Kern Schools Reopening FAQ

Governor Newsom and the California Department of Public Health have released guidance related to reopening schools. For more information regarding statewide guidance relative to COVID-19 and schools, click HERE.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions.

What are the state requirements for allowing schools to reopen for in-person instruction?

Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new COVID-19 cases and positivity percentage. New county data is publicly released every Tuesday HERE. The system is called “The Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” and contains four tiers: purple (widespread risk level), red (substantial risk level), orange (moderate risk level), and yellow (minimal risk level). Schools may reopen for in-person instruction once their county has been in the red tier for at least two weeks.

What tier is Kern County in?

Kern County officially transitioned out of California’s most restrictive Purple Tier on Tuesday, Oct. 13 and was placed into the less-restrictive Red Tier under the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. After a mandatory two-week waiting period, school districts may choose to physically re-open as early as Wednesday, Oct. 28.

Will all schools in Kern County reopen for in-person instruction once the county has been in the red tier for two weeks?

No. Each of Kern’s 47 school districts is responsible for developing and implementing its own reopening plan. Schools are carefully considering the safety of staff and students and will announce specific plans that meet their varied and individualized needs. Some school districts may elect to phase-in in-person instruction slowly, over time. Schools that choose to reopen must follow the California Department of Public Health Guidance for re-opening schools that is available HERE. (See info graphic below).

Will schools have to close again if the county moves back into the widespread/purple tier?

Schools that have reopened for in-person learning under the red tier will NOT be required to close if the county moves back into the purple tier. However, per the California Department of Public Health, schools must close a classroom, school or an entire school district based on the following criteria:

•A classroom must be closed when there is one positive case in a classroom.
•A school must close if there are multiple classes or 5% of the student/staff have confirmed cases.
•An entire school district must be closed when 25% of the schools within the district has closed due to COVID-19.

How will I know when my child’s school plans to reopen?

School or school districts will communicate directly with families through their normal communication channels.