Colton, CA–When CJUSD resumes the business of school in August, all K-12 students and staff will be required to wear masks.
The decision is in line with guidelines released by the California Department of Public Health on July 12. In addition to universal masking for indoor activities, the guidelines remove physical distancing requirements for masked individuals, provide quarantine timelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated students, and require alternative educational opportunities for students who refuse to comply with masking mandates. Under these revised guidelines, masks will be optional for staff and students outdoors.
CJUSD has been requiring masks for on-site instruction since it started reintroducing in-person academic activities and sports in April. District employees who work in-person must also wear masks to ensure the health and safety of themselves and their co-workers.
With the new school year on the horizon, plenty of opinions and questions remain as to what these policies will look like when they are implemented in schools. Many teachers and parents are relieved about a full return to in-person learning.
Ms. Charme Zumfelde, a Full Online Learning instructor during the 2020-2021 school year, said, “Do I feel safe returning? You bet! I can’t wait to see the kids.”
Lisa Villa, an outspoken community member, said, “My son will be returning as soon as possible. It’s sad that he missed out on a whole year.”
This relief does not come without concern. Ms. Villa also indicated that CJUSD administration has been inconsistent enforcing their COVID-19 guidelines. “The guidelines vary at each school site. Each sport does their protocols different–it’s whatever each administration at each site ‘feels’ like doing.”
Another teacher is also worried about discipline over masks and safety guidelines. “My concern is that there will be no consequences for students and staff that do not wear [a mask] correctly, or at all.”
Since the start of the pandemic, reporting has continually shifted to keep up with the influx of new information from both the government and scientific communities. Not much has changed on this front. So, expect more information forthcoming over the next several weeks and into the Fall.
The spread of COVID-19 has abated with the widespread availability of vaccinations. Since the lifting of mask requirements, however, there has been a slight uptick in confirmed cases in San Bernardino county. As of July 4, the most recent data available via the San Bernardino County COVID-19 Dashboard puts CJUSD in the minimal risk zone, with less than 2 confirmed cases daily.