Tulare City School District close to completing waiver process for K-6 sites
TULARE – Over the last few months, school districts around Tulare County have slowly been reopening their doors to young students. The Tulare City School District (TCSD) is next up as the Tulare County Public Health department will allow schools in the district that have County approved waivers at the local level to return their transitional kindergarten through second grade students to in-person learning.
TCSD announced last Wednesday that they are determining a date for opening and will update families soon with further details. This comes two weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Dec. 30 that he wanted to push schools to reopen by as early as February. An emphasis is being put toward transitional kindergarten through second grade students, but the governor hopes to reopen elementary schools through sixth grade. According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), “Older students are better equipped to manage technology and benefit from distance learning, but younger student—especially TK-2—are less equipped.”
Newsom has proposed a $2 billion mid-year budget request to help get young students get back to class. The proposed $2 billion will be allocated for schools beginning in February for those grades but also for those who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. CDPH said funds will provide approximately $450 per student to school districts offering in-person instruction and will be weighted for districts serving students from low-income families, English learners and foster youth.
Newsom’s proposal still needs legislative approval, but the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) believes that county schools have a good chance at receiving a hefty portion of that money.
Other school districts are a few steps ahead of TCSD. TK-2 students have already returned to in-person instruction in several other districts including Visalia, Lindsay, and Exeter. In Visalia, preschool through second grade students, who initially returned to school on Dec. 7, resumed in-person instruction on Jan. 11 following the three-week winter break. On Jan. 6, Superintendent Tamara Ravalin announced that they are planning to move forward with its staggered return to school this week when third and fourth graders begin their return to campus.