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Sacramento school districts can reopen but local teachers associations are pushing back

“For a variety of reasons I don’t think we can pivot to hybrid before January. We need the time...to see what the cold and flu season does."

Update:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Students with moderate and severe special needs would be able to return to the classroom in San Juan Unified School District campuses, education officials announced in a board meeting. 

The rest of the students will be able to return to class on January 5, 2021.

Original story: 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Sacramento County has given the green light for schools to reopen for in-person learning but several local teachers associations and the districts can't determine when.

The Sacramento City, Natomas, and Twin Rivers teachers associations all say "no" to bringing students back to campus before January. 

“Certain zip codes might have lower (coronavirus) rates where it might be safer, yet many of our schools in our area have much higher infection rates,” said David Fisher with the Sacramento City Teachers Association.

The teachers associations sent a letter to district superintendents saying the rush to open schools with high background transmission rates places unsafe pressure on low-income communities and under-resourced public schools.

“For a variety of reasons I don’t think we can pivot to hybrid before January. We need the time...to see what the cold and flu season does. Are we going to have that second surge,” said Rebecca LeDoux, with the Twin Rivers Teachers Association.

“We are looking at a partial in-person return with smaller groups of students returning at one time. [That] is what a majority of us are examining in the surrounding districts. So I believe that is definitely in our plan moving forward,” said Lori Grace Spokesperson for Twin Rivers Unified School District.

Grace said they are in weekly meetings with their teachers association to find a middle ground on how to return back to school safely

"One of the things we are really focused on next week is we are having a meeting with our school board so that our school board can really lay out for us what they see as a realistic timeline for bringing students back," Grace said.

In a statement, the Sacramento City Unified School District said:

“Despite SCTA’s public statements that school reopenings should not take place until at least January 2021, the district is committed to meeting around the clock to negotiate with SCTA to come to agreements on this and other topics."

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