NSD to discuss preschool reopening; COVID-19 guidance update

Photo courtesy of the Newhall School District.

The Newhall School District board of trustees is scheduled to discuss reopening the preschool programs offered on three school sites in the district and provide an update on COVID-19 guidance, during the Tuesday board meeting.

The board is set to discuss reopening plans of the Early Learning and Childcare Programs, which would allow small cohorts of students to return to campus.

“While Newhall District State Preschools are reopening, it will be opening under a ‘new normal.’ These new precautions must be implemented to help reduce the spread and risk of contracting COVID-19,” according to the reopening document posted on the district’s board agenda webpage. “While these modifications are necessary and prudent for a safer environment for the children and staff, they are also mandated by the Department of Social Services and local authorities.”

The new changes made in order to comply with state health and safety orders include reduced class sizes of 12 children, modified drop-off and pick-up hours, daily health screening for children and staff, physical distancing strategies, increased sanitizing and cleaning procedures and a face-covering requirement.

The half-day California State Preschool Programs offered at McGrath, Newhall and Peachland elementary schools were forced to close in March due to the state public health order brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The district superintendent is also scheduled to give the board an update on the latest state and county guidance from public health departments regarding reopening schools.

The district had submitted a waiver in late October that would allow TK-2 grade students to return to campus once approved by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The approval process can take up to three weeks, according to public health officials, and does not guarantee automatic approval.

As of Sunday, the district has not been approved to reopen any of its 10 campuses.

The board meeting is scheduled to be held virtually on Tuesday at 7 p.m. via Zoom and can be viewed at  https://zoom.us/j/92571820599 with the meeting ID 925 7182 0599.

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