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San José Unified Prepares For In-Person Instruction in January

November 2, 2020

Students will have the option to return to school in person on January 5, 2021 if Santa Clara County remains in the orange or yellow tier on California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy

San José, CA, November 2, 2020 – Last week, San José Unified shared with its parents and employees that it is planning to offer in-person instruction beginning on January 5, 2021, if Santa Clara County remains in the orange or yellow tier on California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The announcement comes after Santa Clara County moved into the orange tier in mid-October.

The county is now allowing indoor dining and indoor gatherings at reduced capacity in its Revised Risk Reduction Order. Although schools are allowed to open when counties are in the red tier, indoor dining and indoor gatherings were still prohibited in Santa Clara County.

“We are actively planning and preparing to welcome students back for in-person instruction in January,” said Nancy Albarrán, Superintendent. “Our amazing staff are continuing to prepare our schools, including classrooms and common areas, and are developing training for our students and staff.”

San José Unified has maintained that schools should be a reflection of the community around them. Santa Clara County has shown progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19, and the latest health order allows indoor gatherings at reduced capacity, paving the way for schools to reopen with strict safety protocols in place.

“We must continue to monitor the health data in the county as we prepare for students to return to school in person,” said Katie Rodriguez, R.N., Manager of Health and Family Support Programs. “In conjunction, we are updating our COVID-19 safety protocol to ensure our rigorous safety measures mitigate risk to the greatest extent possible for our students and staff.”

San José Unified will be requiring masks and six-foot physical distancing by students and staff while on school campuses. “We want our students to have the opportunity to return in person, as we recognize that in-person learning is the ideal experience for students and teachers,” said Jodi Lax, Associate Superintendent of Instruction. “At the same time, we realize some families are not yet comfortable sending students back to school, and these families will continue to have the option to participate in distance learning.”

San José Unified will continue to monitor the health information and guidance from local and state officials and will determine if students are able to return in person based on the county’s tier rating on December 30, 2020, which is the last ranking that will be available before January 5. If the county is in the red or purple tier on that date, in-person instruction will be postponed.

About San José Unified

San José Unified is an innovative urban school district that prepares today’s students to be the thinkers, leaders, and creators of tomorrow. San José Unified is reinventing the education system by bringing together teachers and staff with parents and students, inspiring each to discover their own greatness. Serving over 28,000 students from transitional kindergarten through high school in 41 schools from Downtown San José to Almaden Valley, San José Unified is Silicon Valley’s largest and most diverse public school system.

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