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California Department of Education
News Release
California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #20-35
May 21, 2020
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Holds Virtual Statewide Discussion on the Safe Reopening of Schools

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond held a virtual forum today with school representatives from across the state to seek input and hear first-hand experiences, concerns, and questions as the California Department of Education (CDE) develops guidance for the safe reopening of schools.

The State Superintendent convened a statewide task force of educational stakeholders last month and has been actively collaborating with local, state, and national leaders on developing school reopening guidance.

Video from today’s virtual forum is on the CDE Facebook web page External link opens in new window or tab..

“We are proud to have had the chance to host a forum for dialogue on this large of a scale for our schools and districts,” said Thurmond. “I want to commend all of our educators for their resilience and innovation during this challenging time. As we start to think about what the next school year will look like, we have to make sure our conversations are driven by public health and by feedback from the educational practitioners in our communities.”

Joining the State Superintendent for today’s forum discussion were:

  • Ben Chida, Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Dr. Gil Chavez, Deputy Director, California Department of Public Health
  • Erika Jones, Teacher, Los Angeles Unified School District, and Board Member, California Teachers Association
  • Cindy Marten, Superintendent, San Diego Unified School District
  • Lorena Rubio, Principal, Orange County Unified School District
  • Ben Valdepeña, Custodian, Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District, and President, California School Employees Association

The forum was moderated by Chief Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Stephanie Gregson and provided the opportunity for a frank and transparent discussion with education partners about safety and instructional considerations needed for determining how to reopen schools. The forum was also a chance to hear directly from those already developing plans to reopen schools in their respective districts.

The State Superintendent and task force members will take today’s input and feedback gathered through ongoing dialogues with stakeholders to finalize a comprehensive guidance document in the coming days and weeks.

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Tony Thurmond — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, June 16, 2023
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