Palm Springs Unified School Board reviewed their reopening timeline at their meeting Tuesday night.
Their initial goal to return on February 16th is now on hold for the time being.
“Our adjusted case rate is 107.2, in order to be eligible for reopening you need to be at at 28 per 100k [residents], and that’s four times what that widespread number is, so it creates some concern and some confusion around that,” said Palm Springs superintendent Dr. Sandra Lyon.
Without meeting that case rate criteria, the district can’t use their portion of the 2 billion dollars Gov. Newsom set aside in the “safe schools for all plan.“
But regardless of their status, Dr. Lyon says the program doesn’t go far enough.
“Those of us in high poverty or high need districts would like to see a little more done for those of us who’ve been more impacted by it. I think we’d like to see a more concerted health effort on the state level,” said Dr. Lyon.
There were a number of people on both sides of the issue, but the district says, ultimately, the decision isn’t up to them.
Their January 19th hybrid start date isn’t allowed by the state due to the county’s high case rate.
“I personally miss the sound of school. I hate walking through schools right now because it’s so quite and I can’t wait for that day. Certainly the next available on-ramp we want to be there and present the board with that opportunity,” said DSUSD superintendent Scott Bailey.
But that day could still be far away, to begin in-person learning schools will submit a coronavirus safety plan to local and state health authorities, which must be approved within five days.
They also will need to implement strict safety measures and testing.
Both districts agree the process will take continual planning.
“The reality is, we’re all going to reopen at some point and so I do appreciate the incentive to get us back with students in seats as much as possible, given all the constraints we know in-person learning will entail in these next months,” said Dr. Lyon.
Coachella Valley Unified holds their board meeting on Thursday to discuss their timeline as well.