News Release Archive


Improving COVID-19 Case Rates Could Soon Allow More Elementary Schools to Reopen

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Ventura County
Office of Education


February 17, 2021

For more information:
Dave Schermer, Director of Communications



Improving COVID-19 Case Rates Could Soon
Allow More Elementary Schools to Reopen

Declining COVID-19 case rates could soon remove a roadblock that has been preventing some Ventura County elementary schools from reopening for in-person instruction. Several local school districts already reopened their elementary schools when Ventura County was in the red tier on the state’s coronavirus watch list or by receiving waivers while the County is in the more restrictive purple tier. According to current state guidelines, all other elementary schools cannot reopen until the County’s adjusted COVID-19 case rate falls below 25 per 100,000 residents. Ventura County Public Health officials anticipate that could happen any day. Once that case rate has been maintained for five days, all Ventura County elementary schools could choose to bring students back to the classroom if they feel it is safe and once they have completed the process for submitting and posting their COVID-19 Safety Plans to their websites.

“We’re excited to see that case rates are dropping in Ventura County to the point that all elementary schools may soon have the option of reopening for in-person instruction,” said Dr. Cesar Morales, Deputy Superintendent for the Ventura County Office of Education (VCOE). “Schools that do reopen will likely begin with hybrid schedules since social distancing requirements prevent them from bringing all students back to class full-time.”

Morales noted that some elementary schools may decide not to reopen as soon as it’s permitted for a variety of reasons. “It’s important to remember that each of our twenty school districts faces unique circumstances that will determine when they reopen. Some parts of the County have much higher case rates than others and all districts will continue to work with their labor partners on plans to safely return school employees to the classroom. These include mitigation strategies such as social distancing, mandatory mask wearing and routine testing,” he said. Districts are also waiting to learn more about additional funding that may help support the reopening of schools.

VCOE is working to monitor the situation closely and to support school districts with the reopening process. VCOE is also advocating for additional funding and to prioritize vaccinations for educators.

Under current guidelines, middle and high schools that have not previously reopened will have to wait until Ventura County returns to the red tier. It’s anticipated that additional guidance will be coming from the State.

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About the Ventura County Office of Education

The Ventura County Office of Education provides a broad array of fiscal, training and technology support services to local school districts, helping to maintain and improve lifelong educational opportunities for children, educators and community members. VCOE also operates schools that serve students with severe disabilities and behavioral issues, provides career education courses, and coordinates countywide academic competitions including Mock Trial and the Ventura County Science Fair. Learn more at:



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Dave Schermer
DIRECTOR of communications

Ventura County Office of Education
5189 Verdugo Way • Camarillo, CA 93012
Tel: (805) 383-1922 • Fax: (805) 383-1908

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