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Santa Rosa City Schools’ teachers: progress needed before return to campus

in People

As Santa Rosa City Schools officials push forward on plans to ready facilities and staff for a potential return to the classroom March 1, the vast majority of district teachers who took part in an internal poll have signaled they will not return under conditions as they stand currently.

District and union officials met Thursday to begin negotiating an update to an agreement inked last summer that set standards for how, and under what conditions, teachers, nurses, counselors and others will return to in-person instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic. While district officials have said they’ll be ready to reopen classrooms March 1, many of those standards have not yet been met, according to labor leaders.

The outcome of the negotiations — and the success or failure of efforts to reduce the rate of COVID infections in Sonoma County — are crucial pieces to returning the district’s nearly 15,700 students and 1,600 staff to campus.
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Santa Rosa school board trustee asks families managing distance learning to keep students home

in News/Schools
John Burgess / The Press Democrat
John Burgess / The Press Democrat

It’s a bold ask. Santa Rosa City Schools trustee Jenni Klose does not particularly want to make it and yet she has, publicly, in successive school board meetings.

Her request? The most veteran board member of Sonoma County’s largest school district is asking parents to keep their kids home, if they are able, when schools reopen classrooms for in-person learning. At least for now.

“What I’m asking is not easy,” Klose said. “Right now we are all asked to make some sacrifices for our own family’s health and the community’s health and well-being.”

No schools in Sonoma County are permitted to open for in-person learning while the county remains on the state’s COVID-19 watchlist. But even as districts are preparing to open the year with 100% distance learning, many of the county’s 40 individual school districts are also readying hybrid plans — typically two days on, three days off — that they will move to when given the OK by public health officials.

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Santa Rosa High choir alumni reunite with former director for virtual performance amid pandemic

in Schools
Picture Source: Ryan Brady/YouTube
Picture Source: Ryan Brady/YouTube

Cassady Glass Hastings didn’t expect her Instagram post about a Santa Rosa High choir reunion to reach hundreds of alumni or spur a virtual performance.

Glass Hastings, who graduated in 1999, initially thought the post would lead to a “little virtual choir reunion” during the pandemic, she said. Instead nearly 300 alumni responded, and 183 of them recorded a rendition of “The Lord Bless You And Keep You” from their homes.

The performance was posted to YouTube, where it has been watched more than 9,000 times.

“The main goal is to gather, catch-up and make music,” Glass Hastings wrote in an email. “If we end up with a beautiful recording, that’s a bonus.”

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