Students will now be allowed to go back to school in Merced.

Merced City School District is beginning the process of bringing students back to school, according to a news release.

The California Department of Public Health recently released guidelines for returning small student groups or cohorts to schools for supports and specialized services. In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, cohorts will consist of no more than 16 individuals in a classroom, the news release said.

The State of California, and California Department of Education, is to consider returning students with disabilities first, due to their increased vulnerability while on distance learning. These MCSD students will return to school in-person on October 12 unless their parents/guardians choose to continue with distance learning.

“The guidance from the State is in line with MCSD’s vision of providing equity and support to the most vulnerable students,” MCSD Superintendent Dr. Al Rogers shared. “First, we are going to bring back students enrolled in Special Day Classes and students with particular service needs. These students spend a significant part of their school day receiving specialized services.”

MCSD is creating a plan to welcome all students back to campus on November 2, if COVID-19 infection rates continue to decrease within the county. MCSD’s plan prioritizes the safety of students and staff. Planning and school schedules are being developed based on valuable feedback from teachers, staff, parents, and the community.