Supports Phased Returns to the Classroom

Dear editor,

No one wants to be back in the classroom more than educators. Nothing would make me happier than to welcome every one of my students back to my classrooms in a way that keeps us all safe.

But as California struggles to deal with constant and unpredictable changes to control the pandemic,

a phased-in approach that responds to local conditions and transmission rates is the only responsible return to in-person instruction.

To reopen schools the state must ensure all in person employees have been provided the opportunity to be vaccinated before students return to campus and should prioritize educators in schools already open, as well communities with high transmission rates.

We must take a comprehensive and data-driven approach to reopening schools that includes stopping community spread. After all, no matter how safe of a bubble we put around our schools, the students and staff inside go home at the end of the day. If mitigation efforts are inadequate in the community, we are all put at risk.

Bringing students back to campuses will require multi-layered mitigation strategies to not only keep our bodies healthy but our minds and spirit, as well. For the last year we have all been in survival mode, knee deep in trauma, unable to show fear. And it's taken a toll.

Only educators know the time and energy it takes to get schools. classroom and lessons, virtual or in person, ready for learning. We have worked tirelessly to provide nurturing and rich remote learning experiences. We all want nothing more than to go back to "normal". But to force us back into the classroom two months before summer after many of us have worked harder than we ever have before, I fear would lead to additional trauma for all involved.

Let's keep the health of our community a priority.


Vanessa Gomez

Los Angeles County


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