RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA — St. John’s School in Hemet, Palm Valley School in Rancho Mirage and Cornerstone Christian School in Wildomar are the first campuses in Riverside County allowed to reopen for in-person learning amid the coronavirus pandemic. Under a program launched by the state that allows schools serving grades TK-6 to apply for a waiver to reopen for in-person classes, the campuses got the green light this week.
As of Friday afternoon, the three are the only Riverside County schools — private or public — granted approval to reopen.
Per the state's school waiver program, only students in grades TK-6 may attend in-person classes at approved schools. Students in higher grade levels must continue with online learning, regardless of whether their school receives a waiver.
The waiver process includes an application submitted to the Riverside University Health System - Public Health. If approved, the application is forwarded to the state for approval.
Riverside County has made publicly available a list of schools that have applied for the waiver and the status on those applications. See the list here. As of Friday afternoon, no public schools had applied.
Several private schools across California have sued Gov. Gavin Newsom over campus closures, including Linfield Christian School in Temecula and Calvary Murrieta. The Orange County Board of Education, which serves public schools, has also filed a suit.
Murrieta-based Tyler & Bursch represents the OC Board of Education in a suit, as well as Linfield and Calvary Murrieta in a separate filing. The California State Supreme Court ordered Newsom to respond to the petitions by 3 p.m. Friday.