Keeping Up In The Classroom

UCSF Doctor Says ‘It's a Good Time' for SF, San Jose Schools to Reopen

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The Bay Area has seen a decrease of coronavirus cases across the region, which has helped in reopening businesses under new health guidelines.

When it comes to reopening schools, however, some parents say they don't want their kids back in school until there's a vaccine. Other parents would prefer sending their kids back to school as soon as possible.

Dr. Naomi Bardach, pediatrics professor at University of California, San Francisco believes schools could safely reopen with our current coronavirus rates.

"We can’t sacrifice the safety of teachers or families, but it’s so important for the kids and we have this opportunity with low prevalence to do that," she said about the long-term physical and mental affects of distance learning on kids.

In the Bay Area, most school districts are sticking to online learning during the pandemic but Bardach said that if indoor dining is opening then schools should, too.

The pediatrics professor points out the low virus transmission rate. Fewer than 2% of coronavirus tests are coming positive in San Francisco, Alameda, and Santa Clara counties.

“We also know a lot more about how to control risk, how to mitigate risk, how to make it so there’s not transmission between people particularly in schools," she said. "We know so much more now than we did in March."

Mike Flynn, parent, former teacher and owner of a tutoring company says going back to school with proper protocols would help boost kids' mental health.

"Giving them some sense of normalcy, even if it’s modified amounts of school day, but just some of that social interaction would go a long ways to helping them," he said.

However, the president of the California Teacher's Association said that there's still a way to go before reopening.

"This virus will not be rushed, and our schools must have adequate resources to put a number of safety provisions in place before districts can even think about reopening safely," he said.

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