Santa Rosa City Schools and the Santa Rosa Teachers Association have reached a tentative agreement on a memorandum of understanding to resume in-person classes on April 1, district officials said Friday.
While the agreement must still be ratified by the union’s members, it would bring students in Santa Rosa back to classrooms for the first time in more than a year through a phased reopening.
The district includes some 15,500 students at 24 schools as well as 900 certified teachers, school counselors and other staff.
“I am thrilled that our students will soon be back at their school sites to connect with their teachers, friends and in-person learning,” Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent Dr. Diann Kitamura said in a statement.
K-6 students would return to class April 1, part of the first group under the tentative agreement, with a hybrid schedule of in-person classes two days per week and distance learning the other three days of the week.
Special needs students, English learners and other “special population” students in grades K-12 would also return to class April 1 with a hybrid schedule.
Students in grades 7-12 would return to class in a hybrid format April 26 under the agreement.
The agreement also guarantees access to two coronavirus vaccine doses for SRTA members prior to the reopening dates, according to the district.
The agreement allows for educators to return to their classrooms before students to prepare, including training to recognize students showing social emotional distress after being out of the classroom for so long.
The SRTA is expected to hold a ratification vote between March 10 and March 17.
“Santa Rosa City Schools has been planning for a safe return to our schools since last summer,” Kitamura said. “We have navigated through ever-changing health information and requirements. The SRCS and SRTA teams coming together to finish this work is something that is appreciated by the entire community.”
Information on the school reopening plan can be found at https://www.srcschools.org/school2021.