School Reopening Plans May Change as Ventura County COVID-19 Cases Rise

Some Ventura County schools could have to delay their plans to resume in-person instruction if the County falls back to the most restrictive level – the purple tier – on the state’s coronavirus watch list, which is looking increasingly likely. Due to a growing number of COVID-19 cases, County health officials anticipate the move back to the purple tier could happen as early as next Tuesday, November 17, but is most likely to occur a week after that on Tuesday, November 24.

If Ventura County does return to the purple tier, schools and districts that had already reopened would be permitted to continue with in-person instruction according to state and local regulations. However, individual schools that have not yet reopened would need to wait until the County moves back to the less restrictive red tier and stays there for 14 days.

Some schools are in the midst of phased reopening, starting with lower grades first. Individual schools that opened some of their grades while Ventura County is in the red tier would be allowed to open additional grades even if the County falls back to the purple tier. However, schools that did not resume in-person instruction while the County is in the red tier cannot reopen once the County is in the purple tier.

There would be some limited options for schools that haven’t yet reopened and wish to do so while the County is in the purple tier. For example, schools may request waivers from Ventura County Public Health to allow them to reopen grades TK through six. In addition, all schools are permitted to hold in-person classes for small groups of students who need extra assistance, including students with disabilities and English language learners.

A list of reopening dates that had previously been announced by Ventura County school districts is available at www.vcoe.org/coronavirus. Schools that had been planning to reopen after November 24 may not be able to do so if the County falls back to the purple tier.

It will be up to each individual school district to decide how to proceed based on the changing circumstances. School administrators will continue to work closely with their school boards, employees and parents to develop plans that best meet the needs of their communities while keeping the safety of students and staff as a top priority.

 

About the Ventura County Office of Education

The Ventura County Office of Education provides a broad array of fiscal, training and technology support services to local school districts, helping to maintain and improve lifelong educational opportunities for children, educators and community members. VCOE also operates schools that serve students with severe disabilities and behavioral issues, provides career education courses, and coordinates countywide academic competitions including Mock Trial and the Ventura County Science Fair. Learn more at: www.vcoe.org.


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