CA Safe Schools for All answers parents frequently asked questions about upcoming school openings. Info originally posted on the website CA Department of Public Health site on July 15, 2021. En Español
California schools are getting a lot of state and federal money to support a safe return to schools. Over $25 billion is available to schools for social/emotional and mental health resources, additional teacher and counselor staffing, classroom ventilation upgrades, COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, and extra programs to make up for learning loss.
California is giving extra support to schools and communities in areas hardest hit by the pandemic that have been the slowest to reopen to full in-person instruction. We want to make sure they get all the support they need to be successful. You can see how much funding your child’s district or school received for the 2020-21 school year by looking at the interactive public school district and charter school maps.
COVID-19 spreads far less among younger children than among adults. And, research shows that many schools in California, the U.S., and other parts of the world stayed open safely throughout the pandemic with safety measures in place. Even if children do get the virus, the illness symptoms are much less severe and often children do not have any symptoms at all.
Children have mostly gotten COVID-19 from adults at home, even when they were going to school, so the best thing we can do for schools and students is for all adults and those 12 and older to get vaccinated. And the risk is even lower in schools when additional safety precautions are taken, like wearing masks, good airflow in classrooms, and washing hands.
There is no “one size fits all” testing plan for schools. Schools work with their local health department to decide when, how often, and how to test students and staff based on many considerations, including:
For more information, visit the California Department of Public Health’s website on programs to support testing in schools.
Ways to avoid COVID-19 transmission in schools include:
Yes, students and school staff are allowed to go outside during recess. Students and staff do not need to wear masks outside. People are much less likely to get COVID-19 when outdoors compared to indoors.
Parents can find more information at the Safe Schools for All Parent Page. This page is updated on a continuous basis with the most current information for parents about COVID-19 and school safety.
If your child has been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are exposed or test positive and cannot go to work, you may be eligible to receive certain benefits, including paid sick leave regardless of immigration status. To learn more, visit Work Leave and Pay Benefits Related to COVID-19.
Originally published on July 15, 2021