SLO County elementary schools could open in the fall

Gov. Gavin Newsom is permitting elementary schools in counties on the monitoring list for coronavirus infections to apply for waivers for in-person classes. The waivers are for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

School districts initiate the process through applications to county health officers, which are later reviewed by the State Health Department. Multiple school districts in San Luis Obispo County have already applied for the waivers, according to San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein.

For example, Paso Robles Unified School District is seeking a waiver to provide options to special needs and homeless children, as well a working parents.

It is likely without union support, the waivers will not be granted.

“A waiver of these criteria may be granted by the local health officer for elementary schools to open for in-person instruction,” according to state guidelines. “A waiver may only be granted if one is requested by the superintendent (or equivalent for charter or private schools), in consultation with labor, parent and community organizations.”

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