Joaquin County Office of Education Superintendent of Schools James Mousalimas recently said.
That was in response to SJCOE’s announced new guidance for local schools in preparation of entering the 2020-2021 school year.
The guidance was developed during close collaboration with the county’s 14 school district superintendents and approved by the SJC Public Health Officer.
The document – 2020-2021 School Year Planning: A Guide to Address the Challenges of COVID-19 – is intended to be used as a tool for schools and districts to reopen while minimizing health risks as they develop and implement their own plans for the new school year.
“Since school districts in San Joaquin County made the difficult decision to close campuses in March to help slow the spread of COVID-19, educators have been working to provide for the immediate needs of their students while looking ahead to reopening campuses. This new guidance allows school districts, charter schools, private schools, and SJCOE programs to take the next step toward meeting the challenge of providing a quality education to students in a way that is safe for students, staff, families, and the community," Mousalimas said.
The SJCOE recommendations aligned with the California Department of Public Health's COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Schools and School-Based Programs.
Trustee Kit Oase, at the RUSD meeting, recognized Dr. Maggie Park, who is the San Joaquin County Public Health Officer, on her recent update for the local Stay-At-Home Order that allowed for the reopening of schools.
"We're hoping in July to finalize our plan (on reopening)," he said.
Added Robeson: "Each school district is different. Ours will be Ripon's way."
Manteca Unified reopening plans
Manteca Unified School District trustees last week opted to move toward an Aug. 6 reopening with various social distancing protocols in place as well as to launch a 100 percent online academy to give families and students two options.
Among the protocols Manteca Unified is examining for its modified on-campus program may incorporate state and county health COVID-19 guidelines such as:
*daily self-temperature checks for all students and staff
*marked one-way traffic in hallways
*training for all faculty, staff, and students regarding appropriate COVID procedures
*bathroom monitoring to avoid overcrowding
*suspend use of drinking fountains and encourage use of reusable water bottles
*high “touch point” areas will be sanitized throughout the day
*limit visitors and volunteers to the school site to essential business only
*highly recommending staff and students wear face masks.