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School district releases updated information regarding return of some in-person services 

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–The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District released the following announcement regarding the return to campus for in-person services for some students:

On March 4, 2020, the Governor proclaimed a State of Emergency in California as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 to make additional resources available and help the state prepare to respond to an increasing number of individuals requiring medical care and hospitalization as a result of a broader spread of COVID-19. Since that time, the State Public Health Officer and the CDPH have issued multiple public health directives to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, including, on July 17, 2020, the COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools (Framework).

In-person targeted, specialized support and services in stable cohorts is permissible when the school is able to satisfy all of the conditions detailed in the Cohorting Guidance, including:

• Limiting cohort size
• Restricting cohort mixing
• Maintaining proper physical distancing, masking, cleaning, and other safety measures

As a school district, starting on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020, we will begin bringing back students to our campuses who meet the criteria of “in-person services.” Specialized services are determined by the school district and include but are not limited to occupational therapy services, speech and language services, and other medical services, behavioral services, educational support services as part of a targeted intervention strategy or assessments, such as those related to English learner status, individualized educational programs and other required assessments.

Selected students will return to campuses in cohorts. Cohorts are limited to no more than 14 students, with no more than 2 supervising adults in a supervised environment, or a configuration of no more than 16 individuals total (children and youth or adults) in the cohort. The number of students and staff who make up a cohort should be based on student needs. Cohorts can – and often will – be smaller than 14, staffed by 1 or 2 consistent adults. For example, a cohort could be 6 students with 1 adult or 8 students with two adults that stay together throughout the day. In addition, a cohort can be divided into subgroups of students that may interact with one another during the day, as long as there are no more than 16 individuals in that cohort overall.

Terry Hollen, Director of Special Education, states, ​“We are working with the families of our students with special education needs through the Individual Education Program process to design in-person services for our students who are not making progress towards their goals in distance learning.”​ For specific questions regarding your child with special needs please contact your child’s case carrier, or Terry Hollen at ​thollen@pasoschools.org​.

It is very important to note that if any parent, child, family member, or staff is exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, have a positive COVID-19 test, or know of exposure to a person with COVID-19 that person must refrain from coming onto our campuses. We must stop the spread of this virus so that we can return to school safely. (Stop the spread: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html​)

In addition to our work with in-person services, the district will be seeking approval for the Elementary waiver to phase back in our youngest students at the next Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 22, 2020. We are also working with Public Health in the return of career technical education lab courses, and the possibility of the eventual return to a “Hybrid Model” of instruction, once San Luis Obispo County is removed from the “Purple Tier” to the “Red Tier” as determined by public health and our state government criteria.

Paso Robles Joint Unified School District remains dedicated to the safe return of both students and staff to our campuses. We believe that in-person instruction for all students is necessary and vital for the success of the district. We thank you for your continued support and partnership.

For additional information: ​https://files.covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-limited-services–en.pdf



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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.