January 14, 2021
Following school closures that occurred in spring 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) developed the "COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year" (July 17, 2020) to support school communities as they decided when and how to implement in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. Schools throughout the state are currently in various stages of instruction including distance learning, in-person learning, and hybrid instruction based on local conditions.
New evidence and data about COVID-19 transmission and experience nationally and internationally demonstrate that schools, particularly elementary schools, can operate safely for in-person instruction with the correct safety protocols in place. Concurrently with this directive, CDPH issued updated, consolidated guidance for public and private K-12 schools to support school re-openings and safe implementation of in-person instruction for students and staff.
Under the guidance, schools that have already reopened are permitted to continue offering in-person instruction, and additional schools will reopen through the early spring. To be equipped to prevent and mitigate ongoing community COVID-19 transmission, it is necessary for CDPH and local health jurisdictions to have accurate information about which school sites are serving students in-person and to which degree such in-person services are being provided, especially in light of evolving epidemiological conditions.
This information will assist public health authorities maintain awareness of possible locations where case transmission may occur and can rapidly respond to any confirmed positive cases of individuals who have been on-site at schools offering in-person instruction and services. It is also necessary to focus public health resources to support schools, including COVID-19 testing support, contact tracing, and technical assistance related to mitigation strategies and operational plans, to make the most efficient and effective use of those resources. Finally, this information will assist CDPH and local health jurisdictions to accurately assess the impact of school reopening on COVID-19 and update operative public health guidance and directives as necessary.
- Beginning January 25, 2021, every local educational agency (school district, county office of education, and charter school) and private school in California shall notify the California Department of Public Health whether it is serving students in-person. Specifically, the local educational agency or private school shall report the following information:
- In-person instruction is provided full-time, including whether provided for all grades served by the local educational agency or private school or only certain grade spans.
- In-person instruction is provided only part-time (hybrid model), including whether provided for all grades served by the local educational agency or private school or only certain grade spans.
- In-person instruction and services are provided only pursuant to the Guidance Related to Cohorts issued by the California Department of Public Health.
- No in-person instruction and services are provided (distance learning only).
- This reporting shall continue every other Monday (or the Tuesday immediately following, if the Monday is a state holiday) until this directive is modified or rescinded.
- This information shall be reported via a web form that will be made available by the California Department of Public Health.
- The California Department of Public Health will provide this information to local health officers and, once the information is processed, will make this information publicly available on the Safe Schools For All Hub website.