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Schools may remain open as County moves to most restrictive tier

Kern County Superintendent of Schools

The Kern County Superintendent of Schools has been getting numerous questions from the media and the public relative to what moving back to the Purple Tier means for schools. Below are the two most pressing questions and their answers.

Will schools have to close again if the county moves back into the Purple Tier?

No. School sites thaat reopen for in-person instruction while Kern County is in the Red Tier would not have to close should Kern County revert back to the Purple Tier. However, a school site that has yet to reopen for in-person instruction at the time the county reverts back into the Purple Tier would be required to wait until the county goes back into the Red Tier for two weeks to reopen.

If a school was in the process of implementing a phased re-opening plan (e.g., grades TK through 2 are open for in-person instruction with set plans to phase in grades 3 through 6) while the county was in the Red Tier, the school site may continue their phased re-opening if the county reverts back to the Purple Tier.

NOTE: This is only applicable to individual school sites only. If a school district has a phased reopening of its schools, the schools in that school district that did not open for in person instruction may not reopen until the county is back in the Red Tier for two weeks.

Under what circumstances would a classroom, school or school district be required to close?

While schools that have reopened for in-person learning under the Red Tier will NOT be required to close if the county moves back into the purple tier, schools must close a classroom, school or an entire school district based on the following criteria: A classroom must be closed when there is one positive case in a classroom; A school must close if there are multiple classes or 5% of the student/staff have confirmed cases; An entire school district must be closed when 25% of the schools within the district has closed due to COVID-19. For more info: kern.org/2020/09/09/state-rolls-out-new-guidance-for-reopening-schools/ .