Schools to Open Aug. 31 in Distance Learning

Schools to Remain in Distance Learning Until Local COVID-19 Data Improves
Posted on 08/26/2020
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Although county public health officials announced that San Diego area schools can reopen for in-person instruction as of September 1, 2020, the Chula Vista Elementary School District will remain in a distance learning model until local data supports a phased reopening.

Chula Vista still has higher rates of infection in certain zip codes than much of the rest of the county. “The safety of both students and staff is our highest priority,” said Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D. “We will open when it is safe to do so. We have every desire to welcome back students to school in person. At this time, that is not an option given our local data.”

California’s governor has made COVID-19 testing and tracing a key component to school reopening plans. The California Department of Public Health recommends that surveillance testing of school staff for COVID-19 be implemented once schools are reopened to at least some in-person instruction. Examples of recommended frequency include testing all staff over two months – where 25% of staff are tested every two weeks, or 50% every month – to rotate testing of all staff over time.

“Our District is working with the County Office of Education, health officials and other testing sites to put in place a strategy to provide testing for our school employees,” Dr. Escobedo said. “This is one of 14 elements that need to be addressed in a safe reopening of schools. We are continuing our work on that track while also preparing for distance learning when our school year starts on August 31.”

Even when the District is able to offer in-person instruction, parents who desire for their student(s) to remain on distance learning will continue to have that option, Dr. Escobedo said.There are 14 elements to school reopening plans.

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