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CA Might Reopen K-12 Schools As Early As July To Curb ‘Learning Loss’

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California public school students: Your summer break might be a lot shorter this year.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is “considering” asking the state’s K-12 schools to begin the 2020-21 school year much earlier than normal — perhaps as soon as late July.

State officials haven’t made any definitive decisions to alter the school calendar yet, Newsom said during his daily press update today. The decision would be driven by public health considerations including hospitalization trends and the availability of coronavirus testing, contact tracing and personal protective gear.

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The governor cited concerns about “learning loss” during the pandemic.

Despite efforts to set up distance learning programs and distribute laptops, many educators are worried that the longer students are stuck at home, the further they’ll fall behind. Academic research is beginning to validate these concerns.

Newsom is floating the idea of an early start so schools can get ready:

“We need to start preparing for the physical changes in the schools and the environmental changes in the schools that are necessary."

The governor has previously suggested that even when school campuses reopen, social distancing measures may need to continue. That might mean schools will have to stagger students’ schedules and limit their interaction at meals, recess, assemblies and gym classes.