ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - Several school districts in Orange County are welcoming students back to campuses this week.
OC schools were granted state approval after the county spent 14 days without exceeding 7 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. The Southern California county moved into the less-restrictive red tier in the state's color-coded system on Sept. 8.
While all OC school districts can reopen for in-person instruction, some are deciding to push their start dates back.
"We wouldn’t be doing this unless it was being guided by the state department of public health. The fact that the county is prepared to enter into the red tier and under that tier the state allows schools to reopen is important otherwise we would stay closed until then," said Ryan Burris, Chief Communications Officer of the Capistrano Unified School District.
Capistrano Unified School District officials plan to introduce a hybrid model bringing elementary students back to campuses on Sept. 29th.
"Students and parents are still yearning for more engagement, face to face learning, and small group cohorts and things like that to be done in person," said Burris.
A group of parents and teachers gathered in Costa Mesa Sunday and protested in a car caravan calling on Newport-Mesa Unified School district officials to delay next week’s reopening date over safety concerns.
Los Alamitos Unified School district officials will reopen its two middle schools.
Students at McAuliffe Middle and Oak middle schools have the option to return with a hybrid a.m./p.m learning model spending part of the day in the classroom with an instructor.
Other districts returning in a phased approach this week include the Cypress School District, Irvine Unified, Tustin Unified, Orange Unified and Fountain Valley Unified, according to the Orange County Board of education.
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.