The Bakersfield City School District school board voted Tuesday evening to start the 2020-21 school year with distance learning for at least the first quarter of the school year.
The BCSD agreed to the recommendation presented to the board. Staff and students begin the fall school year with distance learning, which means that all of the lessons are practically through the end of the initial grading phase.
The purpose of Tuesday’s special meeting was to share the plan for returning to school.
During the virtual meeting, over 1,900 people tuned in and read several public comments, and an overwhelming number of parents raised concerns about returning to school in the fall.
During the meeting, the board shared what they call the “Return to School Roadmap,” which outlined how the district will prepare students, staff and families for return to school.
Officials suggested a hybrid approach to lesson plans, which included a model for physical and virtual learning in class, and another schedule for online learning only.
The presentation also included preparations for the return of the students. Officials said they had items such as masks, disinfectant and soap, and they talked about how the district would have isolation rooms for students who have symptoms or who develop symptoms in school.
In a tweet, the Bakersfield Teachers Union said, “The board is voting for the start of the 2020-2021 school year in distance learning for at least the 1st quarter. 5-0 BCSD joins UTLA, San Diego, Oakland and San Francisco! In that county ! “
The board votes for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year in distance learning for at least the 1st quarter. 5-0 BCSD joins UTLA, San Diego, Oakland and San Francisco! Way to run in this county!
– Bakersfield Teachers (@BetaTeachers) July 14, 2020
In addition to BCSD, school districts in Los Angeles and San Diego counties, as well as Oakland and San Francisco, have decided not to reopen.
This despite warnings from President Donald Trump that he would withhold federal funding for schools that did not reopen in the fall.
Governor Gavin Newsom replied Wednesday that he was not concerned about the president’s latest tweets and that the safe reopening of schools needed to be addressed.
“What we have to address is the safe reopening of schools and we have to make this a core principle. That is non-negotiable to me,” Newsom said. “We must certainly reopen our schools, and we must also reconcile, and all of this is non-negotiable, and that means we must insist on studying at the beginning of the school year.”