Bay Area elementary schools are scrambling to figure out if they can quality for a waiver that would allow them to reopen classrooms even if their county is on the state's coronavirus watch list, but at least one local county won't allow reopenings just yet.
Contra Costa County said it won't consider waivers until its cases are on the decline or stable for at least two weeks, stating, "we consider in-person education too risky at this time."
At Contra Costa Christian Schools, classrooms are set up to allow for social distancing and ventilation systems that bring in outdoor air are in place.
"We feel that we're ready and we're going to provide a safer environment than what our students are going to end up in," Head of School Chris Winters said.
Winters was thrilled on Monday when he learned elementary schools in counties on the state's watch list may be eligible for waivers to conduct in-person classes after all. But then the county made its announcement.
"Our families have trusted in our plan, they believe in our plan and they want to partner with us, and now we're being told, 'You're just going to have to wait,'" Winters said.
Sarah VanDenBosch has three elementary-aged children at the school. She wants them back in class.
"I trust our administration highly," she said. "If they are feeling safe about it, I feel safe about it."
Winters said with distance learning now back on the horizon, students are withdrawing, putting the future of many private schools at risk.
"Because schools don't work without the tuition dollars coming in," he said.
He hopes the county comes up with realistic measures soon so children can get back to the classroom.
"On September 1st when we reopen, we'd love for this classroom to be full of students," he said.