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REGIONAL — As schools in the Tri-Valley and throughout California prepare for a return to the classroom, the state aims to provide virtual assistance with the planning process.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that the state has launched the Safe Schools for All Plan’s interactive Safe Schools Reopening Map, an online tool providing a statewide snapshot of the status of school reopenings across California.

The map supports local communities in making data-driven decisions to safely open classrooms and helps ensure public transparency. The Feb. 12 announcement builds on the additional transparency, accountability and assistance measures incorporated in the Safe Schools for All Plan.

“As COVID-19 conditions continue to improve and vaccinations ramp up throughout the state, this map will provide local communities with accessible, up-to-date information on how districts in their communities and beyond are adapting to the pandemic, including safety planning and implementation,” said Newsom. “This map is one of many resources we have made available that will help school staff and families make informed decisions as we safely reopen our schools.”

The Livermore, Dublin and Pleasanton school districts remain in the remote learning only phase. But the Tri-Valley’s neighboring San Ramon Valley Unified School District has returned to a hybrid education format for its elementary students.

The interactive map was developed in partnership with county offices of education and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence. The map will display data from all school types – including school districts and charter and private schools – indicating status on reopening, safety planning and COVID-19 supports. Local communities and school staff will be able to leverage this tool when evaluating their reopening plans. The Safe Schools Reopening Map will help clarify the planning and implementation of safe reopening.

As of Feb. 8, the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) has received $9.78 million. The LVJUSD has an established COVID-19 safety plan. To view the Livermore plan, visit http://bit.ly/Indy_LVJUSDopening.

The Pleasanton Unified School District also has a safety plan available for viewing. It has received $7.14 million in COVID-19 funds. To view the Pleasanton plan, visit http://bit.ly/Indy_PUSDopening.

Dublin Unified has not submitted a safety plan to the county office of education, according to the interactive map. That district has received $5.11 million.

The California Department of Public Health will be adding other key data to the map, including outbreaks reported in each school district and whether the school has partnered with the Valencia Branch Lab for COVID-19 testing. To provide up-to-date information, schools will input their data every two weeks. Additional data – including student enrollment data – will be collected and displayed publicly, subject to legislative approval.

Since unveiling the Safe Schools for All Plan, the state has launched the Safe Schools for All Hub to serve as a one-stop shop for information about safe in-person instruction. The Governor’s 2021-22 State Budget proposes historic levels of funding for schools – nearly $90 billion, including $3.8 billion above the Prop 98 minimum – which builds on existing state and federal funds to support schools in responding to the pandemic.

The State Safe Schools Team has also:

  • Issued updated guidance that consolidates requirements from Cal/OSHA and CDPH.
  • Provided direct technical assistance on key safety measures to hundreds of school leaders per week through an online portal. (https://caschoolsopening.powerappsportals.us/en-US)
  • Monitored and acted on feedback regarding school safety, which school staff and families can submit either via an online portal or a telephone hotline (with non-English options available).
  • Distributed an extra month of PPE and supplies to all public schools via county offices of education.
  • Onboarded over 800 schools in 41 counties to the state Valencia Branch Laboratory to support COVID-19 testing. The Lab continues to build supports tailored to schools, including dropboxes throughout the state to reduce logistical costs, an online platform that manages consent and data reporting, and certified support for testing students.
  • Published new COVID-19 testing resources for schools, including contact information for commercial laboratories and playbooks to support implementation.

The State Safe Schools Team will continue developing resources that support schools to plan and implement safe school reopenings, beginning with our youngest and most disproportionately impacted students.

For more information, please visit the Safe Schools For All Hub: https://schools.covid19.ca.gov/. To review the map, visit https://maps.schools.covid19.ca.gov/public.html.