California Governor Newsom Suggests Early Start to Next School Year
On April 28, 2020 California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California schools could welcome back students this summer and retail and manufacturing businesses could reopen in the coming weeks.
With health care capacity and hospitalizations stabilizing, Newsom said the state is “weeks, not months” away from making “meaningful modifications” to a statewide order that has relegated Californians to their homes for nearly six weeks.
In a controversial statement, Newsom said schools could start the next academic year early, possibly in late July or early August, though he did not specify how much instruction could occur on campuses.
What are the Reasons to Start the Next School Year in July?
Governor Newsom believes that opening schools and starting the next school year early will accomplish a few things.
First, Governor Newsom believes that returning to school early will help students fill learning gaps caused by the current school closures and online learning. Second, he suggests that an early start will help parents get back to full-time work.
Despite his reasoning, there has been significant backlash to the suggestion of an early start to the school year. Kids need a break. Kids need their summer (whatever it looks like). Kids have been deprived of so much normalcy that an early start to the school could have emotional ramifications. Families want to experience some level of normalcy before school begins again. These are some of the arguments against the early school year start.
So, What’s Next?
California Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond told lawmakers that’s likely to involve a blended learning model in which students rotate shifts of online learning and in-person learning on certain days of the week to limit contact. Some school districts have also discussed continuing instruction beyond the normal end of the school year or opening the next school year earlier to make up for lost learning time, Darling-Hammond told lawmakers. She pointed to Singapore’s school year schedule, where 11 weeks of teaching are followed by two weeks of recess over four quarters of the year in order to limit learning loss that students experience over summer break.
Darling-Hammond echoed Governor Newsom’s cautionary note that the state could ratchet up restrictions again if the virus resurges, saying the state is preparing for schools to close down again, potentially in the fall or winter, if another wave hits.
We Would Like to Hear Your Thoughts on this Controversial Topic
What are your thoughts about California school’s reopening? We are turning on the comments section for this post to hear what you have to say. If you want send us your thoughts offline you can email us at [email protected] – we would really like to hear from you.
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