School districts around Bay Area are getting ready for safe return to classrooms

After a school year like none other, families around the Bay Area are preparing to go back to school. This means that a return to in-person instruction at a time when COVID cases surging.

In a few days or weeks, kids around the Bay Area will be back in the classroom. Education leaders in districts around the state said the classroom is the best place for children.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said schools can reopen safely by following state health and CDC guidelines.

"We know that we can get there," said Thurmond. "But, it does mean that we need to do social distancing when we can, always wearing a mask, getting vaccines and using COVID testing."

Districts around the Bay Area are now laying out their plans for the 2021-2022 school year. Oakland schools return August 9. San Ramon Valley schools return August 10 with about 750 students set to attend virtual academy.

SEE ALSO:California will still require masks inside schools, despite new CDC guidance

Both Fremont and San Jose schools return August 18. San Jose Unified is requiring all teachers and staff be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID tests.

Marin county is following suit.

"We are saying, yes you should be vaccinated we need you to be vaccinated," said Mary Jane Burke, Marin County Office of Education Superintendent. "If you are not yet fully vaccinated you will be going through the weekly testing."

San Francisco students are set to return to class in less than two weeks. Dr. Naveena Bobba from San Francisco's Department of Health said the risk of transmission in classroom settings is low, and in-person instruction can be done safely. 

"I will say, we are not expecting case in schools to be zero," said Bobba. "Community transmission and in home transmission will still occur. But, the goal is that we have everything in place to prevent transmission from happening within schools."

All schools will require masks to be worn for those attending in person, and many schools will have new start times, so families should check with their district to see what time to drop those students off when school begins.