TUHSD prepares to reopen amid skepticism from the student body

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Jack Long

The High School 1327 campus lies silent as the school awaits reopening.

The Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) planned to reopen for in-person hybrid learning on Jan. 6, 2020; however, rising COVID-19 cases pushed Marin County into the purple Blueprint for a Safer Economy (BSE) threat level, postponing this date. Following this delay, a subsequent approximate start date was predicted for the week of the Jan. 19. 

When this date was not met, skepticism flared among some members of the student body about the possibility of a reopening. However, the administration remains confident in a reopening during the 2021 spring semester.

For in-person learning to occur, the school district and county must meet certain state mandates. According to the school reopening guidelines, in order for a high school district to reopen in California, the county they reside in must be in the red, orange, or yellow risk level. If a school has not previously reopened and the county they reside in has been in the purple level, the county must remain in the red level for five consecutive days before reopening can occur. 

Additionally, the district must have a testing program in place. Every school must have an approved school site safety plan, and protective equipment (PPE) must be stocked to supply staff and students who require it.  

TUHSD Superintendent Tara Taupier stated the following regarding the district’s preparedness:  “All of our sites have approved safety plans in place with the county . . . We have a testing program that’s been up and running since December and we have PPE delivered and ready to be distributed when teachers and students return.”

According to Taupier, the district is entirely prepared for a reopening. The only factor preventing an in-person reopening is Marin County’s BSE threat level. Until Marin County is at the red-level for five consecutive days, TUHSD cannot reopen.

Although there are not many obstacles remaining to reopening, some, like High School 1327 sophomore Joab Salinas, remain skeptical about a return occurring in the immediate future.

“. . . the pandemic isn’t going down in the slightest. It actually seems to be going worse,” Salinas said. 

While some remain skeptical, the TUHSD administration is confident about a swift reopening.

“I understand the frustration . . . We’re absolutely ready and we will return to the red . . . Once we hit the red and remain there for two weeks, we will open. I’m 100 percent confident that we will do that this semester,” said Taupier.

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