Ripon Unified Seeks Waiver to Instruct K-6 Students in Person

September 5, 2020 at 7:05 pm

The Ripon Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously in a special meeting Friday to submit an application to begin limited in-person learning for K-6 students. The district will be using the same safety protocols it outlined back in July, should the request be approved. As required by the county health department, the Ripon Unified District Teachers’ Association has also signed off on the application.

Ripon Unified School District logo

Ripon Unified School District is one of the first districts in San Joaquin County to request a waiver to return to in-person classes for K-6 students.

Image courtesy of Ripon Unified School District

However, case rates in San Joaquin will have to drop before the waiver is approved. The county’s two-week case rate is recommended to be at least or below 200 per 100,000 residents for in-person instruction to resume. San Joaquin is currently at 338 cases per 100,000 per the LA Times, with 171 confirmed cases in Ripon.

Ripon Unified’s safety protocols include standard measures such as mandatory masks, temperature checks, and hand sanitizing. The district has purchased one cloth mask for every student and staff member, and half the staff will be tested every month. Students 3rd grade and above, as well as teachers, will be required to wear masks. Should bus services restart, students will be asked to sit next to members of their household and windows will be opened for air circulation.

Efforts are also being made to resume classes for at-risk students to Harvest High School. Class sizes would be limited to 14 students.

Students past sixth grade will have to wait until San Joaquin County moves up in the state’s tiered ranking system. The county is currently purple, as is most of the state. San Joaquin must have seven or fewer daily new cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of less than 8% for two weeks before it can move to the next rank, red. It must be in that tier for another two weeks before local health officials can allow schools to reopen. On Friday, there were 107 new cases countywide for a rate per 100,000 of approximately 14.