Dear OUSD Community:
We recently shared our plan to reopen schools for in-person instruction with January 25, 2021 as our target starting date. Unfortunately, COVID transmission and cases in our county continue to worsen. Before we break for the winter holiday, I wanted to let you know that we will not begin our phased-in approach to reopening schools to in-person instruction on January 25 as originally proposed.
Setting a date was required
One of the state requirements for submitting a reopening plan is setting a target reopening date. As noted above, we shared January 25, 2021. Any date, of course, depends on COVID transmission rates declining in our county and stakeholder engagement.
We will continue to plan because we have a duty to be as prepared as possible to resume in-person learning when the conditions are safe and in alignment with our public health guidance.
Our plan is to reopen schools in phases beginning when our county is in the Orange tier of our state’s color-coded COVID tracking system. Given the recent surge of COVID transmission, Alameda County and most of California being in the most restrictive Purple tier, and the coming holidays, it is highly unlikely that we will move into the Orange tier in time for the original proposed date.
The state’s system requires that a county remains in a tier for at least three weeks prior to advancing to a less restrictive tier. As it stands, we would have to enter the Red tier on January 4 with steadily declining transmission rates that would allow us to enter the Orange tier in another three weeks, in order to reopen schools on January 25.