Mar 18, 2021 · 3 min read

COVID-19 Response Roles Provide Dedicated Health and Safety Guidance and Support to Local School Districts

June 22, 2020 | Additional support helps local schools navigate COVID-19 health and safety measures and decision-making | Photograph by FamVeld via iStock Photo
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Three San Mateo County schools districts have established new COVID-19 response positions to manage district COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, decision-making, and communication. The districts— Redwood City School District, Ravenswood City School District, and La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District, received grants from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to fund the 12-month positions.

These positions are responsible for developing and implementing COVID-19 response strategies that prioritize the health, safety, and wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff. 

“School districts, teachers, and staff are stretched thin as they work to provide the best education for their students while also ensuring the health and safety of their school communities,” said Andrea Jones, Director of Community Affairs for CZI. “CZI is committed to helping our local school districts during this challenging time, and through these grants, is adding capacity so districts have the dedicated support they need to continue to respond to the pandemic.”

As COVID-19 rates and variants in the Bay Area change daily, and new technology and guidance emerge, dedicated support can better equip school leaders and parents with the information and tools they need to confidently navigate COVID-19 guidelines and make informed decisions for their school communities.

“Our consultant, who has been enthralled by the nuances of the county and state health guidelines, provides a major lift for staff who already have their plates full with trying to figure out how to mitigate learning opportunities and achievement gaps during this pandemic,” said Gina Sudaria, Superintendent of Ravenswood City School District. “We are grateful to have a local expert on all COVID-related matters that we can turn to for answers as we navigate this new educational landscape.”  

“There’s no question that COVD-19 has caused organizational changes as we implemented new protocols and procedures to keep our students and staff safe,” said Dr. John Baker, Superintendent of Redwood City School District. “The improvements come with an additional cost that can put pressure on taxpayer funds. Knowing that we cannot risk anyone’s health and safety, this is work that we needed to do and we accomplished it with the support of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.” 

“Educating in the time of a pandemic has created such disruption in our community and changed our role as educators. Balancing the health, safety, academic and social-emotional needs of our students and families has become a strenuous balancing act for the educators and leaders of our small district,” said Amy Wooliever, Superintendent of La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District. “This support will immediately and positively impact our community and allow District staff to have a deliberate and intensive focus on teaching and learning. “

As a member of the Bay Area community, CZI supports educators, school leaders, and parents as they make the best decisions for their students and communities. Grants from CZI will help create multiple new COVID-19 school response positions, providing San Mateo County schools with additional capacity to respond to the pandemic. 

CZI has committed more than $107 million in response to COVID-19, including more than $11 million locally to assist Bay Area public health agencies, organizations, and school districts in the emergency and long-term response to the pandemic. 

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About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit www.chanzuckerberg.com.

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