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Two Tuolumne County Schools Eyeing Reopening After Labor Day

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Sonora, CA – As all Tuolumne County Public schools are currently in a distance learning model, two are now announcing plans to bring students back to campus in a couple of weeks.

Soulsbyville Elementary School is planning to reopen its campus for in-person learning during the second week of September. Last night, the Soulsbyville Board of Trustees voted unanimously to open the school from TK/K through 3rd grade on Sept 8th and then 4th grade through 8th grade on Sept. 14th. The decision was made during a lengthy zoom meeting including, staff, teachers, and parents. Some questioned whether nearly two weeks was enough time to prepare.

Board Chair, Josh Milbourn replied, “There will be a little transition…with how classes are going to happen and the transitions for the teachers. This is enough, we feel this is enough time to kind of get the teachers squared away and get the families squared away and set up ready to come back.”

One teacher questioned what would happen if someone tested positive for COVID-19. Soulsbyville School District Superintendent, Jeff Winfield responded that there would be factors considered like the number of people they are in contact with, when deciding how many would quarantine. It is an issue that the public health department would direct.

Milbourn praised the participation from staff, teachers and parents, stating, “Everyone’s concern for one another even though there is a lot of emotions surrounding these decisions. We have amazing people who are going to make this work and do amazing things. I’m just so thankful.”

On Wednesday, the school sent out and email further detailing the reopening including school times, classroom setups and COVID-19 protocols. Click here to view the email.

Clarke Broadcasting also obtained an email sent to Sonora Elementary parents from Superintendent John Baker and Principal Chris Boyles on Tuesday (August 25th). It also announced a tentative Sept. 8th in-person reopening of the campus.

In the email, it stated, “Sonora Elementary in the August 20th Special Board Meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the Reopening to School Plan, which was approved by the Public Health Official, with a tentative date to reopen, in-person, on September 8th.  We will begin with our special education students and our TK/K students.  After that, we will gradually move to other grade levels.  More information to come.  Re-opening to students on campus will take much work and time in putting in the necessary safety protocols, plans, and schedules.  The administration and staff will collaborate on steps of opening the school while ensuring the safety of staff and children to be the number priority during the pandemic.”

Also, a special school board virtual meeting was announced on Wednesday afternoon for tomorrow (Thursday, August 27) to discuss the district’s protocols and guidelines for in-person assessment for the school. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. Here this information provided for parents to join the meeting:

Meeting ID: 821 5282 7459

Passcode: nwZ2Tk