After months of negotiations, the Sacramento City Unified School District and the Sacramento City Teachers Association have reached an agreement on the district’s reopening plan and will begin in-person classes starting April 8.
The agreement includes changes to the district’s initial proposed plan, such as bringing older students back earlier than previously outlined.
The plan includes a phased return to in-person classes:
- Students in PreK through grade 3, and K-6 Special Day Classes will return on April 8
- Students in grades 46 will return on April 15
- Students in grades 7-12 will return on April 22, two weeks sooner than the district had previously announced
Students will have the choice to return to a hybrid instruction model or remain in distance learning for the rest of the school year, according to a press release.
Under the previously announced plan, campuses would have no more than 50% of students at a time. Students would attend in-person class two days a week, and do virtual learning for the other three days.
“Every day that our students are not on our campuses is time many are not getting the support that they need,” Sacramento City Unified School District Superintendent Jorge Aguilar said in a press release. “We are happy that our students will not have to wait any longer.”
The plan includes improved ventilation, a key concern for the union, requiring filtration with a minimum of MERV-13 value or portable HEPA air filters. There will also be technology stipends for teachers who have been teaching remotely, medical assistants to monitor health screenings and COVID-19 tests. Teachers who have health risks or who care for a family member with a health condition will be allowed to continue teaching remotely, and union members with childcare issues can bring their school-aged children to work.
“Our negotiations have been very productive and far less adversarial than some of our past bargaining sessions. I’m confident that the agreement we reached today will allow students, teachers and staff to return to our school buildings safely,” SCTA President David Fisher said in a statement. “We’re excited to be going back.”
Under the agreement, the district will return to distance learning if Sacramento County's COVID-19 cases rate reaches 25 per 100,000 residents. The rate is currently 8 per 100,000 residents.
Earlier this month the state Legislature approved $2.2 billion in incentives to encourage schools to reopen by April 1. According to Gov. Gavin Newsom's office, around 9,000 or the state's 11,000 school districts have agreed on reopening plans.
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