While the outlook from experts is not positive, we are hopeful and trying to stay optimistic that the stay-at-home order and the holidays may allow many to stay home and lessen the spread of COVID-19.
We continue to monitor the numbers and the directives and mandates from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) and the state of California, which determine when we can reopen for in-person instruction. Barring any further mandates, our goal remains to bring students back to campuses when it is safe to do so.
One such opportunity to bring some students to campus has already been approved by the LADPH. As we shared in our previous dashboard and at previous board meetings, we have begun bringing in some students with specialized learning needs for in-person assessments, during which we follow a strict safety protocol. We plan to continue moving forward with these programs and practices as they are essential services for our students.
We have also submitted our application to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for a waiver that would allow some TK-2 students at Anza and Cabrillo to return to campus for in-person learning in small cohorts and for limited amounts of time, as Superintendent Blake Silvers shared at our last board meeting.
While we await the results of the application process, we continue to plan for these potential operations, keeping in mind current and potential COVID-19 conditions. Our planning also includes preparing for the potential reopening of our preschool and extended day program. The analysis and potential reopening of our general education preschool and extended day program is a priority as we understand the mounting need for this support for our families. However, we will rebuild this program with a lens of safety for our students, families, and greater community.
We recognize that even if we are granted the TK-2 waiver within the coming weeks, we will only utilize the waiver’s reopening permissions if it is advisable to do so. The waiver just grants us an ability to bring some of our students back at a future date to be determined if the conditions are right.
In a best case scenario, we anticipate this waiver, if granted, may allow us to reopen partially and with limited capacity for TK-2 and childcare in January 2021.
As a reminder, however, we will still be providing students, families, and caregivers with the choice to opt in or out for in-person education if and when we are able to provide it. In the event of a physical school reopening, families will have an option for either our in-person learning or our distance learning model.
In the meantime, we encourage our families to take the recommended precautions to keep safe during this pandemic, particularly as we approach the holiday season. We continue to be thankful for these life-saving actions taken by our community, and hold out hope that we’ll be together again soon.