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Some Sacramento County Districts Choosing To Start In-Person Classes After Holidays

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As some school districts prepare to go back to class as soon as next month, others are choosing to wait until January.

"I want my kids out of the house!" Sherry White, a mother of students in the Twin Rivers Unified School District said Tuesday. She's ready for her kids to safely start school in-person, once again.

Though seated next to her in the car, her close neighbor Lloyd McLeod feels differently.

"My kids are going nuts sitting at home, but I don't want my kids getting sick either," McLeod said.

The chatter of when to fill empty classrooms has been tackled by Sacramento County districts for weeks, and Twin Rivers is the latest to join the conversation. The district isn't planning to open until after the holidays, though, days after people may have gatherings with families.

READ: Return To In-Person Learning Raises Questions About Equal Education

White said she knows that poses risks.

"My family does a lot of hugging and kissing and things like that," White said. "But that's basically been the hub of people we've been with this whole time."

In a note to families, the superintendent announced school could begin on January 4, citing a "slow and steady" return for students in the district who live in some of Sacramento's hardest COVID-stricken zip codes.

"We know these students and families are still at risk and bringing them back to school would be irresponsible," said Rebecca LeDoux, president of the Twin Rivers United Educators teachers' union.

Their union was one of a few who drafted a letter asking to hold off on reopening schools until at least January. Though LeDoux said they never set a hard date themselves.

"I think we have to continue to be prudent and see if we have that second COVID surge," LeDoux said. "Before we make that decision with a hard date."

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County health departments continue to discourage gatherings even during the holiday season and say they could cause case numbers to spike.

In response to school reopening, Twin Rivers wasn't able to make anyone available to us on Tuesday. Though, nearby school district San Juan Unified has made similar plans. The district set its start date for January 5, one day after Twin Rivers' original proposed date.

"We're encouraged by the numbers in the county continuing to go down," said Trent Allen, a spokesperson with the San Juan Unified School District. "We want to make sure we're being as safe as possible."

San Juan, like many other districts, will continue to keep an eye on those numbers just in case any holiday hubbub causes an uptick.

On Tuesday night the Twin Rivers School Board voted to set the target start date for Jan. 19.

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