School reopening plan paused as COVID rates rise in county

After Alameda County’s announcement on Monday that the county would be would be moving back to the most restrictive Purple Tier due to rising COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations, families of Piedmont elementary school students received a notice from the superintendent on Tuesday announcing a pause in the elementary school reopening timeline.

Superintendent Randy Booker said in the email that “It is our current understanding that Alameda County’s movement into the Purple Tier specifically eliminates the Piedmont Unified School District’s Reopening Plan’s goal of returning K-5 elementary students to a hybrid/in-person learning environment for December 1st and December 8th.”

The Alameda County directive says “Any school that currently has students attending classes in person may continue to do so. Effective November 18 no additional schools may open for in-person instruction, and Alameda County is not offering a waiver process for elementary schools. Schools that are not open are encouraged to utilize the State’s school-based small cohort guidance (State’s FAQ).” Read the full release HERE.

Booker also noted that while PUSD submitted a waiver for K-5 hybrid/in-person learning, Alameda County Public Health decided to cancel that system and is not honoring any school/district waiver application at this time.

Piedmont will continue with a few select hybrid/in-person learning models under the Small Cohort Guidance, his email said, including elementary SPED programs, Transitional Kindergarten (beginning 11/17/2020), Millennium High School, Piedmont Middle School (12/1/2020) and Piedmont High School (12/1/2020), “unless otherwise directed by the Board of Education, Alameda County Public Health Department, or the Alameda County Office of Education.”

A special Board of Education meeting may be held later this week, though no date was set as of Tuesday evening.

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