With the fall school year quickly approaching, and Delta Variant cases on the rise, many parents and families are wondering what the school year will hold for them.
Just weeks before schools are slated to go back to in-person learning, the Bay Area is cracking down on masking in indoor spaces. Wearing masks is now required in public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status in seven Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara.
School districts across the South Bay are all opening slightly differently, with dates ranging from August 11 to August 18. See below for back to school information and instruction plans for several local districts. For a full list of bay area school districts, see here.
• Campbell Union High School District First day of school: Aug 11
• Cupertino Union School District First day of school: Aug. 16
• East Side Union High School District First day of school: Aug 10
• Fremont Unified School District First day of school: Aug 18
• Los Altos School District First day of school: Aug. 18
• Los Gatos Union Elementary School District First day of school: Aug 12
• Mountain View/ Los Altos High School District First day of school: Aug 11
• Mountain View Whisman Unified School District First day of school: Aug. 11
• Palo Alto Unified School District First day of school: Aug. 11 (6-12 grade) Aug. 12 (K-5)
• San Jose Unified School District First day of school: Aug. 18
• Santa Clara Unified School District First day of school: Aug. 12
• Sunnyvale Unified School District First day of school: Aug. 18
Last week, Bay Area school superintendents announced their unified support for full, in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year. California Assembly Bill 130, signed into law on July 9, 2021, requires districts to provide an independent study option for TK-12 grade students whose health would be put at risk by in-person instruction, as determined by the parent or guardian.
A statement on the Santa Clara Unified School website states: “We are committed to a full opening in August for the 2021-2022 school year. We will implement all California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requirements for schools. Families who wish to keep their children in full distance learning, may enroll in our Independent Study Program.”
According to the CDC, schools have not been a major cause of Covid spreading events during the pandemic. This is due to the inclusion of a number of prevention measures such as masking indoors, keeping students at least three feet apart in classrooms, keeping students in separate pods, and encouraging hand washing.
In deciding how to proceed for the 2021-2022 school year, officials reviewed how virtual learning impacted students last year.
In the San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD), which is the largest public school district in the city, five high schools were at or below the district’s average graduation rate for the 2019-2020 school year according to the California Department of Education.
According to the same source, the East Side Union High School District reported that 10 schools were at or below the district’s average graduation rate last year as well.
As a whole, Santa Clara County had 2,946 of the 21,398 students in a county high school cohort dropout during the 2019-2020 school year. This is the highest drop-out rate observed in Silicon Valley since 2012 according to the index.
Cupertino Unified School District has announced its first day of school as August 16th, though some dates are still subject to change . The city will be offering an in-person schedule that includes five days of live instruction at all schools. They are also offering families the opportunity to enroll their children in an independent study program called Home Study.