Statement from Alameda County Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe on a Timeline for Reopening Secondary Schools

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Contact: Michelle Smith McDonald, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, [email protected], (510) 670-4163
October 28, 2020 Today’s health order update by the Alameda County Public Health Department outlining the timeline for the reopening of secondary (middle and high) schools is another important step forward.Our school leaders and I approach this announcement as we have with others – with a sense of cautious optimism, knowing the significant challenges that lie ahead and the obstacles still to come in bringing our students and staff, particularly in our public districts, back into classrooms.

We are grateful that local health conditions are improving enough to allow this forward progress for schools, but are aware that national conditions have worsened, and we must remain vigilant in our communities to prevent increased community spread, particularly as the holiday season approaches. In addition, working closely with Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD), we must remain responsive to what the data indicates about conditions in our communities and be prepared to shift and reconsider if conditions change.dividerThe health and wellness of our students, staff and families remains our unwavering focus as we support districts in their preparation and implementation of reopening plans.dividerThe health and wellness of our students, staff and families remains our unwavering focus as we support districts in their preparation and implementation of reopening plans.

We continue to work in partnership with ACPHD on public health issues related to schools and to communicate with stakeholder groups across the county. I want to acknowledge Alameda County Board of Education President Aisha Knowles for her leadership and collaboration in connecting Alameda County school board members with the information they need as they make difficult decisions for their districts at this time. Navigating this difficult time requires strong partnerships across our education community as we seek to provide guidance, support, and encouragement at every step along the way.

Superintendents and school leaders are doing incredible work, balancing many critical considerations as they work to determine the right path forward. Each of our schools and districts is responsible for developing and implementing their own reopening plan as they seek to return to in-class instruction. Plans must adhere to state guidance for schools and school-based programs, as well as guidance and direction from ACPHD. These comprehensive reopening plans must be publicly available to students, staff and community. Plans are submitted to ACOE in advance of opening, reviewed for completeness and forwarded to ACPHD. Submitted plans with reopening dates are posted to

We continue to assist our schools and districts in accessing and applying state and local guidelines, ensuring our educational leaders, educators, and communities have the most current information available with our COVID-19 School Guidance for Reopening and other resources for school reopening, which can be found at ACOE
The Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE), under the leadership of County Superintendent of Schools L. Karen Monroe, serves as liaison between the California Department of Education and the 18 Alameda County public school districts that serve more than 200,000 students and 10,000 teachers. ACOE provides oversight of district budgets and Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). ACOE also directly operates schools that serve Alameda County’s most vulnerable students: Court Schools at the Juvenile Justice Center, ACOE Opportunity Academy schools serving students 16 and older seeking a high school diploma, and Community Schools that serve foster youth, students in substance abuse treatment, pregnant and parenting teens, Probation-referred youth, and students expelled from their resident school districts. ACOE also runs the Infant & Family Support Program, which provides individualized service for children from birth to three years and their families. For more information, visit
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