Purple Tier Status Slows Reopening for In-Person Learning

Pictured above: the Sequoia Union High School District office.

On November 28th San Mateo County entered the “purple tier,” the most restrictive tier in Governor Newsom’s 4 tiered plan for reopening. The change temporarily pauses the District’s reopening plans. Currently no schools in the purple tier are permitted to reopen for in person instruction unless they have an elementary waiver for students 6th grade and under or are already open. Once San Mateo County is out of the purple zone for 14 days schools can once again pursue reopening for in-person instruction. 

Sequoia Union High School District Superintendent Crystal Leach explained, “Although San Mateo County has moved back into the Purple Tier, the SUHSD is still moving forward with its desire to continue gradually increasing the number of students on campus through the Spring 2021 semester.” 

Currently there are several academic support cohorts of up to 14 students as well as cohorts for athletic teams that practice on campus.

M-A Principal Simone Rick-Kennel explained that going into the purple tier would not affect any in-person cohorts occurring right now. “Schools that are providing on-campus support to small groups of students may also continue to provide services and support despite the purple tier status,” she said.

Kennel elaborated, “even if San Mateo County issues a stay at home order, the current in-person options we have can remain unless there is updated guidance.”

Leach went on to say that the district “submitted its reopening plan to the San Mateo County Office of Education. Upon its approval and as health conditions allow, we will resume our goal to continue to increase the number of students on campus for instructional support, clubs, and activities.”

Kennel reiterated that the District’s priority is to continue to bring students back to campus in cohorts saying, “Our goal is to continue to add co-curricular opportunities in the new year as we determine how to gradually implement any in person learning model.”

The District reopening plan can be found here.

A press release from the San Mateo County Office of Education regarding the status of schools in the purple tier can be found here.

Isabelle Stid

Isabelle Stid is a Senior and in her third year of writing stories for the M-A Chronicle. She is an Editor in Chief and enjoys writing stories pertinent to the M-A community.

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