CDPH Releases School Safety Review Process

Author: 
By Sara C. Bachez and Elizabeth Esquivel, Governmental Relations
Date: 
Thursday, February 11, 2021

On February 10, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a Safety Review Process for any individual schools or school district that meet the following situations:

  1. LEAs that were currently open and providing in-person instruction as of January14, 2021, where it has been determined that, after making good-faith efforts pursuant to the K-12 Schools Guidance to meet the minimum student-to-student physical distancing guidelines in the Guidance, that meeting that minimum would require students being served through in-person instruction on January 14, 2021 to be served solely through distance learning.

Process for Situation 1: LEAs may continue to provide in-person instruction using the same student-to-student distancing between chairs as was in place with Local Health Department approval as of January 14, 2021 and submit the Letter of Intent to the State Team no later than February 17, 2021.

  1. LEAs that were in the process of bringing additional students for in-person instruction as part of the July 17, 2020 CDPH Schools Guidance, but never offered all students in at least one grade the option to return for in-person instruction for at least part of the school week while the county was in the Red Tier or lower, and therefore do not meet the revised definition of “open” established in the January 14, 2021 CDPH School Guidance.

Process for Situation 2: LEAs submitting a Review Request for situation #2 must continue to comply with the January 14, 2021 CDPH Schools Guidance pending a determination on the Review Request from the State Team.

The submitter will have ten business days from the date the Safety Review Request form is emailed to submit the full Safety Review Request, including all necessary signatures, to K12SafetyReview@cdph.ca.gov.

The Safe Schools for All Team will have seven business days from the date the Safety Review Request is submitted to approve, deny, or request additional information.

The department is expected to release a comprehensive School Guidance FAQ on the Safe Schools for All Hub, to clarify specific topic areas of the school guidance.

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