SACRAMENTO, Calif. - State officials have launched an online hub intended for school staff and parents to find guidance and resources on the state's planned resumption of in-person classes, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.
The website, schools.covid19.ca.gov, allows school staff and parents to report coronavirus-related health and safety concerns and access resources about the state's education-related public health directives and on-campus coronavirus testing.
"Learning is non-negotiable, and getting our kids and staff back into the classroom safely will help us continue turning the corner on this pandemic," Newsom said in a statement.
The website will accompany the state's $2 billion Safe Schools for All plan, which Newsom outlined in December and will focus on reopening schools in February for students in transitional kindergarten through second grade and progressing into higher grades later into the spring.
The funding will support testing of school staff and students, personal protective equipment, contact tracing and vaccinations. Newsom, in unveiling his proposed state budget last week, asked the state legislature to preemptively allocate the $2 billion before the end of the month to ensure the reopening plan proceeds smoothly.
Many schools across the state have resumed in-person classes in recent months in some form or for certain groups like special needs students.
The state allowed schools to resume in-person classes once their county had been out of the purple tier - the most restrictive in the county's four-tiered pandemic reopening plan - for at least two weeks.
Those schools were allowed to continue holding in-person classes even after the state issued its regional stay-at home order for roughly 80 percent of California's counties.
As of November, schools 41 counties were holding in-person classes to some extent, according to Newsom, while schools in the remaining 17 were mostly holding classes online.
"With proposed new funding and ongoing conversations with districts, school employees, stakeholders and the legislature, we remain committed to our Safe Schools for All Plan and helping all students - with a focus on those in disproportionately impacted communities - get the help they need to return to in-person instruction," Newsom said.