Santa Clarita Valley’s six school districts could receive a little over $7.5 million from Los Angeles County to provide comprehensive COVID-19 screening programs at SCV schools.
That sum is part of a $300 million award from the Centers for Disease Control to L.A. County for its 80 public school districts, as well as private schools and charter schools. The CDC has awarded more than $12 billion to support the response to COVID-19.
A partnership between the L.A. County Public Health Department and L.A. County Office of Education will “provide COVID-19 screening options to promote safe learning environments for in-person instruction in schools,” according to a statement from the Office of Education released Tuesday.
“Ensuring safe in-person instruction is vital to addressing learning loss and promoting social-emotional well-being. This testing program is a tool to help make that happen,” said L.A. County Superintendent of Schools Debra Duardo in a prepared statement.
The county’s statement said it is using input from “local education leaders” to support schools as they implement testing options that will “support current in-person instruction.”
The funds will help school districts address “ongoing challenges,” such as the cost and staffing of testing programs and expanding testing sites, as districts prepare for the 2021-22 school year, according to the county.
The new funding will also allow for increased testing frequency and enhance data accuracy.
SCV school districts, if they accept, are eligible to receive the following amounts:
– William S. Hart Union High District: $3,424,307.
– Saugus Union School District: $1,531,767.
– Newhall School District: $995,055.
– Sulphur Springs Union School District: $845,945.
– Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District: $386,613.
– Castaic Union School District: $334,933.
Hart district staff attended a Los Angeles County Department of Education briefing to review a grant opportunity to support COVID-19 testing, according to the district.
“The district is currently evaluating the requirements of the grant,” said Dave Caldwell, a spokesman for the district, in a written statement. “At this time, the district has not determined if we will accept the grant funds that have been offered.”
The Hart district has COVID-19 safety protocols, which were reviewed and approved by the California and Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health. Hart district students and staff are engaged in in-person learning.
Caldwell said the district has not had any challenges providing COVID-19 testing to students, teachers and staff.
“The district currently provides a safe in-person learning environment for staff and students,” he said.