Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares issued the following statement in response to the OC Board of Education’s July 13 meeting and school reopening recommendations:
There has been some confusion, and understandably so, over the role of the OC Board of Education and our agency, the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE).
OCDE and my office have worked with local school district leaders to develop “Orange County Together: A guide to safely reopening schools in the COVID-19 era.” This resource, available on our website, is in alignment with the California Department of Public Health, which stresses the importance of social distancing and face coverings when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. The five-member OC Board of Education, which has separate responsibilities, hosted its meeting on July 13 to discuss a white paper with alternative recommendations.
The board majority’s recommendations are not binding. Locally elected school boards and superintendents will approve and implement plans specific to their districts based on the needs of their schools and communities. OCDE is working to support districts in that effort, and we remain 100 percent committed to following and sharing the guidance of the California Department of Public Health and the Orange County Health Care Agency.