California Schools Supe Thurmond to release guide for reopening schools on Monday

Announcement, from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., will be livestreamed, at

California Department of Education press release, June 5, 2020

Dear Education Leaders and Stakeholders:

Release of Guidance Document and Upcoming Webinar

I am proud to announce that on Monday, June 8, the California Department of Education (CDE) will release our guidance document, “Stronger Together: A Guidebook for the Safe Reopening of California’s Public Schools.” We look forward to offering this guidance as a “how to” as you work with your local public health experts and school communities to navigate next steps and implement the recommendations we have provided.

We want to ensure you have the support you need as you review this guidance next week. You are invited to a special webinar to coincide with the release. In this webinar, CDE team members will walk through our document’s key tools and recommendations as well as answer your questions. Here is how to participate:

What: Webinar for local educational agency (LEA) leaders

When: 10 to 11 a.m., Monday, June 8

Register: This is an invitation-only webinar, and space is limited. A Zoom registration link will be provided later today.

We want to provide you with a partial view of what you can expect to find in the guidance document. The guidance will include some items we discussed at the all-LEA meeting we hosted on May 21, 2020, and that we have been discussing publicly and at stakeholder meetings over the course of the last few weeks. For example, the guidance document will include the following recommendations:

Face coverings: Students and staff should wear face coverings during all educational activities (at school or on a bus).
Physical distancing: Students and staff should engage in physical distancing (at least six feet of spacing between seats and in hallways and on buses) at all times.

Symptom screening: School districts should identify staff who can take temperatures for students and staff before they enter the campus.

CDE has heard from many LEAs that they may plan to provide some form of in-person instruction and distance learning. Our document will also provide in-depth considerations for designing high-quality and equitable instructional practices for all learners while arranging students and staff in the many new ways that will be needed in order to facilitate physical distancing guidelines.

We recognize that there are fiscal implications for schools to reopen safely with these physical distancing guidelines in place. LEAs will need steady revenue (for staffing and personal protective equipment)on which to rely and flexibility on instructional minutes. We are advocating for and have engaged in dialogue with the Governor’s Office, the Department of Finance, the Legislature, and educational stakeholders regarding the resources necessary to reopen safely with physical distancing measures in place.

Thank you for all you are doing to support the health, safety, and academic success of our students. I look forward to the next steps of our work together to implement this guidance safely.


Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction