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Together, we can slow the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19

Bay Area PLAN believes that collective responsibility is how we slow the spread of COVID-19. This is a moment when collective solidarity will foster the greatest impact for all our health.

On the evening of March 12, Bay Area PLAN released a statement on our FaceBook page to our network urging the closure of all public schools. We called on local Bay Area School District Superintendents to look at the facts that public testing remained extremely inadequate to ensure the safety of the public from community spread. We applaud school districts that have taken steps to protect the safety of our community by closing schools for several weeks to support slowing the spread of coronavirus and the COVID-19. We recognize this decision is not easy for any school district to make and we appreciate every educator, student, parent, and families for joining the effort to slow the community spread during this pandemic.

We want to take this time to thank government, health care, food industry, transportation, public safety and other workers who will continue to do the hard work during this pandemic to ensure we stay as healthy as possible. Honoring their hard work requires that we all do our part in our local communities to adhere to the state of emergency we are in. Based on the urgency of this moment, we are urging everyone that during school closures, we support children, students, parents, families, educators and the general public to practice social solidarity by staying home as much as possible.

We are an organization committed to transparency and leadership development. We share with you all a resource list we are generating and continuously updating. We will continue to monitor federal, state and local efforts and share resources through this list as well as link to other resource lists. We ask for your support to continue to update our list by sharing any resources or resource lists by email to info@bayareaplan.org. We are working hard to find resources in multiple languages for our students, families and communities whose first language is other than english. We are also looking for easy to share communications materials for education through text messages and social media.

There is no doubt that in this moment, many challenges arise with practicing transformative family engagement. We continue to work with organizations across the state to brainstorm ways to address several dynamics around family engagement in California public schools. The pandemic and school closures come at a critical time for statewide standardize testing, school site plan development and district-wide engagement in Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs) and budget development. We recognize deadlines are approaching and we urge all districts to continue to work in partnership with their local student leaders, parent leaders, labor and community partners on how to support maximum community engagement in local decisions, especially around reopening schools, standardize testing, school plans and LCAPs.

Over the coming weeks, as districts adjust to the public health crisis, we urge districts to be as transparent as possible on how they are continuously improving the efforts to engage parents, educators and communities through this crisis and remainder of this school year. We will all need to work together when schools resume to continue to protect the health of students, advance student success and engage in dialogue to create the best possible plans for our FY 2020-2021 school year.

We look forward to working with students, parents, educators, community and government to advance shared responsibility and demonstrate the highest social solidarity to get through this pandemic.

In Unity,

Bay Area PLAN Board, Staff and Parent Leaders

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