In a reversal, new guidance forces LASD to postpone middle school return

STORY AND PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN

This story will be updated with additional information at a later date.

Following state guidance released today, Los Altos School District intermediate schools are postponing in-person returns until the county sits in the red tier of coronavirus restrictions for two consecutive weeks.

Middle schoolers at Egan and Blach were originally slated to return on Jan. 20, making this latest postponement yet another delay in the district’s bid to return middle schoolers to physical classrooms.

Previously, Governor Gavin Newsom’s guidance had allowed schools to reopen so long as some students had already been in-person prior to the county moving into the purple tier of coronavirus restrictions — in LASD’s case, special education students and English learners that were already in limited cohorts would’ve allowed the district to meet that requirement. 

Now, however, state guidelines mandate that schools have to have previously offered in-person learning as an option at one entire grade level for at least a portion of a school week.

LASD’s existing cohort model does not meet that requirement.

“To be clear, the state’s new reopening plan constitutes a substantial change in the guidance LASD received from Santa Clara County regarding reopening our junior high schools as recently as last week,” Superintendent Jeffery Baier wrote in an email to the community. “Please know, we are poised and ready to reopen our junior high schools as soon as we receive the green light from state and local officials.”

This story will be updated with additional information at a later date.

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