California Educator

August/September 2020

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 58 of 81

Should schools reopen or not? It's the biggest hot-button education issue today as the pandemic rages on. e reopening of schools has been called the " linchpin" of restarting the economy, because parents can't work if their children are not in school. School employees worry about their own health and keeping their families safe. Meanwhile, COVID- 19 cases are soaring. All California schools closed in mid-March and finished out the year with dis- tance learning only. Except for one: Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, a Title I school located in Marin City, an unincorporated community of Sausalito where many of the students are poor and live in public housing. (Disclaimer : e Educator is not advocating that all schools reopen by telling this story. ere is no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching in a pandemic.) I K E A L L S C H O O L S , B a y s i d e c l o s e d a f t e r a s t a t e w i d e s h e l t e r - i n - p l a c e o r d e r w a s i s s u e d b y G o v. G a v i n N e w s o m . T h e K- 8 school, which last year had 16 teach- ers and approximately 120 students, transition ed to onlin e learning. But s o m e o f t h e s t u d e n t s w e re h av i n g dif ficulty engaging, especially those w h o l a c k e d t h e p a r e n t a l s u p p o r t t h a t h e l p s f o st e r su c c e s s i n l e a r n - in g onlin e. In a pilot project approved by the Marin C o unty Health D e p ar tm ent , the principal asked if any Sausalito District Teachers Association (SDTA) m emb ers w oul d li ke to retur n v o l - unt ari ly. Thre e sai d ye s. Parent s of struggling students were asked if they would like their children to return, and 27 students signed up. "I wanted to come back," says SDTA member Brandon Culley, who taught a fourth and fifth grade combination class. "I really missed the students and wanted to get back to the classroom." Culley is 46, in excellent health, and doesn't have children, which factored into his decision. "But I totally under- stand and suppor t th e deci sions of my colleagues not to go back. Many o f t h e m a re i n a h i g h e r - r i s k categor y and have children or A Test Case How a Sausalito school safely reopened during the pandemic By Sherry Posnick-Goodwin A volunteer works with Bayside students over the summer. Photo by Julia McEvoy in an original KQED story and reused with permission. L 57 A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 T

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - August/September 2020