Moving Back to the Purple Tier: How This Affects the Reopening of Schools

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Rebekah Flores, Staff Writer

 

On September 22, 2020, the CNUSD District announced that Riverside County had moved into the Red Tier of Governor Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This meant that if the county stayed in the Red Tier for two weeks, then school campuses would’ve been allowed to re-open after October 6. When two weeks went by and the county was still in the Red Tier, the district sent another notice stating that high schools would be returning on October 26, later changed to November 2.

On October 20, 2020, a little less than two weeks before the re-opening date, the CNUSD District announced that Riverside County had moved back into the Purple Tier, meaning that schools would not be able to reopen. A waiver for elementary schools to reopen was submitted on October 9, however, the re-opening of elementary schools mandates that teachers are assigned to only 1 cohort of 14 students or less, meaning that staff would have to be doubled to fit the requirements, which is not accessible at this time.

At the very earliest, should Riverside move back into the Red Tier in either November or December, the earliest possible date for re-opening would be a week before Thanksgiving Break. This brings students back on campus for a maximum of 3-4 weeks, not counting finals week, before the semester ends. With this in mind, the district anticipates students’ return to campus to be after the Winter Break.

Sports teams, however, will be permitted to pursue on-campus practices during this time, as will our marching band, dance team, and ROTC, with no contact nor shared equipment. Returning to campus for rehearsals, however, would also mean re-hiring all of the non-school coaches for each respective extracurricular and spreading out far apart in several different parts of campus, which may not be accessible to some at this time.

UPDATE: As of November 3rd, the waiver for elementary schools to reopen that was previously submitted in October has been approved; the first for a public school district in Riverside County. Re-opening dates are to be considered at the next School Board Meeting on November 10, 2020. Families who are not comfortable with sending their kids back to school in-person may transfer to the virtual program if space allows.

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