The largest of the 19 school districts that serve San Jose residents announced Friday that its classrooms will reopen for some groups of students starting April 21.
Nancy Albarrán, superintendent of the San Jose Unified School District, declared in a letter released yesterday, "We made a commitment to our community that we would offer in-person learning when the county was in the orange tier or when our teachers had the opportunity to complete the vaccine process."
Beginning Sunday, Feb. 28, Santa Clara County will allow education workers to get vaccinated, including teachers. Albarrán said SJUSD teachers and other employees will begin to receive their vaccines early next week.
SJUSD had already begun phasing in students for in-person support and extracurricular activities on Wednesday. Only students whose parents choose to return to in-person classes will be invited back to the classrooms on April 21.
Last fall, parents had to choose through the district website whether they would allow their children to return to in-person classes when this was an option.
Families who chose to continue with distance learning and now changed their minds can still update their preferences online.
SJUSD is now the largest school district in the Bay Area to set an exact date on when in-person education can resume. Others, like the Oakland or San Francisco Unified School Districts, are still in negotiations with teachers unions and have yet to announce a precise date.
So far, five San Jose school districts have either reopened or have set dates to reopen soon.
"Throughout this pandemic, public health authorities have urged us to follow the science," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said at a news conference last Thursday.
"Yet when it comes to safely opening our schools, it's politics — not science — that has closed our schools and abandoned our poorest kids, all while opening bars, card clubs and marijuana dispensaries," he added.
Other San Jose school districts are expected to announce reopening plans this month, depending on the progress of negotiations with teachers unions and vaccine availability for educators.
—Carlos Cabrera-Lomelí and Bay City News