More than two dozen San Diego County elementary schools have had waivers permitting them to reopen approved by the state of California, allowing them reopen campuses for in-person instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As of Thursday, 27 schools or school districts had waivers approved. They are:
- Calvary Christian Academy
- Christ Lutheran School
- Christian Unified School District East
- Christian Unified School District South
- Christian Unified School District West
- City Tree Christian School
- Francis Parker School
- Gillispie School
- La Jolla Country Day School
- Ocean View Christian Academy
- Ramona Lutheran Christian School
- Rancho Santa Fe School District
- Saint Patrick School
- Santa Fe Christian School
- Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran School
- The Bishop's School
- The Cambridge School
- The Community School of San Diego
- The Rock Academy
- Chabad Hebrew Academy
- Escondido Christian School
- Faithful Ambassadors Bible Baptist Academy
- San Diego French American School
- San Diego Jewish Academy
- St. Paul’s Lutheran School
- St. Therese Academy
- The Evans School
The approved schools were among the 95 that applied for the waiver. San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said applications would be reviewed by county public health experts and then sent to the state for further review and guidance. If the county does not hear back from the state in three days, then, Fletcher said, those applications would be approved.
The county is listing the schools that have applied for the waiver on its website. Fletcher said the list would be updated every morning.
California schools have been closed for in-person instruction since mid-March, when California Gov. Gavin Newsom initiated statewide stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
While several districts came up with reopening plans for the start of the 2020-21 school year, the state issued new mandates in July that prevented K-12 schools from reopening in the fall if their county was on the state's COVID-19 monitoring list. San Diego County was one of them.
But on Aug. 3, California health officials released guidelines for elementary schools to seek waivers that would allow them to offer in-person classroom instruction. The waivers only apply to kindergarten through sixth grade because, health officials say, those students are less likely than older children to become infected or transmit the coronavirus.
The state guidelines say reopening plans must cover a raft of safety issues, from cleaning and disinfecting to health screenings, social distancing and mask-wearing for staff and students. The ability to keep children in “small, stable” groups should be one qualification, according to the guidelines.
Although the county is off of the state monitoring list as of Tuesday, there is a 14-day waiting period before all K-12 schools can have the option to reopen in person, without a waiver.
NBC 7 has been tracking how each school district in San Diego County plans to tackle the challenging 2020-21 school year.