School districts across the state confront a changing, proliferating virus

(Hannah Norman/KHN)

After a tumultuous three semesters of distant and partially distant learning following the emergence of the novel coronavirus, public schools across California have begun opening campuses for full-time in-person learning.

The state’s “Safe Schools” portal details protocols for ensuring student and staff safety while keeping schools open. But in the face of a new wave of Covid-19 infections and the dominance of the more infectious, more contagious delta variant, that guidance continues to shift — and school districts are having to reassess plans for testing, masking, and vaccination requirements.

Just this week in the Bay Area, San Jose Unified announced that all staff must be vaccinated for Covid-19 for the return to school next month, or agree to be tested twice weekly.

Los Angeles Unified tightened its previously announced guidance for unvaccinated staff: Regardless of their vaccination status, staff and students in Los Angeles Unified will be required to participate in weekly Covid-19 testing this school year.

In Piedmont, the 2021-22 school year — see the full school year instructional calendar HERE — begins August 10 for students. In keeping with state guidance, Superintendent Randy Booker said earlier this month that masks will be required indoors for all students, but there are no mandates around physical distancing.

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