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Letter Re: Expanding In-Person Instruction in California’s Schools

The Association of California School Administrators is the largest umbrella organization for school leaders in the United States, serving more than 17,000 California educators.

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February 5, 2021 Governor Gavin Newsom 1303 10th Street, Suite 1173 Sacramento, CA 95814 Speaker Anthony Rendon State Capitol, Room 219 Sacramento, CA 95814 President pro Tempore Toni Atkins State Capitol, Room 205 Sacramento, CA 95814 Subject: Expanding In-Person Instruction in California's Schools Dear Governor Newsom, Speaker Rendon and President pro Tempore Atkins: On behalf of the undersigned statewide educational organizations, we write to lend support to your ongoing discussions on how to safely reopen schools for in-person instruction. We embrace the dialogue occurring statewide between school board members, administrators, school employees, parents, local communities and policymakers. With our students in mind, we share the common goal of safely reopening our schools. The circumstances of the past 11 months have not been good for our most vulnerable students. The opportunity gap widens by the day. Low-income communities and communities of color are among the hardest hit by this pandemic, yet their campuses remain shuttered. The mental health of students (and educators) continues to worsen. Reports of suspected child abuse have plummeted while students are in distance learning. If schools do not have a path to in-person instruction this spring, California will face an exponentially steeper road to reopening in the fall. As educational leaders, we are ready to focus our collective efforts on a strategy that safely reopens schools for in-person instruction. Safety is non-negotiable. To build the trust necessary to reopen schools, safety and in-person instruction must be one and the same. The careful implementation of mitigation strategies (e.g., facial

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