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Santa Barbara Co. schools can apply for waivers to allow for in-person instruction

Posted at 6:31 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 02:35:52-04

Santa Barbara County schools are now able to apply for waivers that would allow for in-person instruction.

This comes as the county has been on the state-watch list for months.

But some parents say they are not comfortable with sending their children back.

"I would much rather stick to what we have, to the plan that we have where everybody is safe rather than risk something and then have to go back," said parent Luly Schlingm.

With some schools potentially re-opening once again, many parents are sharing concerns about sending their children back into the classroom.

The county’s public health officer says the application process is something they will not take lightly.

Schools that are considering applying will be reviewed by both the County and State Public Health Departments.

"A school will only get approval for a waiver if they have a really good plan in place, not just ideas," said Santa Barbara County Public Health Officer Dr. Henning Ansorg.

Some of the guidelines for reopening include:

  • Face coverings
  • Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting plan
  • Social distancing rules
  • Cohort classrooms of 20 or less

Teachers will also have to get tested every two months.

"All these little things that play a big role in avoiding that the kids spread the virus between each other or to staff, teachers, and parents," Dr. Ansorg said.

Still, some parents say they are on the fence about sending their kids back.

"Maybe if it's going to be smaller classes and they guarantee that it is, I would maybe consider it," said Azucena Aguirre.

After schools send in their applications, they’ll have to wait at least two weeks before they can get approved.

According to local school superintendents, districts like Santa Maria-Bonita won't be applying but the Lompoc School District is looking into it.